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South Sydney superstar Latrell Mitchell warned the NRL in Round 18 by producing an individual 11-from-10 performance to almost single-handedly sink a rejuvenated Canterbury-Bankstown side.
The $70,000 the Bunnies spent to send Mitchell to Philadelphia for a two-week reconditioning program with star sports healer Bill Knowles might just prove to be one of the best investments South Sydney has ever made.
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Mitchell went into beast mode from the get-go against the Bulldogs, making it personal against NSW Blues No. 3 starter Matt Burton and playing with destructive control.
In a hugely entertaining game where the lead changed hands six times, whenever South Sydney needed to find another gear, it was Mitchell who stepped in.
The Bunnies fullback finished the game with nine tackles, three try passes, three line break passes, three offloads, a line break and an individual highlight reel try that was all in speed , brute force and power with a big right hand on his big mate Josh Addo-Carr.
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Sunday was the first time the Bunnies had won three games in a row all year and it was no coincidence that it was Mitchell’s return that propelled the club to form.
The next immediate challenge for Souths will be hosting a beaten Melbourne Storm at the Accor Stadium on Super Saturday.
The storm has traditionally proven a real bogey for the Bunnies, so now is the perfect time to get a proper read of exactly where South Sydney is.
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Let’s not forget that South Sydney made the grand final last year without Mitchell.
This is where the Souths champion full-back must continue to walk the line in terms of channeling quality and controlled aggression.
Provided Latrell and Cody Walker can control the Angry Pills, there’s no doubt the Bunnies can be a force to be reckoned with in September.
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Walker was also hugely influential for South Sydney, but once again almost got into an unnecessary blowout with Bulldogs playmaker Kyle Flanagan with the game on the line in the second half.
The one thing South Sydney cannot afford if they are to run for NRL premiership is for either of these two superstars to be suspended.
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