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‘Third Luck’: Rabbitohs star Latrell Mitchell ready for pressure pot preliminary final against Penrith

Latrell Mitchell is arguably the perfect player in the competition at the moment – but there’s still a feeling that the Rabbitohs defender has a key point to prove.

Having missed the Premier League finals twice in the past due to injury (2020) and suspension (2021), Latrell has been at the forefront of South Sydney’s attack towards their fifth consecutive final appearance.

Despite finishing seventh in the ladder, the Souths defeated both the Roosters and the Sharks in the first two weeks of September, but will face a tougher task Saturday night against the Panthers.

Penrith defeated the Rabbits in last year’s report, but that was without the hot Latril on the side, and the next match will be a different story.

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Speaking to the media on Tuesday, the 25-year-old said the fight against the Panthers has been a year in the making and he is taking a “third-time lucky” approach at the end of the year after missing the previous two series finals. .

“It’s exciting, it’s something to look forward to,” he said.

“It’s a major final rematch – I’m really enjoying the crowd and we’ll get through things this week and move on to the match

“It’s exciting to see our feet go up and how far we’ve come. It’s the third time I think it’s so lucky [for me] – I’ve been through a lot and it’s clear there’s a fire going.

“There is always a fire – that’s why I play the game. I just love the game and the competitiveness it brings and this week is one of those weeks I look forward to.

“I’ve played in a few big matches in my career and I love the singing around the crowd.

“The semi-final time is the best time of the year and a chance to be who I want to be the best version of me.”

Latrell has been a distinctly different man since returning from rehab in the United States, in which he was in the best physical shape of his career.

But the mental aspect of Latrell’s game and change in attitude has been a major factor in the success of not just as an individual, but the Rabbitohs as a whole.

“It’s the moments of stress that I love and thrive on,” he said.

“Everyone in the house either loves me or hates me, I do what I do. I know even my worst enemies watch my games and that’s the best part about it, for me to put on a show and have fun.

“When I was younger, 18 and 19, it was a little different. Now I just take it on board, it has made me the person I am today. It helped a lot of things off the field in what I do and my miss is just a bonus.

“I’m definitely at home here, enjoying being around a great group of boys. They welcome my family and that’s the most important thing to me, that family connection.

“Obviously the connections between Aboriginal people are here as well and this community – I love it.”

All eyes will be on Accor Stadium this weekend, as Latrell and his Souths teammates look to put an end to Penrith’s dominant first-season appearance.

The full-back knows the Panthers will be looking to limit his impact on the game – something he’s willing to tackle if his teammates can capitalize on it.

“I hope they don’t have to worry about my teammates then and can do their jobs,” he said.

“If I can take that off the boys and put pressure on myself, I’m happy to do it.

“They’re a great team. They’ve got a level they’ve set and everyone wants to play at that level.

“This is a credit to them, they’ve built it up over the past two years. They’ve become a force to be reckoned with.”

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