South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell says he expects more booing from Sydney Roosters fans in this Sunday's elimination final.
Mitchell won the 2018 and 2019 premierships with the Roosters but has been public enemy number one for the club's fans since defecting to rivals South Sydney in 2020.
Most memorably, the fullback laid a high tackle that left Joey Manu with a facial fracture in round 24 last season, ending the Roosters centre's finals hopes through injury and his own through suspension.
The 41,900-strong Roosters home crowd booed Mitchell repeatedly in the Allianz Stadium opener on Friday night, especially when he attempted conversions.
But the fullback said he had no problems being the villain for his old club.
"It was expected," he told reporters ahead of this weekend's rematch.
"I did what I did over (at the Roosters). It's a game of rugby league.
"They're passionate and South Sydney are passionate. It's two clubs going at it, foundation clubs. It's very enjoyable being out there kicking goals."
The extra attention extended onto the paddock, where the in-form Mitchell was a target for the Roosters defence all night long.
"I could tell they were going after me," he said.
"It's warranted I guess. They really turned up, it's a credit to them."
The Rabbitohs have now qualified for finals in each year since Mitchell has arrived but Sunday marks the 25-year-old's first play-offs appearance with the side.
He missed the 2020 finals series through injury, watching on as the Rabbitohs punched above their weight to make a preliminary final from sixth place on the ladder.
Last year, Souths made it one game further but had to make do without the suspended Mitchell.
The wait has made the fullback hungrier to feature in a finals series for the Rabbitohs.
"I've recapped the last few years, I've had a think. I'm very excited and definitely grateful to be in the position I am," he said.
"I can't wipe the smile off my face. This is the time that I want to be playing footy. Everyone wants to be here at the end.
"Eight teams going at it and it starts this weekend."