Roosters' Mitchell takes NRL ban on chin

Latrell Mitchell needs the Roosters to win against Souths to get another game in 2018.
Latrell Mitchell needs the Roosters to win against Souths to get another game in 2018.

Lessons learned from his father's mis-steps have helped Sydney Roosters star Latrell Mitchell cop his NRL finals ban "on the chin".

Mitchell won't play again this season unless the Roosters make the grand final after the NSW centre received a one match crusher tackle suspension.

He is keeping his fingers crossed the Roosters can overcome South Sydney in Saturday night's NRL preliminary final after getting his head around the dangerous contact ban.

"I am disappointed for myself and for my teammates ... but I will just cop it on the chin," Mitchell told Fox Sports' League Life.

While gutted to miss the grand final qualifier, Mitchell, 21, has found strength in his father Matt.

His dad left a Taree mission, on NSW's North Coast, for the big smoke of Sydney as a youngster to trial with the Rabbitohs but didn't make it.

"My old man came down and had a crack but didn't go all the way because he didn't have that support like I do now," Mitchell said.

"Homesickness got him. These days you get the mobile out and give them a ring.

"He was thrown in the deep end like me. But I have got my dad to show me the way, learn from his experiences."

Mitchell credits his 2017 sabbatical to beloved hometown Taree for his 2018 season to remember.

Apart from his cherished Blues debut, Mitchell has been the NRL's form centre this year with 16 tries, finishing the season's second-highest point scorer.

But it could have all been so different if he hadn't had an enforced break after round eight last year.

Relegated to reserve grade due to indifferent form in only his second NRL season, Mitchell spent a fortnight back at Taree to recharge the batteries.

The same idea from Roosters coach Trent Robinson worked with equal success when Mitchell was sent home for a week this year following his debut Origin series to prime himself for a tri-colours title tilt.

"Reconnecting with my roots and community is massive for me," Michell said.

"It's a small town. People think Taree is a small town, blink and you'll miss it, but that is where my heart is."

Australian Associated Press