Can Latrell become Australian Indigenous rugby league GOAT or is he kidding himself?


There are a couple of things we know for sure about Latrell Mitchell – one, he’s a very, very good footballer, and two, he loves putting his thought bubbles out in the public domain for everyone to enjoy.

He must not only be a coach’s dream, but a rugby league scribe’s go-to player on a slow news day.

It’s hard to say why Mitchell constantly puts his head on the media chopping block, as all the evidence suggests he generally does more harm than good to himself, often gets both feet in his mouth, and his media profile makes him a more polarizing reader than necessary.

Although he’s found good media coverage in the past, his latest offer might be hard to beat, when he told Fox Sports: “I’m definitely aiming to be the best native player to ever play. gambling”.

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Now, depending on where you sit in Latrell Mitchell’s camp and your knowledge of Indigenous Australian rugby league players past and present, that statement reeks of arrogance, is just plain naive or is, at best, very ambitious.

(Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Could Mitchell ever become the best native player to ever play the game? To answer that, we first have to look at what Latrell Mitchell has accomplished in his career to date, and it’s actually quite impressive.

Mitchell is 25 and has just completed his seventh season in the NRL, having made his debut for the Roosters in the 2016 first round as an 18-year-old. He played 144 games in the NRL, scored 89 tries, scored 282 goals and 3 shots from the field. goals and won premierships with the Roosters in 2018 and 2019. He also played 7 origins for NSW, 9 games for Australia and just scored 2 tries in Australia’s emphatic Champions League victory. world.

Like I said, quite an impressive resume so far, and if he continues on that path for the next 5 years, let’s say, he could turn out to be one of the best in the game.

So who is Mitchell up against in his dream of becoming Australia’s Indigenous rugby league GOAT? I’ve had the pleasure of seeing many great native footballers over the years, and here’s my list of the top twelve, in alphabetical order, just to avoid unnecessary arguments.

Arthur Betson – Rugby League Immortal; 233 freshman games; 2 prime ministers; 18 games for NSW; 3 games for QLD; 28 tests for Australia; captain Australia, NSW and QLD; first Indigenous player to captain Australia; named to Australian, QLD and Australian Indigenous teams of the century; winner of the Clive Churchill Retrospective Medal in 1974; a legend.

Matthew Bowen – 315 freshman games; 154 trials; 10 games for QLD; 1 test for Australia; perhaps the greatest broken play runner of the NRL era.

Laurie Daley – 244 freshman games; 87 trials; 26 games for NSW; 26 tests for Australia; 3 prime ministers; Winner of the Dally M Medal in 1995; named to Australian Indigenous Team of the Century; not just a brilliant attacker, but also a hard-hitting defender.

Justin Hodges – 254 freshman games; 99 trials; 24 games for QLD; 13 tests for Australia; won premierships with Brisbane and the Roosters; a tough competitor and a versatile outside back who has always made life difficult for the opposition.

CAIRNS, AUSTRALIA – JULY 03: Johnathan Thurston of Cowboys is tackled by Luke Keary and Greg Inglis of Rabbitohs during the NRL Round 17 match between South Sydney Rabbitohs and North Queensland Cowboys at Barlow Park on July 3, 2016 in Cairns , Australia.  (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Johnathan Thurston tries to escape Greg Inglis in 2016. (Photo by Ian Hitchcock/Getty Images)

Greg Inglis – 263 freshman games; 149 trials; 32 games for QLD; 39 tests for Australia; 2007 Clive Churchill Medal winner; Winner of the 2009 Golden Boot; won a premiership with South Sydney; named to Australian Indigenous Team of the Century; won Dally M Fullback of the Year, Center of the Year and 5/8 of the Year awards; arguably the best rugby league of the NRL era.

Steve Renouf – 242 freshman games; 185 trials; 13 games for QLD; 11 tests for Australia; won 4 premierships with Brisbane; named to Australian Indigenous Team of the Century; named to the Super League Dream Team in 2020 and 2021; one of the best centers to ever lace up on a boot.

Dale Shearer – 194 freshman games; 78 trials; 27 games for QLD; 21 tests for Australia; 1 premiership with Manly; named to Australian Indigenous Team of the Century; played representative football in all baseline positions except halfback; a versatile player who could do almost anything on the pitch.

Eric Sims – 206 freshman games; scored 1,841 points; 1 game for NSW; 8 tests for Australia; 4 Premierships with South Sydney; named to Australian Indigenous Team of the Century; top scorer in the competition four years in a row; much more than just a goal kicker, Simms was a very good attacking back who played with great courage.

matt sing – 323 freshman games; 176 trials; 24 games for QLD; 13 tests for Australia; not only a prolific try scorer, but a great defender.

Gordon Tallis – 214 freshman games; 66 trials; 20 games for QLD; 16 tests for Australia; won 3 premierships with Brisbane; Clive Churchill Medal in 1998; named to the Indigenous Australian Team of the Century; a destructive attacker who ruled the roost almost every time he took the field.

Sam Thaiday – 304 freshman games; 29 games for QLD; 34 tests for Australia; named to Australian Indigenous Team of the Century; won a premiership with Brisbane; one of the most consistent strikers of the NRL era.

Johnathan Thurston – 323 freshman games; 90 tries, 923 goals and 16 field goals; 37 games for QLD; 38 tests for Australia; won a premiership with Nth QLD; 4 times Dally M medalist; Clive Churchill Medal in 2015; named to Australian Indigenous Team of the Century; Soulier d’Or in 2011, 2013 and 2015; one of the greatest halves of all time.

It’s quite an impressive list, and there were many more quality players who also had genuine claims for inclusion, like David Peachey, John Ferguson, Larry Corowa, Lionel Williamson, Steve Ella, Cliff Lyons, Nathan Blacklock, Sam Backo, Alex Johnston. , Josh Addo-Carr, Dane Gagai, Jack Wighton, Timana Tahu, Preston Campbell, Greg Bird, Wade Graham and Andrew Fifita.

In my opinion, if Mitchell really wants to be the GOAT, and this isn’t just another thought bubble apt to burst, then he’s going to have to get very busy very quickly.

Personally, I can’t see him overtaking any of the players on my top 12 list, unless he takes both fingers off and focuses more on his performance on the pitch and less on his releases. improvised press.

Latrell Mitchell to become Australian Indigenous rugby league GOAT? He’s probably kidding.




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