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'I’ve been bashed down 10 times and I’ve got up 11': Latrell emotional after cheers replace jeers

The Roar logo The Roar 11/09/2022 Paul Suttor

Souths star Latrell Mitchell choked back tears after receiving a rousing reception from the fans of both clubs after the astonishing Elimination Final win, a week after he was booed relentlessly by the fans of his former team Sydney Roosters.

Mitchell’s class shone through in the 30-14 victory and after the controversial clash at Allianz Stadium, he was given a chorus of cheers which lasted more than 30 seconds when Brad Fittler tried to interview him for Channel Nine.

He was visibly moved by the crowd’s reaction, admitting it was an emotional experience and that he appreciated the warmth from the fans after such an intense build-up to the game.

“It’s pretty emotional,” he said before taking a moment to compose himself. “I spent most of my career there and I can’t thank the Roosters enough for letting me be Latrell Mitchell and now I get to express that with the best club in the world and it’s just so good. I love the community, it’s home. I just love being here and being around South Sydney.

“I spent a few years with situations that went on but I worked really hard on myself to get myself to this moment,” the former dual Roosters premiership winner said.

“I’m really grateful for what’s happened and what’s about to happen, and thankful for the crowd staying back and doing what they’re doing.

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“The hurdles I’ve had to jump, the resilience I’ve had to go through. I’ve been bashed down 10 times and I’ve got up 11. It’s all worth it when you’ve got the support and I know it’s there, it outweighs the bad. I’m very grateful.”

“The emotion of that game was through the roof. Last week it started for the first 20 and this week it was the whole 80. Two proud clubs, you’re going to get those moments and it’s just about how you control it and lucky there was no serious injuries.”

Mitchell scored a try and booted five goals as the Bunnies emerged victorious from the helter-skelter clash in which referee Ashley Klein sin-binned players an unprecedented seven times.

The 25-year-old international spoke openly during the week about being upset by the booing he received from Roosters fans every time he touched the ball in their Round 25 loss to reopen Allianz Stadium.

(Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Rabbitohs coach Jason Demetriou was effusive in his praise for his fullback in his own Fox League interview on the ground soon after full-time.

“Latrell is just one of those players that people come to watch,” he said.

“You’re on the edge of your seat every time he touches the ball, he’s an outstanding human, I’m really happy he got that reception and I’m sure a lot of the Roosters fans applauded him as well.”

Souths will take on Cronulla next Saturday with the winner advancing to a Preliminary Final showdown with premiers Penrith.

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