Latrell Mitchell charged, facing minimum 3-game ban

South Sydney's nightmare NRL season has taken another hit with Latrell Mitchell facing a ban of up to four games following their loss to the Warriors.

A day after coach Jason Demetriou labelled Mitchell's behaviour in two match incidents as "stupid", the fullback was charged with grade-two dangerous contact for his forearm to Shaun Johnson's face.

The superstar's horror judiciary record means that even with an early guilty plea he will miss three matches.

One option for the last-placed Rabbitohs would be to try and downgrade the charge into a level-one, in a bid for Mitchell to avoid a ban and take a fine.

But in doing so, the fullback would risk a fourth game on the sidelines if he is unsuccessful.

Latrell Mitchell attempts to burst past Shaun Johnson in Saturday's match.

Mitchell did avoid a charge after being placed on report for a dangerous throw on Warriors forward Tohu Harris during the 34-4 loss on Saturday.

But any ban for the forearm to Johnson's head has the potential to leave the Rabbitohs backline in tatters, with the club having won only one of their opening five games.

Souths are already without veteran winger Alex Johnston (hamstring) for another month, while centre Campbell Graham (sternum) is sidelined for the majority of the year.

Axed halfback Lachlan Ilias broke his leg in NSW Cup yesterday, while his replacement Dean Hawkins is yet to make his mark in first grade.

Souths have Cronulla, Melbourne and Penrith in their next three games, as pressure intensifies on Demetriou.

Mitchell's pending ban likely means the club will call upon 20-year-old Jye Gray to debut in his spot against Cronulla on Saturday night.

Demetriou criticised Mitchell's behaviour after Saturday's match incidents, but refused to publicly condemn the fullback's track record of finding trouble.

"They’re both stupid things. You’ve got to be better, simple as that,” Demetriou said.

"I’ll have those conversations (with him) during the week (about his behaviour). It’s not something for me to talk about right now."

Latrell Mitchell after the loss to the Warriors.

Mitchell has endured a dramatic start to the season. 

He attracted attention in round two when he swore five times in the space of a minute during a post-match radio interview after Souths' loss to Brisbane.

The 26-year-old was sin-binned for a professional foul on Roosters captain James Tedesco the following week, and then fined for a collision with Bulldogs winger Josh Addo-Carr last week.

His issues have come at the same time pressure has grown on the Rabbitohs and Demetriou.

First on the ladder last May, Souths suffered the biggest capitulation in NRL history as they lost nine of their last 13 matches to miss the 2023 finals.

The freefall came as assistant coach and club legend Sam Burgess walked out on the team, concerned about what he believed was preferential treatment of Mitchell and Cody Walker.

The Rabbitohs' woes continued into this season, beaten soundly by Manly, Brisbane, the Sydney Roosters and now the Warriors.

Latrell Mitchell
Latrell Mitchell offloads in a tackle against the Warriors.

Their only victory came against Canterbury on Good Friday, with the club's 1-4 start their worst since 2008.

In other judiciary news, Dolphins utility Kurt Donoghoe is facing a three-game ban for a high tackle on Samuela Fainu, which can be reduced to two matches with a guilty plea.

The Dolphins are nursing a large casualty ward out of Saturday night's win over the Tigers, with Thomas Flegler (shoulder), Herbie Farnworth (shoulder) and Felise Kaufusi (hamstring) all hurt.

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