Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
On Saturday night Latrell Mitchell will play in his first preliminary final as a South Sydney Rabbitoh after missing out in 2020 and 2021 through injury and suspension.
The Bunnies will be taking on minor and defending premiers the Penrith Panthers in the grand final qualifier making this the fourth time in three years that the two sides have met in the finals.
However, this will be the first time that Mitchell has faced the Panthers in a finals game since they became a dominant force in the NRL two years ago.
In the 2020 preliminary final and 2021 Grand Final, the Panthers defeated the Rabbitohs by less than a converted try leaving many Bunnies fans wondering if their representative fullback’s absence made the difference in both games.
Mitchell recently spoke to the press after a recent training session about why he loves big games like this weekend’s clash with the Panthers.
“Even my worst enemies are watching my games, and that’s the best part about it – for me to put a show on and entertain,” said Mitchell.
“This is the best time of the year, and an opportunity to be who I want to be and be the best version of me and I think that’s what I look forward to.
“It’s just the pressure cooker moments, that I love, and that’s what I thrive on.
— South Sydney Rabbitohs 🐰 (@SSFCRABBITOHS) September 20, 2022
“It’s do-or-die as well, so it’s something to look forward to this week.”
After speaking about his love of putting on a show Mitchell turned his attention to the Panthers and how he doesn’t mind being their target man.
“Hopefully they’re not worried about my teammates then, and they can do their jobs,” joked Mitchell.
“If I can take that off the boys and put the pressure on myself then I’m happy to do so.”
Mitchell will certainly be one of the talking points heading into this game as he has been in the lead-up to just about every Rabbitohs game since his return.
South Sydney will break a long drought on Saturday if they can beat the Panthers by qualifying for back-to-back Grand Finals for the first time since 1971.