Latrell sends Origin message to Maguire as Souths secure back-to-back wins for first time in 2024 by toppling Titans


Latrell Mitchell boosted his hopes of a NSW recall as South Sydney have claimed back-to-back wins for the first time this season after a dominant 46-12 victory over Gold Coast at Cbus Super Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Mitchell did his hopes for a spot in Michael Maguire’s squad for Origin II at the MCG no harm, laying on two tries and scoring one of his own to go with six conversions from seven in an impressive showing in the Queensland sunshine.

Despite looking occasionally dangerous in attack, Gold Coast were plagued by errors, allowing the Bunnies’ attacking threats too many opportunities to hurt them in the first half – and the likes of Mitchell, Cody Walker and Damien Cook did just that.

Souths’ spine has rarely looked as cohesive in 2024 as the Rabbitohs ran in for eight tries putting the result in little doubt soon after half-time.

(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

A brilliant solo effort from Alofiana Khan-Pereira where he beat multiple defenders to score brought the Titans’ only points until the 70th minute. Khan-Pereira took advantage of lax defending on South Sydney right edge, jinking past Mitchell on his way to the line.

Latrell’s strong showing gives Maguire food for thought

With a gap at centre for the NSW Blues in game two thanks to Joseph Suaalii’s ban, Maguire would have been impressed with Mitchell’s performance to help the Rabbitohs secure a much-needed victory.

The Souths No.1 finished with 16 points – scoring a try, two try assists and six conversions.

“He was great today,” Ben Hornsby said post-game. “I can’t see why he can’t keep getting better.”

“I’m not sure,” the Rabbitohs coach replied when asked about Mitchell’s chance of lining up for NSW in Melbourne. “I’ve been happy with him for the last couple of weeks. Yeah, he’s going to continue to get better so I can’t see why Madge wouldn’t want to pick him. At the end of the day, NSW have a lot of great players (available for selection), so whoever they pick is going to get the job done for them.”

Mitchell was involved early in the contest, catching two early bombs and putting in two attacking kicks of his own within with the new-look halves combination of Walker and Jack Wighton deferring the kicking duties.

Mitchell was in synch with Cook, Walker and Wighton to give Souths stability and strikepower in their spine that they have lacked for the most part this season. Cook’s run from dummy-half created the first try for the supporting Mitchell to cap off his encouraging start.

Showcasing his soft hands, Mitchell then laid on a try for Richard Kennar before adding another try assist, sending Burgess crashing over the line to put the icing on the cake.

Despite missing a one-on-one tackle on Khan-Pereira that led to a four-pointer it was also a solid showing defensively from Mitchell, making several important tackles to prevent Titans tries.

Rabbitohs run riot

Cook created Souths’ first four-pointer of the afternoon, beating a tackle and scooting through a gaping hole in the Titans defence before passing to the supporting Mitchell.

Walker was also at his creative best, throwing a cut-out pass for Jacob Gagai to score in the corner before Siliva Havili left the field with an injury and did not return for South Sydney.

Returning a kick-off in the first half, Havili pulled up lame with an apparent calf injury. Coming into the game with compression on his left calf it could be an aggravation of a pre-existing issue which would likely mean a few weeks on the sidelines.

Walker received a gift from Khan-Pereira, the winger knocking on Mitchell’s bomb, allowing the veteran half a simple route to the try-line to increase Souths’ lead to 16 points at half-time.

Keano Kini thought he had scored his side’s second try not long after the restart but was penalised for a double movement.

Mitchell was at it again, shaping to play out the back but instead spiralling a short-range pass to big Tom Burgess who crashed over to extend the Rabbitohs’ advantage.

A chargedown on Jack Wighton’s kick on tackle one straight from a scrum on halfway offered another chance for the Titans but they could not convert. Instead South Sydney sealed the two competition points through Davvy Moale.

A late try to David Fifita gave the home fans something to cheer about as he barnstormed his way to the line over multiple Souths defenders. Despite Fifita’s show of emotion towards Walker it was mere consolation for Gold Coast.

Fifita gave the Souths halfback plenty of verbal after bulldozing his way past Walker, amongst others, to score after the two players had been involved in a running battle since half-time.

“He’s a big boy, he got me a couple of times there,” Walker told media post-game. “(I was) picking myself off the ground. He’s a big part of their team, he’s very dangerous, hard to handle one-on-one and he got me a few times one-on-one close to the line, bumped me off, in the middle part of the game.”

Wighton added another for the Rabbitohs, going from dummy-half straight through the front door past meek defence with Jai Arrow of all players adding the two points as Souths notched 40 points.

It got worse for the home side as Wighton somehow got his right arm out of the tackle of two defenders to offload for Walker to complete his double.

Hasler searches for answers as finals hopes get slimmer

“We were just off today,” a frustrated Des Hasler said.

“We were ill-disciplined on both sides of the ball. We couldn’t build any momentum or field position. When we got down there we would let them out, give a penalty away. They’ve got classy players, a lot of good attacking players and we just gifted them field position too much and we gave away too many soft tries on our try-line.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.