Bennett said the club had prepared for Mitchell to be hit with a grade-one charge for the Nofoaluma incident, in which the Rabbitohs fullback made contact with the Tigers winger’s head as he attempted to smother a kick before Daine Laurie’s try. Mitchell had his back turned at the time he made contact. Bennett said there was no malice in the incident.
Mitchell was placed on report as a result of the contact. He had carryover points, which meant he risked a four-game ban if he fought the charge at the judiciary and lost.
“People want to see these players and if they deserve suspension, I’m fine with that, but none of those three incidents deserved a suspension.”
“It didn’t look great, but the end result there was no damage done to the player,” Bennett said. “Why did it go from a grade-one fine to a four-week suspension? There’s no way they can justify that.
“We would have accepted a grade one, and we expected it to be honest with you. I understand there’s things they want out of the game. People want to see these players and if they deserve suspension, I’m fine with that, but none of those three incidents deserved a suspension.”
South Sydney officials were privately fuming Mitchell was charged for sliding in on Garner after a Tigers try, claiming there were other incidents on the weekend that were at least comparable – and if not worse – which didn’t attract match review committee charges.
Mitchell’s judiciary charges overshadowed one of the craziest finishes to a regular-season match in history, as Tigers No.7 Luke Brooks raced more than 100 metres to touch down as South Sydney players celebrated Tom Burgess’ golden point match winner at the other end.
The NRL bunker gave the green light to Burgess’ try as the competition heavyweights scraped past a gallant Tigers 18-14.
Bennett has switched winger Alex Johnston to fullback for the trip to the Gold Coast, with Jaxson Paulo coming on to the flank. Dane Gagai will start on the other wing and Steven Marsters has been added to the centres after veteran Josh Mansour suffered a hamstring problem.
Thank you for reading this news release on the National Rugby League titled “South Sydney Rabbitohs coach Wayne Bennett says Latrell Mitchell should not have been suspended at all after four-week ban ruins Dally M Medal hopes”. This news article was presented by MyLocalPages Australia as part of our local news services.
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