Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
The South Sydney Rabbitohs have struggled for a large part of season 2022
One of the key reasons why has been the absence of the club’s star fullback Latrell Mitchell.
In early April Mitchell sustained a knee injury that saw him miss over two months of action and resulted in the 25-year-old seeking further rehabilitation in the United States.
Since Mitchell’s return against the Parramatta Eels in round 16 the Rabbitohs are undefeated and currently on a three-game winning streak.
The Bunnies are now sitting in seventh place on the ladder with a four-point buffer between them and ninth when before they were amongst a group of teams fighting for the top eight.
Mitchell’s former teammate Cooper Cronk was once critical of the New South Wales State of Origin representative upon his move to the Rabbitohs but has acknowledged how much he has grown as a player and improved the Rabbitohs since his return when speaking on NRL 360.
“I’ve played with Latrell and I’ve played against him and sometimes he probably needs to be pushed or moved into positions to get into the game or be intense but he is really dialled in and he is self-motivated,” said Cronk.
“He is on this war path of NRL dominance at the moment and it’s hard to see anything or anyone getting in front of him.
“Latrell has gone to work on his body and work on his mind. Honestly, I have not seen someone more determined.
“He’s off the alcohol, he’s having better sleeping habits and making better decisions off the field and it has turned into the total package on game day because what he’s done and what he could do, it’s almost Turbo-esque from last year.”
Mitchell will be looking to have his most impactful performance of the season this weekend and lead his side to victory against the Melbourne Storm who are out of form but still boast a star-studded side and are fighting for a spot in the top four.
If the Bunnies win this game then they go level on points with the Storm and find themselves with an outside chance of finishing in fourth place.