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Tempers flare in Mitchell-Waerea-Hargreaves post-game tunnel showdown

There are also claims that Roosters players, including Waerea-Hargreaves, targeted Mitchell from the sidelines when he returned to the field from his 10-minute stint in the sin bin.

The dislike between the two teams is obvious, with one Rabbitohs official calling some Roosters players hypocritical given their rap sheet.

Latrell Mitchell exchanges words with Jared Wearea-Hargreaves after full time.

Latrell Mitchell exchanges words with Jared Wearea-Hargreaves after full time.Credit:Nine News

“Have a look at how they went after Jai Arrow in round three this year, or the hit Jared Waerea-Hargreaves put on Liam Knight at the end of 2019,” a South Sydney representative told the Herald on the basis of anonymity.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson refused to make it personal but made no secret of his displeasure with Mitchell’s actions on the night.

“I can look at that incident and go look of course Latrell needs to get that out of his game, I’m angry at him for that incident,” he said after the game.

“I absolutely love him and I was so frustrated at that point, he’s just cost one of his good mates the rest of the season and fractured his cheekbone.

“It’s not on, it really hurts, but also Latrell plays that game in a certain way and it frustrates opposition fans but we got to enjoy him for a long period of time as well.

“But you can’t hit someone high with that force and not suffer the consequences.”

Wayne Bennett was quick to fire back.

“Well Trent’s got a couple of those players himself that he coaches so I don’t know what he’s looking over the fence at us for,” Bennett said, presumably referring to Victor Radley and Waerea-Hargreaves. “We’ll handle our own situation and we’ll address it if we have to.”

Latrell Mitchell of the Rabbitohs reacts after scoring against the Roosters.

Latrell Mitchell of the Rabbitohs reacts after scoring against the Roosters.Credit:Getty

The incident, which was described on-field by Manu as a “dog shot”, has ended Mitchell’s season with the fullback accepting a six-game ban.

Audio from Channel Nine’s coverage reveals Mitchell yelling back “I don’t need to apologise” and “I was protecting my f—ing head”.

With Mitchell’s season over, South Sydney are set to hand rookie Blake Taafe the keys to the castle.

Rabbitohs officials confirmed to the Herald on Sunday morning that the club would not head to the NRL judiciary on Tuesday night to attempt to keep the superstar fullback’s season alive.

The club doesn’t believe Mitchell stands a chance at downgrading his grade two careless tackle and are resigned to being without the No.1 for the rest of the year.

If they went to the judiciary and lost, Mitchell would be rubbed out for nine games, leaving the club without their fullback for at least the first month of next season under new coach Jason Demetriou.

Coach Wayne Bennett will not roll the dice with Cody Walker at fullback, despite having Benji Marshall at his disposal to partner Adam Reynolds in the halves.

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The other option would be shifting Alex Johnston from wing to fullback, but Bennett resisted the urge last year when he played Corey Allan in the No.1 jersey.

Instead Bennett is expected to hand young Taafe the fullback jumper.

Taafe has played four games in his rookie season, two of which were in the starting fullback role.

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