Boyd Cordner says former NRL teammate Latrell Mitchell always responds well to criticism and will have a point to prove after a turbulent time.
Mitchell will line up for South Sydney on Friday at Bankwest Stadium against Cordner and the Sydney Roosters, with whom he won successive premierships in 2018 and 2019, scoring in excess of 200 points in each campaign.
The 22-year-old NSW and Australian representative ended up at the Roosters’ oldest rivals after a lengthy off-season period of speculation about which club he would play for in 2020.
After starring in the centres for the Roosters, Mitchell struggled to impact the game from his preferred position of fullback in the Rabbitohs’ first two matches of the campaign.
Mitchell remained in the news during the competition’s hiatus, being punished by the NRL for failing to comply with social distancing laws.
“He’s got a bit of a point to prove now I think with everything that’s gone on over the last couple of months for him,” Roosters co-captain Cordner said.
“So hopefully he doesn’t turn up and play his best game against us.
“But in saying that we’re very wary of what he can do on the footy field.
“Knowing Trell personally, he does respond really well to criticism and when things are going well he’s an outstanding player.
“But I think he’s had a point to prove for most of his career and he has had a lot of pressure on him as a young kid coming into the NRL.
“Every time that’s happened he stood up to the occasion.
“I expect Latrell to get back on the horse sooner rather than later, he’s too good not to.”
Cordner said he didn’t have any contact with Mitchell over the past couple of months.
“I suppose he would have had a lot of people in his ear telling him what to do, so I just gave him his space, but he’s handled it really well,” Cordner said.
The Roosters’ other co-captain, hooker Jake Friend, said he hoped Mitchell could brush off all the media scrutiny.
“It will be good to see him play some good footy, hopefully next week not this week,” Friend said.