Latrell Mitchell's eye-opening 6am act comes to light after ugly aftermath to Origin 2 triumph

Mitchell found himself at the centre of unsavoury scenes after the Blues' win at the MCG.

Latrell Mitchell played the part of pantomime villain in the Blues' crushing win against Queensland in State of Origin Game 2, but the NSW star once again showed his true colours with a classy gesture for fans the next day. Mitchell was one of the Blues' best in the 38-18 thumping of the Maroons on Wednesday night, as NSW set up a mouthwatering decider at Suncorp Stadium on July 17.

The Souths superstar ruffled the feathers of Maroons players and plenty of fans with aggressive, no-nonsense approach that left the Maroons shellshocked at the MCG. Mitchell drew the ire of many Queensland supporters after throwing the ball at Valentine Holmes when the play was dead and went after Maroons fullback Reece Walsh all game - rag-dolling him in one brutal tackle and pushing the livelire No.1 in the back during another moment that only fuelled the animosity towards him from rival supporters.

Blues star Latrell Mitchell was praised for his classy gesture for fans after being jeered by the MCG crowd following the State of Origin 2 win for NSW. Pics: Channel Nine
Blues star Latrell Mitchell was praised for his classy gesture for fans after being jeered by the MCG crowd following the State of Origin 2 win for NSW. Pics: Channel Nine

Mitchell copped it from the MCG crowd after the match when he was booed and jeered during an interview with host broadcaster, Channel Nine. But while the Blues star revelled in his role as Queensland's public enemy No.1 on Wednesday night, it was his classy gesture in the early hours of the next morning that shows once again how much Mitchell loves to give back to the fans.

Rather than stick around and savour the win with his triumphant Blues teammates, Mitchell was on a 6.40am flight the morning after the game, heading back to his home town of Taree to take part in a footy clinic for around 100 excited kids. Mitchell made the early morning dash from Melbourne to return to his beloved home town on the NSW north coast, hoping to inspire the next generation of talent where his love of the game was born.

“I love coming back,” Mitchell told Channel 9. “It’s good to get away, get a break – and to come to this just fills my cup up again.” The beloved Indigenous icon often gives back to the community, despite the backlash he so often cops for his actions on the footy field. And his brilliant gesture for the kids in Taree was fully appreciated within the local community.

“Shout out to Latrell Mitchell,” the Myall River Hawks Junior Rugby League Club posted on Facebook. “Played Origin last night, flew into Taree this morning for a footy clinic with 100+ kids.” Another supporter Ryan Saunders posted: “This is the pinnacle of rugby league, this guy deserves everyone’s respect. “Could have easily rested today like the rest but nope instead flew in early to make sure he’s here for the kids.”

“A big shout out to this amazing footballer," another fan named Terry Green added. “Playing in front of 90,000 people, jumps on a plane back to Sydney, then on a plane to Taree to meet up with all the junior league kids this morning… in my eyes he is a true champion.”

Seen here, NSW star Latrell Mitchell taking part in a footy clinic for kids after State of Origin 2.
NSW star Latrell Mitchell was on an early morning flight after State of Origin 2 to take part in a footy clinic for kids in his home town of Taree. Pic: Channel Nine

Blues coach Michael Maguire said it was typical of the kind of person Mitchell is and often goes forgotten amongst the hatred the 27-year-old often cops on the footy field. “There’s a lot of good things that he does (that) you don’t see,” Maguire told Channel 9. “Everyone gets scrutinised in a certain way but little things like that are going on in our game all the time – and he’s a big part of that.”

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Mitchell starred in his first Origin game since 2021, scoring a try and setting up another with a beautiful flick pass to Brian To'o after replacing the suspended Joseph Suaalii in the centres. His defence was solid and he terrorised the Maroons all night, with man of the match Mitchell Moses, Payne Haas and Angus Crichton among the other NSW standouts. In truth though, it was a complete team effort and Maguire said all his men played their roles to perfection.

"The way the players played in the first half is something that we had spoken about and it was nice to see that the leaders went out and controlled the game," the NSW coach said about the record 34-0 mauling in the first 40 minutes. "What you saw in the first half is what I believe this group is very capable of so now we need to replicate that moving forward.

"I have to say the way the group have come together way back when I first started talking to the players, they have shown me what they are hungry for and I think that performance in the first half is definitely something that [I've seen in] every single conversation I've had with each individual to be able to create that... "When you have the calibre of players around someone like Latrell, it allows him to go and do what he needs to do... when everyone else is playing their part then it allows someone like Latrell to shine and do the things we all admire in what he does, so it was nice to see."