Mitchell, the fullback for Souths, shunned the blistering spotlight of Sydney and retreated to the Brewarrina Classic, hosted by Bucking Bulls Australia, over the course of the weekend. Donning his trademark Akubra, rugged boots, jeans, a black shirt, and a water bottle snug in his rear pocket, he sought refuge away from Sydney’s harsh gaze.
Brewarrina, a modest town with a population of 1,143 residents, is nestled 100 km east of Bourke, a significant 760 km away from Sydney.
Following a taxing week involving a suspension and allegations of receiving favouritism at Souths, Mitchell reluctanltly cut ties with Sydney’s bustling city life. Instead, he sought solace in engaging with the local kids and signing autographs.
Basking in the rustic beauty of the dusty country, Mitchell found his element. He also lent a hand to other avid rodeo riders at the Brewarrina RSL’s junior bull riding arena, the sponsor of the event.
As per the locals, it is the fifth consecutive year that Mitchell has graced the event with his presence.
Being unavailable for the determining round 27 match against the Sydney Roosters due to his suspension, Mitchell found the opportune moment to retreat to the country.
Simultaneously, the South Sydney CEO, Blake Solly, retaliated against Rod Churchill’s verbal attack on Mitchell, in which Churchill tarnished the player’s image to the point of labeling him a liability to the club. Rod is the son of the esteemed Immortal Clive from Rabbitohs lineage.
Solly furiously rejected Churchill’s claims, stating it was extraordinarily outrageous, especially given that Mitchell did have his flaws just like any other player. Regardless, Mitchell’s ability to influence games, enough to make him a sought after player by the State of Origin during that season, was still remarkable.
Brushing off Churchill’s criticisms, Solly praised Mitchell’s commendable commitment to his family and his contribution to the Rabittohs. He went on to condemn Churchill’s comments as misinformed and unjustified.
Solly acknowledged that the club was subject to public scrutiny and criticism due to its significant standing in the league but also expressed frustration towards the club’s external critics.
Despite Mitchell’s absence from the upcoming Friday night game, Solly voiced confidence in his team’s resilience and their ability to put up a fight against the Roosters. He expressed deep faith in their head coach, Jason, assistant coach, Ben, the other assistant, John, the coaching staff and, most importantly, the team players.