‘Play like Latrell, not Tedesco’: Benji

Benji Marshall has pleaded with South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell to ignore the critics and back his ability as one of the NRL’s best players.

Marshall has only been at the Rabbitohs for five weeks, but he says Mitchell’s raw talent and skills have stood out at training.

The veteran Kiwi believes the Souths fullback could become even more potent if he focused on playing his own game and not the style that others want him to play.

“One guy I’ll give a rap is Latrell,” Marshall said.

“He cops a bit of a hard time and people expect him to play like James Tedesco, but as we saw in the Charity Shield, that is Latrell playing like Latrell.

“For us, that is all we expect from him.

“We don’t need him to play like Tedesco and we want him to play like he did against the Dragons in that trial.

“If he does that, then I think that gives us a lot.”

Benji Marshall has seen some gun players throughout his stellar NRL career, but he says South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell is among the finest. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images.Source:Getty Images

Mitchell is looking to rebound this season after a hamstring injury relegated him to just 14 games last year.

The Taree-born talent looked like he was just warning up in the No. 1 jumper when he ruptured his hamstring against Parramatta in round 16.

Souths officials and players are confident Mitchell can recapture this form at fullback in 2021.

Many experts are high on the Rabbitohs as premiership favourites this season given the team is settled and has one of the NRL’s best spines in Mitchell, Adam Reynolds, Cody Walker and Damien Cook.

Benji Marshall is expecting big things from South Sydney this season. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty ImagesSource:Getty Images

According to Marshall, it’s Souths’ unheralded forward pack that deserve a lot of credit for the team’s success.

“The backs get all the raps, but the forwards were getting us into the right positions and playing the ball quickly,” he said.

“Tom Burgess and Junior Tatola were great and then the boys in the backline can do what they do best.”

Marshall understands why the Rabbitohs are popular in premiership favouritism with the punters, but from experience he knows winning the title requires a mixture of luck, timing and good form.

“You’ve got to get a lot of things right to win the comp,” he said.

“They just don’t happen. People think they are easy to win, but some people go through their careers without winning one, so they are tough.”

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