Without Latrell Mitchell during last year’s finals push, South Sydney couldn’t fire a shot.
One year later, Souths are one match away from another grand final – and they can thank Mitchell for his spellbinding feats at fullback in getting them to the preliminary final.
But one moment after the 80 minutes of footy stood out from Saturday night’s win over Cronulla.
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After the Sharks were clinically outplayed, Mitchell went over and consoled halfback Nicho Hynes.
He picked him up from the canvas, put an arm around him and spoke to his devastated opponent.
Phil Rothfield described it as a “beautiful moment of sportsmanship”, as he concluded a section of his column after once again arguing why the talent Indigenous back should be worth $2 million per-season.
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Mitchell was kept largely quiet during the win over the Sharks, but the utility back’s incredible season had Tommy Bishop – the former gun halfback – comparing him to the great Steve Rogers ahead of the clash.
“He plays on the edge (of his emotions) a lot and that’s when he’s most dangerous,” Bishop told News Corp.
“He’s got that little bit of aggression in him, but he’s got talent.
“He reminds me of Steve Rogers (former Test centre) in that he was a great defensive player as well.
“They both have and had the ability to beat their man one-on-one and one-on-two sometimes.
“When he gets the ball, you know there’s going to be a break of some description or something is going to happen and that was like Rogers.
“When you’re a great player, you become that player that other teams go after, they cut you down. Let’s hope the Sharks do the job on him.’’