Latrell Mitchell is taking some time to recover from his calf injury on his farm in Taree, hoping to make it in time for Origin II. Mitchell’s absence on Wednesday night was felt as the Blues succumbed to a loss. However, Mitchell sought treatment for the grade-one tear at Souths‘ Heffron Park headquarters from Tuesday to Thursday. He will follow a doctor-prescribed recovery plan while on his Mid North Coast property, including the use of a Game Ready machine, which utilizes cold and compression to help accelerate recovery time.
According to Souths coach Jason Demetriou, Mitchell could have played this week if it were a big finals game. However, given the upcoming grueling month as the Blues aim to salvage the series, Mitchell was advised to take a break and rest with family. Mitchell sent words of encouragement to his team before the game and posted photos of himself feeding his cattle.
Aside from Mitchell, several Souths players like Campbell Graham, Damien Cook, Keaon Koloamatangi, and Junior Tatola are also on the radar of Blues coach Brad Fittler. Whilst Cameron Murray and Maroons forward Jai Arrow are confirmed to feature in game two. Meanwhile, Dragons skipper Ben Hunt expressed his disappointment with Jason Ryles turning down the coaching job at the club and hopes to bring some of the confidence he gained during Origin I to his teammates.
Another standout performer from the Blues side on Wednesday night was Liam Martin, who was initially told to cause havoc through the middle for no more than 15 minutes. Instead, he was injected into the game at the half-hour mark and played the whole second half, eventually scoring a try. The Panthe’s forward’s performances have gone up another level since returning from the World Cup with Australia. Martin is almost certain to earn a starting spot in game two at Suncorp Stadium.