Panthers fullback Dylan Edwards admits that Latrell Mitchell looks like he’s going to have an impact “every time” he gets the ball, ahead of their crunch clash on Thursday.
Mitchell has been in sensational form for South Sydney since returning from an almost three month injury lay-off against the Eels in early July.
The 25-year-old has been as his rampaging best with 42 tackle busts in just seven games, as well as 10 try assists, and four tries of his own.
Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free During Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Start your free trial now >
But his best performance of the year may have come against the Eels on Friday night, where he ran for an incredible season-high of 211 metres.
Rival fullback Edwards, who is a chance to return against Mitchell’s Rabbitohs on Thursday, was full of praise for the former Origin star.
“It looks like something’s going to happen every time he touches the ball,” Edwards said on Sunday Night with Matty Johns.
“(He’s) Pretty hard to tackle at the moment.”
South Sydney have made the most of Mitchell’s stellar form, winning six of their last seven to surge up the NRL ladder.
That one loss came in a golden point thriller against Cronulla, with Mitchell missing multiple field goal attempts that would’ve handed his side a key two-points.
MORE NRL NEWS
‘HE’S A DOLPHIN’: Why Bennett may have pulled off $6m Munster coup
MANLY SAGA ROLLS ON: Why Des may have painted a target on his own back
DONE DEAL: Bulldogs sign Ciraldo on long-term deal
‘PENALTY AT THE LEAST’: Raiders win in controversy ‘almost identical’ to Rd 16
But Matty Johns still wasn’t convinced by the emerging premiership contenders, comparing them to a “nice Sunday drive” on his SEN radio show last week.
Johns believed that the Rabbitohs needed to maintain a higher level of intensity for 80 minutes, but his wish became a reality on Friday night.
“I’ve been waiting for this for South Sydney, an 80 minute effort and they certainly did it,” Johns said.
“Crucially Cody Walker found his best football. The crucial thing for Cody is watching how he played his football game, is that Cody had more of a focus on the middle of the field if that makes sense.
“Linking with (Damien) Cook when Cook took off, rather than just trying to create numbers for his outside men.
“It was a performance where Cody just focused on Cody, and I thought that brought his best football out.”
Five-eighth Cody Walker scored two tries and forced two dropouts during what was one of his best games in Rabbitohs colours in recent memory.
Walker scored the opening points of the night after a clever link-up play with hooker Damien Cook caught Parramatta napping.
Later on, the 32-year-old was in the right place at the right time as the ball fell to him, and allowed him to double his try scoring tally for the night.
Eels great Nathan Hindmarsh thought that Walker’s brilliance along, with Mitchell’s dominance, helped spur Souths on to a win over a “lethargic” Eels.
“Latrell playing back at his best, and then he can dominate the edges like he did on the weekend, so that leaves Cody with the opportunity to do what he does around the ruck,” Hindmarsh said.
“They just had intent. They had more intent than the Eels did, the Eels looked lethargic at times, well most of the time to be honest with you.
“Souths had this in them. They did it to the Eels earlier on in the season, they’re a dangerous side South Sydney.
“For me the disappointing thing for the Eels (was) not to score any points.”
While Souths would need an incredible win, and for the Storm to lose, to move into the top four, a win on Thursday will have a crucial say on how the ladder shapes up at the end of the season.
While Melbourne currently occupy fourth spot, they have three tough games to play against finals hopefuls Brisbane, the Roosters, and then the Eels.
However, it doesn’t get much easier for the Rabbitohs who have their own dates with destiny against the Cowboys and Roosters to finish the regular season.