Latrell Mitchell Showed Great Maturity In Withdrawing From Origin, It Should Be Admired
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As always with Origin team selection, it’s the names not up in lights that have caused perhaps the most debate.
This time around, it’s the absence of Latrell Mitchell, Jack Wighton, Reagan Campbell-Gillard, David Klemmer and Corey Oates that has everybody talking.
Let’s start with Latrell.
His omission from the Blues side is all on him – but he's still a massive loss, nonetheless.
He hasn’t played since NRL Round 5 and the Bunnies have spent an absolute fortune sending him to America so he could be treated by injury rehab guru Bill Knowles.
Having worked on sporting icons like Tiger Woods, Peyton Manning and Johnny Wilkinson, Latrell received nothing but the best treatment to make sure he returned in the best possible fitness.
As the talk began to circle around rushing him back into the Blues side once he was given the all clear, I thought ‘don’t do it Latrell! just focus on Souths!’
If I was Jason Demetriou and the club, I would have been so p****d off if he was selected.
After missing a huge chunk of the season without our star fullback, we had just bent over backwards to get him fixed, only for him to be rushed back into the Origin side and risk getting hurt.
And as history shows, Latrell doesn’t always make the best choices.
However, on Saturday night after the Rabbitohs v Eels game, he caught everyone off guard when he withdrew his name from selection so he could put all his time and energy into on the Bunnies.
Credit where credit is due, he showed a tonne of maturity in repaying them.
For all the things he has done wrong, this time I believe he got it 100 percent right.
Credit to Latrell Mitchell for ruling himself out of #Origin. Not a popular choice from others I hear but it demonstrates a lot of maturity. #NRL #GoRabbitohs— The NRL Guru (@NRL_TheProfits) July 3, 2022
New South Wales hard man Payne Haas has been ruled out of Game 3 due to injury, so Cowboys forward Jordan McLean will make his debut in the starting front row to partner Jake Trbojevic AKA 'Jurbo'.
McLean is having a great season up north and I think he has really earned his spot, but some Blues supporters are struggling to understand what Parramatta’s Reagan Campbell-Gillard did wrong in Game 1 to not get picked again.
Or even what Newcastle Knights big man David Klemmer could have done to get picked at all.
Here’s why Klemmer was robbed:— dom (@dommentary) July 4, 2022
McLean this season
Tackle Efficiency: 96.8%
Run Metres (avg): 116.50
Klemmer this season
Tackle Efficiency: 96.8%
Run Metres (avg): 149.8
Come on now 🤨#Origin #NSWBlues https://t.co/eiJdHrQqQs
Then we have the biggest name missing from the Blues' Game 1 side, Jack Wighton.
He was undeniably New South Wales' best player in the opener and is was unlucky to miss Game 2 after contracting Covid-19.
And yes, while he has still technically been re-called for the decider, it is only as part of the extended bench.
Meanwhile, Stephen Crichton has been retained as one of the starting centres alongside Game 2 hero Matt Burton, but fans believe Wighton should have been a walk up start ahead of Panthers youngster Crichton – or at the very least in the 17 ahead of Siosifa Talakai.
And I totally agree. When the series is on the line, and your best are ready and able, you pick them.
The best player in game 1 can't crack the 17 in game 3??? Haha!— Ryan Gillard (@gilby_gillard) July 4, 2022
Part of me hopes Qld wins now https://t.co/QDwki7hXuC
While there's not as much disgruntlement north of the boarder, there are still some angry fans up there with one big name left off the team sheet – Corey Oates.
The Queensland wingers were also less than impressive in Game 2, coming under pressure from Burton’s spiralling bombs as well as in the defensive line.
Head coach Billy Slater has decided to give Murray Taulagi and Selwyn Cobbo another chance, with fans in disbelief that Oates wasn’t brought in to replace one of those guys, ultimately getting dropped from the squad altogether.
And I agree – huge call.
Who is your biggest missing star from State of Origin Game 3?
Featured Image Credit: Supplied/NRL
Topics: Australia, NRL, Rugby League