HomeSportBox office Bunny looks energised for day of reckoning

Box office Bunny looks energised for day of reckoning

Summary

Mitchell is rugby league box office and he delivered at AAMI Park. He couldn’t buy a goal kick but managed to nail a field goal from the next suburb. He couldn’t guide Souths to victory but it was an eye-catching tune-up for Mitchell’s rematch with the Roosters. Nearly seven months since Mitchell’s hit on Joey Manu that left his former teammate and housemate with steel plates in his face, the day of reckoning is about to arrive. Stream every game of every round of the 2022 NRL Telstra Premiership Season Live & Ad-Break Free In Play on Kayo. New to Kayo? Try 14-days free now.That toxic evening resulted in Mitchell being handed a lengthy ban and prompted a vicious backlash from the Roosters — there was talk that Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Mitchell engaged in a heated confrontation in the tunnel after the game. The Sydney Roosters may have forgiven but they certainly haven’t forgotten. Emotions will be running high and Roosters supporters will be baying for blood. Mitchell will be in the crosshairs, but it is the Rabbitohs’ start to the season that should be under the microscope. The Rabbitohs will arrive at Accor Stadium in a strange place. After consecutive losses to open the year, next week isn’t just about Mitchell. There was a lot to like about their second half against the Storm on Thursday night, but those 40 minutes can’t disguise the facts.The Rabbitohs haven’t hit their straps and they face the Roosters and Penrith over the next fortnight. It doesn’t get much tougher. The Daily Telegraph NRL Podcast – PlaylistMitchell’s impending clash with his former club was expected to dominate column inches but fortunately for his sake, some of the focus may fall on a game of utmost importance this early in the season. Lose to the Roosters and the Jason Demetriou era will have begun with three straight losses. It won’t spell the end of their season — Manly lost their opening four last year — but it makes the job all the more difficult.The top four becomes a challenge. There are clearly problems to resolve. Cody Walker, the focal point of Souths’ attack since the departure of Adam Reynolds, has made five errors in two weeks. Halfback Lachlan Ilias is still finding his feet and with Blake Taaffe potentially available this week, Demetriou may have a decision to make.Demetriou is facing some big calls that may dictate the season and define his tenure. Mitchell, at least, seems ready to go. He kept his temper in check on Thursday night and almost got his side over the line. Only his boot let him down. Funnily enough, on Wednesday morning, long after the rest of his teammates had returned to the dressing sheds following training, Mitchell stayed on the ground and practised goal kicks and field goals for more than 30 minutes.Perhaps he knew something we didn’t. The great ones normally do.Silky Smith has game for AugustaCoach Grant Field reckons it goes back to Cameron Smith’s childhood. Smith wasn’t a big kid, he didn’t bomb the ball, so he had to work on his creativity and short game. He had to putt the lights out to compete. All that work as a kid reached its zenith this week when Smith won The Players Championship and a cheque for $5 million on the PGA Tour. Smith’s putter was on fire at the TPC. It is why he will head to Augusta National in less than a month as joint second favourite to win the US Masters. Smith one-putted 13 greens on the last day as he secured the biggest win of his career. Augusta demands some silky touch around the greens and Smith has it.“I think as a kid, because he wasn’t the biggest kid, he had to have that stuff early on to compete,” Field said. “When he first got on tour, that was the thing that allowed him to be able to get on there as early as he did. In iron play, he ranks was one of the best on tour now. When you have two or three superpowers, it helps.” It certainly does at Augusta, a place where only one Australian has ever won – Adam Scott in 2013.“The biggest thing now is everyone is thinking about him winning,” Field said.“His game is in good shape and he knows his way around. There is not a problem with him being able to play around there. As far as form goes, you would expect he’s going to go okay.”Grant the Great eyeing Kangaroos jerseyThe Melbourne Storm are on the verge of extending Harry Grant in a multimillion dollar mega-deal and on Thursday night’s form, he is worth every cent.Grant is the best hooker in the game. He has gone past Damien Cook and at this rate, he will be the Australian hooker at the end of the year. The Storm have been blessed at hooker. Cameron Smith, the greatest No.9 in the game’s history, was at AAMI Park on Thursday night and no doubt watched on with pride as his protege cut the Rabbitohs to ribbons.They are different players but Grant’s impact was no less telling.

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