Latrell Mitchell's horror moment as NRL world erupts over insane Reece Walsh display

The gun fullbacks had some moments of brilliance as the Broncos got the better of South Sydney.

It was a battle of the gun fullbacks as Reece Walsh took on Latrell Mitchell in the Broncos' NRL clash with Souths on Thursday night in Brisbane. But it was Walsh who came away with the chocolates in emphatic fashion as the Broncos ran out 28-18 winners.

Walsh and Mitchell both got on the scoreboard, but the Broncos fullback soundly outpointed his rival to further cement his status as the game's most exciting prospect. Walsh had two tries, five tackle breaks, a line break, line break assist and 127 running metres in a virtuoso display that will have Queensland State of Origin coach Billy Slater licking his lips.

Latrell Mitchell and Reece Walsh during the Broncos' win over the Rabbitohs.
Latrell Mitchell (L) had a shocker as Reece Walsh (R) starred for the Broncos against the Rabbitohs. Image: Channel 9/Getty

Mitchell scored a brilliant late try that came as little consolation after a rather underwhelming performance. The Souths fullback also had five tackle breaks, a line break, line break assist and ran for 177 metres.

But he came up with a couple of nightmare moments at the back that led to Broncos tries. Mitchell inexplicably opted to toe the ball ahead while trying to clean up a Broncos kick, but only succeeded in gifting possession back to Brisbane in scenes reminiscent of Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow in round one.

Latrell Mitchell gifts Reece Walsh a try with brutal blunder

Mitchell then had an absolute shocker with the game still in the balance at 16-12 with 17 minutes to play. Jesse Arthurs put in a speculating kick after the Broncos launched an attacking raid from inside their own half, sending the ball straight towards Mitchell at fullback.

But the Souths star made an absolute meal of collecting it, overrunning the ball after failing in his attempt to catch it on the full. Mitchell turned and chased in a desperate attempt to atone for his error, but watched on in vain as Walsh swooped in to collect his second try of the night.


The horror moment perfectly illustrated the criticism that is often levelled at Mitchell - that his moments of brilliance are counteracted by too many errors and mental lapses. Had Mitchell cleaned up the kick properly his side would only have been trailing by four and still well in the game.

Jason Demetriou lashes Souths players over errors

But the score swelled out to 28-12 soon after - rendering Mitchell's late try meaningless. Souths coach Jason Demetriou was highly critical of his side's errors while speaking in his post-match press conference.

“We’re just shooting ourselves in the foot,” Demetriou said after his side slumped to 0-2 on the season. “Whether it’s not feeding the scrum properly, or first tackle errors, kicking it into our own player, penalties for blocking - it was a horror show of little things that kept putting pressure on ourselves.

Reece Walsh and Latrell Mitchell.
Reece Walsh got the better of Latrell Mitchell as the Broncos beat Souths.

“I said to them there, we bottle that effort and desire and tidy up some of that stuff and we see how good this footy team is because I was really pleased with our tryline defence in particular. We were asked to do a hell of a lot of it and it was a big improvement from last week.

“Individuals have got to own their roles. A scrum feed, a first tackle error, we played without Cooky (Damien Cook) for 10 minutes before half-time and our defensive resolve during that time was outstanding. It allowed us to come out with some momentum and get to 12-all and started looking like the footy team we want to be but we just didn’t give ourselves a chance from that point on. To be under 50 per cent completion from that point on, we just asked ourselves to do too much defending.”

Fans and pundits were critical of Mitchell's hot and cold display once again, while Walsh received plenty of praise from commentators. The win for Brisbane was only soured by the sight of captain Adam Reynolds leaving the field with 10 minutes to go after a recurrence of a knee injury.