Latrell Mitchell silences haters in powerhouse display against Dolphins

The South Sydney Rabbitohs fullback had a try and an assist in another dominant performance.

Latrell Mitchell, pictured here producing a powerhouse performance for the Rabbitohs against the Dolphins.
Latrell Mitchell produced a powerhouse performance for the Rabbitohs against the Dolphins. Image: Getty/Fox Sports

Latrell Mitchell has produced his second-straight brilliant performance, after a rev-up from South Sydney coach Jason Demetriou following a lacklustre display against the Storm in round five. Mitchell had a try, an assist, six tackle breaks and two line-break assists while running for 110 metres in Souths' 36-14 win over the Dolphins on Thursday night.

He was also on song with the boot, nailing five out of six goals, and got into the game much quicker than he did at times earlier in the season. The epic display against the Dolphins came after he scored three tries and had two assists against the Bulldogs a week ago, which followed a raft of criticism for his performance against the Storm.

'CONFUSING': Manly under fire over detail in Tom Trbojevic update

HUGE NEWS: Roosters coach's key revelation about Angus Crichton

Many pointed out that Mitchell took way too long to inject himself into the game against Melbourne, and Demetriou said after the match: "I thought the back end of the first half he started getting himself in the game a bit more. (Mitchell) probably needs to find his way into the game a bit earlier."

All Mitchell has done since the rev-up is shine, silencing the haters with back-to-back powerhouse performances. In the last two weeks he has four tries, three assists, 301 running metres and 10 tackle breaks.

On Thursday night he asserted himself early, laying on a try for Campbell Graham with a brilliant short ball close to the Dolphins' line. Mitchell is known for cutting out the Souths centres with sweeping long balls to the wingers, but on this occasion he showed his class with a beautiful touch to send Graham over.

“I’ve rarely seen a bloke of his size and power have such a beautiful touch on the ball," Matty Johns said on Fox Sports. "Boy, I tell you what, when they get on top what a handful."

Then with the game still in the balance at 26-14, the fullback put the game to bed with a magnificent solo try. Mitchell showed his skill and strength, carrying two defenders over the line after a jinking run that started 10 metres out.

Discussing the criticism on Mitchell that he doesn't get involved enough, Bryan Fletcher said: “People have the knock on him that he doesn’t get involved like a (James) Tedesco, but that’s not his game. What he brings to this team, suits this team… he doesn’t have to do his 200 metres because that’s not the way he plays.”

Johns added: “He’s not a middle field toiler, he’s a different kind of fullback." Fans were also rapt for Mitchell considering some of the hate he has copped.

Latrell Mitchell and Cody Walker star for South Sydney

Cody Walker also produced a masterful performance, scoring a try and assisting three others. However the result didn't come without controversy, with Graham's second try in the second half dividing opinion.

Many felt he pushed Euan Aitken in the back before taking a high ball and scoring untouched, while others felt it was an accidental collision and both players were looking at the footy. "It was a push in the back," Dolphins coach Wayne Bennett said.

"Euan is allowed to run the line he was running. He was going towards the ball. We are all big enough to overcome that stuff. If that's the call, that's the call."

Latrell Mitchell, pictured here celebrating with teammates after a try for South Sydney against the Dolphins.
Latrell Mitchell celebrates with teammates after a try for South Sydney against the Dolphins. (Photo by Bradley Kanaris/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

The Dolphins were brilliant in the first half and early in the second. However the Graham try turned the tide in Souths' favour and Bennett's men unravelled when Kenny Bromwich was sin-binned midway through the second 40.

Bromwich was given a 10-minute spell after hitting Taane Milne in the head before he caught a high ball. The Rabbitohs scored five unanswered tries in the second half, including three while Bromwich was in the bin.

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.