Rabbits jump to Latrell’s defence
SOUTH Sydney captain Adam Reynolds has defended Latrell Mitchell over attacks on his character and playing style, saying: “It’s pretty easy to stand behind a microphone and bag someone.”
As the ugly fallout over Mitchell’s high shot on Roosters centre Joey Manu continues, Rabbitohs No.7 Reynolds has hit back at suggestions the Indigenous All Star deliberately set out to maim his rival.
Reynolds would not be drawn on the sideline criticism from Roosters stars such as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Victor Radley – “they are sticking up for their player, I get it” – but he did suggest the Mitchell fallout had gone too far.
In May last year, Reynolds likened the growing negativity around Mitchell to that of Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan in his prime, and said ongoing Mitchell “bashing” could force the Bunnies’ poster boy out of the game.
A tick more than 12 months later, does he fear the same thing is happening now that Mitchell has been rubbed out for the rest of the year?
“I’m not too sure about that one,” he said.
“Everyone has strong opinions on people in the game. And some more than others.
“So it’s (about) how we handle it as individuals.
“It’s pretty easy to stand behind a microphone and bag someone. Or have comments about someone. But we don’t really know what they are thinking or feeling, do we?”
While Mitchell has been suspended for six weeks, Reynolds and fellow Rabbit Campbell Graham said the high shot on Manu was not deliberate.
They also defended the aggressive way Mitchell plays and suggested he should not change, despite the criticism.
“No player goes out there to deliberately hurt someone,” Reynolds said.
Asked about several Roosters players blowing up at Mitchell from the sideline, and while the game was still under way, Reynolds said he understood the reactions.
“They are sticking up for their players, as we do for our players,” he said. “I get it. There’s frustration. It’s a game of footy and there are a lot of emotions.”
Asked how Mitchell was, Reynolds said: “He’s all right. We will look after him.”
Souths centre Campbell Graham also defended the NSW Origin star.
“There was no intent, I believe,” he said of the tackle.