Latrell Mitchell responds after South Sydney coach calls out glaring issue

The Rabbitohs coach's criticism is ringing in the ears of the NRL superstar.

Pictured left to right, Latrell Mitchell and Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou.
Latrell Mitchell has taken on board feedback from Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou about getting more involved in NRL games. Pic: Getty

South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell admits he needs to get himself more involved in NRL games, following some feedback from coach Jason Demetriou. Mitchell and the Bunnies came up second best against Melbourne at home in round five, with returning Storm five eighth Cameron Munster inspiring his side to an 18-10 upset win.

Mitchell is yet to fully reach the heights that fans know he's capable of this season, having terrorised opposition defences when he returned from injury in 2022, where he starred in the Bunnies' run to the preliminary finals. The fullback will bring up 150 NRL games on Friday when his side takes on a Canterbury team brimming with confidence after Sunday's dramatic golden point win over North Queensland.

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Demetriou was frustrated at Mitchell's level of involvement in last week's eight-point loss to Melbourne in which the 25-year-old had only three first-half runs. The NSW and Kangaroos star says a critique from his coach will serve as a motivating factor when the Bunnies take on the Dogs on Easter Friday.

"I think instead of chasing our tails in the back end, we should be starting the game early," Mitchell said. "For me personally, I know I've got to get hands-on a bit earlier in the game and sort of flip the mentality.

"He (Demetriou) always knows the right thing to say and I know how to take it on the chin. "It's definitely a special relationship that we get to have as coach and player.

"I'm going to put my best foot forward and it's a job we love to do and we've got to start making it enjoyable for ourselves." Mitchell - who ran for 172 metres against the Storm - has often been analysed in the context of other fullbacks in the NRL.

Confident Latrell Mitchell ready to fire

While he might not match some of the others for workrate, such as Manly's Tom Trbojevic frequently posts games where he runs for 200+ metres, Mitchell is undoubtedly up there with the NRL's premium game-breakers. Despite his side's 2-3 start to the season and his own patchy form to start the season, the Rabbitohs No.1 is not low on confidence either.

"It's lonely at the top," he joked with reporters on Monday. "I have got a great support network here and the boys are like brothers and it is a family orientation that I love to have. "This is why I am at the Rabbitohs."

Mitchell also addressed the furore against the Panthers in round two where he was racially abused by a young fan in an incident that left the league world fuming. Demetriou was among those calling for the spectator to receive a lifetime ban from attending games.

Seen here, Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell being tackled against the Melbourne Storm in round five of the NRL.
Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell is tackled against the Melbourne Storm in round five of the NRL. Pic: Getty (Cameron Spencer via Getty Images)

It's understood Mitchell and the Rabbitohs declined overtures from the NRL to meet up with the young fan and educate him about the impacts of racism in the game and wider society. The Rabbitohs fullback said he was happy to put the ugly saga behind him and "focus on footy".

“I think that’s a matter in the NRL’s hands now,” he told reporters. “I just want to focus on footy. It’s not my problem.

"There are people involved and I’ve just got to focus on my role here and not focus my energy on that. “It does (hurt), but it is what it is. We’re passed that and the process will be taken upon.”

with AAP

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