South Sydney star Latrell Mitchell will miss the NRL finals after pleading guilty to a reckless high tackle that broke the cheekbone of Roosters centre Joseph Manu.
- It is the second consecutive finals series Mitchell will miss for the Rabbitohs
- Joseph Manu had facial reconstruction surgery in Brisbane on Saturday
- Mitchell faced a longer ban if he fought the charge at the judiciary and lost
Mitchell will miss six matches after entering an early plea for the grade-two charge, meaning his suspension will carry over to the start of next season.
He would have faced a nine-match ban if he took the charge to the judiciary and lost.
Mitchell’s former Roosters teammate Manu had facial reconstruction surgery in Brisbane on Saturday afternoon.
He accused Mitchell of a “dog shot”.
Mitchell was sin-binned for the 58th-minute hit but returned to the field to score another try in the Rabbitohs 54-12 rout of their Sydney rivals.
The Rabbitohs will finish in the top three regardless of whether they beat the Dragons in the final regular season match next week.
It is the second consecutive season that Mitchell has missed the NRL finals. A hamstring injury ruled him out in 2020.
Fellow South Sydney players Liam Knight (grade three dangerous contact) and Dane Gagai (grade one contrary conduct) also took early guilty pleas for their charges.
Knight will miss two matches while Gagai has been fined $1,600.