Bragging rights may have gone to South Sydney but Brisbane coach Anthony Seibold still managed to have the final say on an extraordinary war of words with Rabbitohs deputy Jason Demetriou.
Seibold would have been forgiven for being tightlipped over his pre-game slanging match with Demetriou after the Broncos fell short 22-20 to South Sydney in a pulsating Friday night NRL clash.
But he refused to back down from his criticism of Demetriou, saying he would have sacked his assistant if they had been as "disrespectful" as the Rabbitohs deputy ahead of their round 23 grudge match.
Seibold at first was not interested in stoking the fire any further after the Suncorp Stadium blockbuster.
"I'm over it. I coach because I love coaching I don't want to be arguing back and forth and that sort of stuff," Seibold said.
Indeed it seemed there was little more to add after Demetriou and Seibold ripped into each other before kick-off.
Demetriou lobbed the first pre-match grenade when he sensationally claimed Seibold couldn't deliver in NRL finals as a coach.
Then Seibold returned serve, suggesting former Broncos assistant Demetriou was simply dirty that he had missed out on the Brisbane head coach gig.
But when pressed on Friday night, Seibold made no apologies for his brutal rebuttal to Demetriou, suggesting any assistant who said the same thing under his reign would have been given his marching orders.
"I know I had a crack back at the assistant coach at Souths but I thought I had a fair right to," Seibold said.
"I thought he was disrespectful to me and what I've tried to do.
"I can cop criticism off people. But you've got to have the runs on the board to be able to do that.
"(And) if one of my coaches spoke out like that publicly then he wouldn't be one of my coaches anymore."
The stage was already set for a spiteful Friday night clash with Seibold lining up against the man he replaced at Red Hill - Wayne Bennett - in a messy end of year coaching swap.
And tensions were only heightened by Demetriou's extraordinary spray - described as "great theatre" by Bennett on Friday night.
Yet Seibold was keen to finally put the issue to bed after seventh-placed Brisbane showed their finals credentials by going toe-to-toe with top four outfit South Sydney.
"I'm over it mate, okay? I loved my time at South Sydney, I'm no longer there, I'm loving my time at the Broncos," Seibold said.
"I think we're seeing some real traction with our group, everybody can see we are a better team than in the first eight rounds.
"I just want to coach, I don't want to be in the media every week with everything I say.
"I don't think it's necessarily a good thing."
Australian Associated Press