Latrell Mitchell apologises to Rabbitohs teammates for latest NRL ban

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An “apologetic” Latrell Mitchell has addressed his costly three-match suspension with teammates as Rabbitohs players say they have to take more accountability as pressure continues to mount on coach Jason Demetriou who is fighting to save his job.

The first five weeks of the season couldn’t have gone any worse for a club that led the league after 11 rounds a year ago but now sit at the foot of the table with just one win.

Reports are that Demetriou has one game to save his job, with the club looking to make a coaching change during next week’s bye.

The coach can only do so much, and his talented playing group haven’t helped him with their performances, with Mitchell’s ban coming at the worst possible time with games against the Sharks, Storm and Panthers coming up.

The star fullback was placed on report twice during the horror loss to the Warriors, with Mitchell issued a concerning act notice for a lifting tackle and suspended for three games for a raised elbow which hit Shaun Johnson in the face.

Demetriou called out the “stupid acts” after the game, and teammate Siliva Havili revealed on Tuesday that Mitchell addressed the ban with the players.

“Trell has addressed that. He’s owned his actions and he said what he’s said to us as a playing group as a leader of this team,” he said, with Mitchell training with the reserves on Tuesday.

“We’re all on-board with what’s happened.

“Anything that Latrell says is massive, especially with a lot of young guns in the team. Just hearing that from him – especially him being a leader of the team – it helps us to know he’s got our back and that we’ve got his back.

“He was definitely apologetic for what’s happened. There are a lot of things that go on around Latrell. He’s a big name in our game and one of the best in our game, so anything he says, we listen to.

“He’s (still in love with the game). He had his best pre-season not that long ago. This is what happens when you’re losing – you get a lot of pressure on your back, and as the star player on our team, he’s going to be the one copping it.”

Great mate Jack Wighton wasn’t in a mood to discuss Mitchell’s actions.

“If you want to ask Latrell questions then you can talk to Trell,” Wighton snapped back.

“I’m here to talk about me and what I can do for the team.

“I am a mate (of his) and a mate protects a mate by not talking about him.”

The former Raider was more willing to talk about his coach’s future, with Wighton probably not expecting this sort of turmoil when he joined South Sydney.

“We’ve all got his back,” Wighton said.

“No one likes losing. We’re just in one of those patches, but we’re looking forward.

“I can’t comment on the talk. All I can do is my job. We’ve got his back, and everyone in that building has each other’s backs.”

Jye Gray is an exciting inclusion at fullback this weekend, but the debutant can’t save a the team which could look a bit different with Peter Mamouzelos expected to start against Cronulla with Damien Cook to come off the bench based on training.

“Any pressure is always going to come back on the coach with the start that we’ve had,” Havili said.

“But realistically, we’re the ones on the field putting a lot of pressure – not only on him – but on ourselves. We’re making the errors, we’re the ones not giving ourselves the chance to play the sort of footy that we’re capable of.

“That’s the accountability on us as players.”

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