Rabbitoh Dane Gagai and Rooster Latrell Mitchell.

The Greg Inglis retirement, Luke Keary's concussion scare, James Roberts' arrival, Jake Friend's injury and George Burgess's shocking suspension.

Both clubs have created headlines during the season but a lot of water has gone under the bridge since the Roosters and Rabbitohs last clashed in round one.

That reason alone is why Rabbitohs winger Dane Gagai stays grounded when it comes to talk around a chance to ignite that hate between the two oldest clubs in the league.

The six-month gap between games is sure to be no excuse when both sides clash, but Gagai understands this time around the repercussions are far greater if they don't keep a lid on their emotions.

A top-four berth awaits the Rabbitohs with a victory, while a loss could leave them in a sudden-death playoff match a week later.

"As a player you can't get tied up in that because then you start thinking about what happens rather than thinking what can I do to help out the team," Gagai said.

"We're coming up against a lot different side. At the start of the year everyone is in different positions and not a base that people want to go off.

"I think they've got a lot of strike across the park. It's going to make for a good game. We've got to respect them and what they're capable of. You don't focus on those types of things."

Gagai, though, who joined the Rabbitohs in 2018 to become enriched in the bitter rivalry between the two clubs, enjoys the verbal rivalry prior to matches, declaring it acts as great entertainment for the fans as much as the players can sometimes be targeted.

"After round one I went to a café with my family in Bondi and a fan walked past and said I was on the wrong side of town here," Gagai said.

"I guess [the rivalry] is definitely there. It was noticeable then. I think that's what made it good for the fans with the game in Brisbane with Seibs and 'JD' (Jason Demetriou) going back and forward.

"It's nothing personal, we're just doing our thing and the fans got right into the game."

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