Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Latrell Mitchell is Rugby League’s most polarising figure but even his biggest detractors would have to admit that in 2022 he has taken his game to a whole new level.
In round five the South Sydney Rabbitohs would defeat the St George Illawarra Dragons 24-12 but the Bunnies victory would be overshadowed by the hamstring injury that Mitchell sustained during the game.
The 25-year-old missed the next ten weeks of the season and during that period the Rabbitohs would lose multiple games against bottom eight sides and find themselves in danger of dropping out of finals contention.
Mitchell took an unconventional route to recovery as he travelled to the United States in order to get the highest quality treatment for his hamstring.
Some saw this as Mitchell displaying a lack of investment in his team whilst injured and believed he was abandoning the Rabbitohs.
This could not have been further from the truth as Mitchell put in the extra effort to ensure that he would return from injury in peak fitness so that he could perform at the highest possible level for South Sydney who were hoping he could save their season.
Not only did Mitchell’s trip to the United States improve him physically but mentally also as we have seen a change in attitude from the superstar fullback.
He was once somebody who could easily be thrown off of his game when frustrated but Mitchell has matured and is more determined than ever to lead his team to a premiership.
Since Mitchell’s return the Rabbitohs have won six games out of eight with the former Taree Red Rover putting on multiple man-of-the-match performances.
Mitchell has single-handedly turned around South Sydney’s season with the club now set for their fifth straight finals series and a top-four finish is still mathematically within reach.
The Rabbitohs have two huge games coming up before the finals as this Saturday night they take on the North Queensland Cowboys before a local derby against the Sydney Roosters in round 25.
If Souths can win these two games then they will have a wealth of momentum as the finals series commences but for that to happen Mitchell must sustain his amazing form.