Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell has been urged to channel his aggression in the right direction after he was involved in a couple of fiery incidents.
Latrell Mitchell has been urged to tone down his on-pitch aggression after coming under scrutiny for a pair of incidents in South Sydney’s 40–28 win over Newcastle United over the weekend.
Mood flared in the last few seconds of the fiery Newcastle bout when David Klemmer and Rabbitohs striker Keon Coloamatangi went head-to-head before Klemmer elbowed rookie Daniel Suluk-Fifitu from the next throw.
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This angered Mitchell, who ran in and pulled Clemmer away from his teammate, leading to an all-in fight.
A substitute skipper from South Sydney was also charged earlier in the match for a high kick on Knights striker Dom Young, but avoided further sanctions.
NRL head of football Graham Annesley said Mitchell was lucky he wasn’t sent to the sin bin.
The defender has returned to his best form since a hamstring injury, but commentators feel he needs to channel his aggression in the right direction as the Rabbitos gear up for the final campaign.
NRL 360 host Paul Kent praised Mitchell for protecting his teammates, but stated that the melee was unsuitable for rugby league.
“It’s just a charade,” Kent said on NRL 360 on Tuesday night.
“We used to laugh at the AFL when they did these things, now we do it.
“I respect the fact that he comes and takes care of his teammates. As a captain and leader, I really like it. But we don’t want that kind of nonsense going on in the game.”
Breit Anasta added: “Latrell, when he’s excited, when he plays with aggression, I think it pisses him off.
“There is a fine line and he needs to find that balance from time to time because if he is going to be removed it is a problem before the final, big games are coming.
“But when he’s aggressive, when he’s angry, damn it, he’s hard to stop.”
Mitchell played his first game as Souths skipper against Newcastle and is supported by his teammates.
“He’s physically present on the field and the fact that he’s wearing a jersey makes our team so much stronger,” Cody Walker, number 8, told Fox League. benji, host Benji Marshall.
Walker, who scored two tries against Newcastle, said his combination with Mitchell is only getting better as they spend more time together on and off the field.
“We just have this feeling that we know what the other is going to do — wink, nod, whatever it is,” he said.
“We also spend a lot of time off the field together. I think it’s a very big difference.”
Rabbitohs forward Tom Burgess was full of praise for Mitchell’s leadership.
“I think he is a great leader,” he said.
“During the week, his voice is projected onto the team, I love the way he speaks in conference rooms.
“He is one of those players where he leads with his actions. When he says something, you kind of listen, take note. I think he did a really good job as the captain.
“To be honest, we had a rather inexperienced team that week. He was great for us.”
With Martin Gabor, NCA News Feed
Originally published as ‘Fine line’: Latrell Mitchell urged to soften ‘aggression’ after fiery incidents