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Latrell Mitchell’s quest for glory in Koori Knockout falls short after narrow final loss

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Latrell Mitchell’s quest for Indigenous tournament glory falls short as Souths Gun’s team narrowly lose Koori Knockout Final

  • Latrell Mitchell played at the Koori Knockout for Walgett Aboriginal Connection
  • The tournament featured 100 teams celebrating Aboriginal football players
  • Mitchell’s team lost 22-16 to the Newcastle All Blacks in the final
  • Mitchell’s South teammate Cody Walker played for Bundjalung Baygal Warriors
  • NRL stars Josh Addo-Carr, Andrew Fifita and Daine Laurie can all be seen

Latrell Mitchell’s quest for glory at one of the biggest Indigenous sporting events in the country came just short when his team lost in the final on Sunday.

The Rabbitohs gun played for Walgett Aboriginal Connection alongside former Canterbury star Ben Barba at the Koori Knockout last weekend.

The tournament, which celebrates Aboriginal footballers across New South Wales, has not been held since 2019 due to the coronavirus pandemic, but has returned this year.

Latrell Mitchell (right) and Rabbitohs teammate Cody Walker (left) took part in the Koori Knockout in New South Wales this weekend

More than 100 teams took part in the tournament in Nowra, on the south coast of New South Wales, which was attended by more than 40,000 fans.

The Newcastle All Blacks claimed the trophy by beating Walgett Aboriginal Connection 22-16 and will host the event next year – this year’s edition was hosted by 2019 winners South Coast Black Cockatoos.

“We train for it, we work hard for it and it has paid off,” NAB captain Scott Briggs told NITV after the final.

“So proud of the young guys we’re getting through our foundation.”

Mitchell, who played in the centers in place of his usual fullback, was not the only Rabbitohs player involved in the tournament, with teammate Cody Walker playing for Bundjalung Baygal Warriors.

The New South Wales fullback scored a double as Walgett Aboriginal Connection defeated the Bundjalung Baygal Warriors 16-10 on Sunday to reach the semi-finals.

And the Bunnies are fully behind their stars, taking part in the tournament even after a grueling NRL season.

“Absolutely,” Blake Solly, CEO of Souths, told NewsCorp.

The South Sydney star is now recovering for the Rugby League World Cup

The South Sydney star is now recovering for the Rugby League World Cup

Mitchell was named in the Kangaroos' 24-man roster for Monday's tournament

Mitchell was named in the Kangaroos’ 24-man roster for Monday’s tournament

“We really support all our guys who are playing because it’s a wonderful and important tournament for the indigenous community.”

Fellow NRL stars Josh Addo-Carr, Andrew Fifita and Daine Laurie were also involved in the tournament, as were former Manly stalwarts George Rose and ex-Canberra and St George center Joel Thompson.

On Monday, Mitchell and Addo-Carr were both named in the 24-man Kangaroos roster for the Rugby League World Cup, which starts in England later this month.

Australia will begin their title defense in Leeds against Fiji on October 15.

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