Braith Anasta has called out Latrell Mitchell over his lacklustre display for the Rabbitohs against the Knights on Sunday, highlighting a number of key moments that exposed his lack of effort. Mitchell has been widely criticised for his display with Souths' season in freefall, which has culminated in him being suspended for the final-round blockbuster against the Roosters that could decide who makes the finals and who doesn't.
Mitchell made two costly errors which led directly to Newcastle tries, before he was sin-binned in the dying stages for an elbow to Tyson Frizell. However it was his work (or lack thereof) off the ball that concerned Anasta more.
The NRL 360 host highlighted four key moments from the first half on Sunday that showed Mitchell was never up for the fight. The fullback didn't chase across field when Greg Marzhew scored his first try in the corner, before back-to-back plays in which he came up with fresh air as Kalyn Ponga laid on two more tries for Marzhew.
But the most concerning incident came after the Rabbitohs made a line break down the wing through Taane Milne. The Souths winger looked inside for a pass or kick, but Mitchell was 40 metres back because he didn't even attempt to keep up with the play.
As Anasta highlighted, there aren't too many fullbacks in the game who wouldn't be within cooee when a break is made. The likes of Ponga, Dylan Edwards and Reece Walsh are always sniffing around the ruck and always seem to bob up in support when the line is broken.
“Tell me another fullback in the game who stands still like that and doesn’t support up the middle of the ruck,” Anasta said on NRL 360. “Tell me whatever you want to tell me and he is not solely to blame, but he is the leader at that club. He is the barometer and once he starts making better decisions and wears his heart on his sleeve (they will get better).”
WOW... Braith tears Latrell a new one... https://t.co/2hLB6Pd2QY
— The Mole (@9_Moley) August 21, 2023
Braith has absolutely nailed this. There is absolutely no way you can watch this and excuse Latrell’s performance here. He is a selfish, lazy player. I would be LIVID if I ever saw Gutho breeze through a game without a single care. But I never would…thank god. https://t.co/5tLErEAePE
— V (@TicsVitsJacThic) August 21, 2023
That is some crazy footage. What’s doing
— SDI (@sportdatatweets) August 21, 2023
Braith killed this 💯 Latrell’s laziness and watching this footage is so sad. Look at him. Never seen another fullback be that lazy https://t.co/6BiJD5objR
— elyse (@elysevw) August 21, 2023
Couldn’t agree more with Braith re Latrell. I have always stood up for Latrell but it appears his ego is getting in the way now and causing too many issues within the team. Some big decisions need to be made as he is becoming more of a liability than an asset.
— Craig (@Waigo23) August 21, 2023
Latrell Mitchell under fresh fire over 'damning' footage
Panellist Phil Rothfield added: "That is really damning video. It shows a lazy footballer to me and he is on over $1 million, he hasn’t played much football.
“I know where he is coming from, we don’t want to dump it all on Latrell, but that video is so damning and I don’t think Latrell would want to watch that. When you are on that sort of money, and he’s on double what Dylan Edwards is on, you’ve got to look at Edwards’ effort plays.
“They were total opposite to what we just saw... that was a desperation, season-defining game yesterday and from that video I saw, he didn’t really turn up.”
Anasta said: “We aren't just blaming him, you are taking this like it’s an attack on him, majority of tis team are playing well under par right now. It’s been a few months now, it is not a one off. We are talking about the standards and discipline as a leader, we are talking about the things off the field.”
Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker at odds with teammates?
The Sydney Morning Herald reported on Monday that Mitchell and Cody Walker aren't being held to the same standards at training as their teammates, which has caused ructions in the club. Rabbitohs officials were also reportedly unhappy about footage of Mitchell 'shot-gunning' a beer on-stage at a Luke Combs concert last Wednesday night.
“There’s a reason why you are a premier club and you aren’t winning, it’s not a coincidence,” Anasta said. “There’s a story that just broke that Latrell and Cody are not being held to the same standards as the other players in the team, this is getting louder.
“Discipline comes from standards, which comes from training, which comes from taking the standards set at training on to the footy field. They are last in errors, second last in completion rates.”
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