Trell-Milk Mitchell no diver for penalties

·3-min read

Latrell Mitchell has emphatically denied he laid down in South Sydney's chaotic finals win over the Sydney Roosters, but says the NRL's bunker has invited him to wait on one knee and ask referees for penalties.

A jovial Mitchell on Tuesday morning said he was embracing a new nickname of "Trell-Milk", after several incidents of alleged gamesmanship in Sunday's win.

Mitchell twice waited on one knee and looked at referee Ashley Klein after hits from Connor Watson and Nat Butcher in the second half of the controversial Allianz Stadium clash, which featured seven sin-bins and five HIAs.

Rabbitohs captain Cameron Murray was involved in a similar incident following a tackle from Jared Waerea-Hargreaves, which also was not penalised.

The matters prompted premiership-winning coach, current Nine Network commentator and Canterbury general manager of football Phil Gould to claim on Monday night that Mitchell had "made a farce of rugby league" in the win over the Tricolours.

The NRL also admitted they were concerned about the trend after several incidents across the weekend, and that they would look for deterrents in the off-season.

But Mitchell was adamant he never laid down, and was merely asking the referee if a penalty would be blown.

"Call me Trell-Milk now," Mitchell quipped.

"I've play the game hard and tough and honestly I've never felt the forces that they (the Roosters) brought.

"I think they were head hunting a little bit but end of the day that is the game of rugby league.

"If the bunker doesn't see it and the ref doesn't see it, that's the game. I didn't do anything.

"I didn't lay down. I got up on my knee, and pretty much looked at the ref and went what's going on? But that's it.

"That's the game of rugby league at the moment. You can call it as it is, but we we don't lay down for penalties."

When put to him he was within his rights to slow down the game to allow the bunker to review tackles and overrule the on-field call of play-on, the Bunnies fullback agreed.

"Well, the bunker has taken over the game, so that's how the game is played," Mitchell said.

"Semi-final footy, the ref likes to put the whistle away a little bit. That's how it should be.

"But you've just got to be consistent in a way where it works on both sides."

Souths captain Cody Walker also backed the claim that it was best for players to stay down and not play the ball, conceding the issue was widespread.

"Obviously (the penalties) get missed if you play the ball," Walker said.

But the five-eighth said it was also in players interests not to get up quick after hits to the head, to avoid being taken from the field for concussion checks.

"With the protocols if you get up stumbling, you have to go. So to try gather yourself before you play the ball is quite important," Walker added.