South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters kept apart on charter flights to Townsville for finals double-header

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Mercifully, the Roosters and Rabbitohs will be kept apart for another week and there will be no need to pass The Book of Feuds across the plane aisle.

After locking in its top eight following the 191st of the 192-game regular season, the NRL won’t have the powderkeg which every rugby league fan is craving, because there will be separate charter flights for the bitter rivals en route to Townsville on Saturday night.

As the code prepares for its first finals series to be played exclusively in the sunshine state, the Rabbitohs and Roosters will cross paths – briefly – when they take part in the double-header at Queensland Country Bank Stadium.

The Rabbitohs have been scheduled to fly north on the same charter as the Titans, who ended a five-year finals drought with a record-breaking win over the Warriors on Sunday, dumping the Sharks from eighth spot.

The Roosters, meanwhile, will leave the Sunshine Coast with the Panthers, who take on the Rabbitohs in the second qualifying final straight after the Roosters-Titans match.

If there is any lingering animosity from the Latrell Mitchell tackle on Joseph Manu which ended the seasons of both players, we won’t know until later in the finals series. There is a chance the sides will still cross paths, but it will need to be in either the preliminary final, or even better, grand final.

Latrell Mitchell and the Rabbitohs won’t be forced to share a flight to Townsville with the Roosters.

Latrell Mitchell and the Rabbitohs won’t be forced to share a flight to Townsville with the Roosters.Credit:Getty

And who is to say it’s not a possibility, even allowing for the patched-up Roosters where it’s been easier for most of the year to name who is playing, rather than who is not?

South Sydney coach Wayne Bennett is loath to break up his halves combination of Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker, meaning Blake Taaffe is likely to have first shot under an aerial raid from Penrith’s Nathan Cleary, which tormented Josh Mansour only a couple of weeks ago.

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