Braith Anasta incident exposes unfortunate Latrell Mitchell truth amid NRL struggles

The Souths star made his frustrations known to the TV host and former player.

A couple of years ago, this columnist asked Braith Anasta how he felt the NRL 360 audience had responded to his first year as host. "Oh, they’ll be into me," he replied. There's always critics out there, no matter how well you think you've gone.

"I learnt that when I was 19 and still playing. I don’t worry about that sh*t anymore. What can I do about it? Nothing except trying to improve each week. You can show your own personality and opinion and while people are not always going to agree with you, they can respect what you’ve got to say.

On the right is South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell and NRL 360 host Braith Anasta on left.
South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell took exception to NRL 360 host Braith Anasta's criticism of him and the club. Pic: Fox League/Getty

"I think I won a few people over." Latrell Mitchell is obviously not one of the converts. He confronted Anasta at Sydney's Chin Chin restaurant this week to voice displeasure at some of the criticism levelled at him and his team this season.

The Fox League presenter suggested the pair leave the prawn spring rolls and chilli salt chicken wings aside for a minute so they could chat outside, away from prying eyes and iPhones switched to video mode. Smart move. Their conversation was said to be stern and to the point but never ugly.

It was two grown men sorting out their differences in a civilised manner. Mitchell has form in this area. Wendell Sailor revealed the Souths superstar respectfully approached him in a pub during the off-season, urging him to be "more positive" in his coverage.


Sailor had no problem with the approach and welcomed the feedback while defending his right to have a say. Mitchell has also been known to give journalists the cold shoulder if he feels criticism has been out of line.

From the left to right is NRL great Wendell Sailor, Braith Anasta and Latrell Mitchell.
NRL great Wendell Sailor revealed Latrell Mitchell confronted him in a similar way to Braith Anasta over criticism around the South Sydney player and his struggling club. Pic: Getty

He is not afraid to call them out. Again, that is his right. But he should also realise Anasta, Sailor and Co. are paid to give an opinion. And when you're the highest paid player at one of the highest profile clubs in the NRL and you’ve won just one game all season, heavy scrutiny is part of the job description.

It comes with the territory. There is no doubt the Souths pile on has been relentless. There's also little doubt it will continue until they start winning games. Few other clubs command this sort of attention. As one website sports editor told me: "When Souths are sick, people click." In other words, bad news sells. Only Latrell and his Bunnies can change that narrative.