Once the heat of the spotlight falls on a player's shoulders, the only thing that can alleviate the pressure is to put the head down and lodge some solid performances.

The narrative of Latrell Mitchell's latest on-field indiscretions provides a compelling case study.

The Rabbitohs' encounter with the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday was marred by instances that saw him placed on report twice, just a week after he copped a fine for (accidentally as it may have been) knocking Josh Addo-Carr out cold.

South Sydney remains planted at the foot of the ladder after Saturday's loss and that only amplifies the noise around the Rabbitohs' most polarising player.

Mitchell staunchly carries an off-field presence that many admire. Whether you echo his views on race and broader society, he still commands respect, often even from those who despise him as a player.

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During Saturday's match against the Warriors, referee Liam Cameron placed Mitchell on report for elbowing Shaun Johnson in the face with malice. Many agree that if Latrell was defending, rather than holding the ball, he would likely have spent some time in the bin.

In commentary, Panthers legend Greg Alexander's described the act as "little more than a forearm, it's almost like a swinging elbow."

Mitchell even cradled Johnson's head as he fell - an immediate realisation of what he'd done. But the brain explosion had already occurred and his remorse would amount to nil, given his record.

And just as he crouched carefully over Josh Addo-Carr last weekend after knocking him out cold, neither opposition players or the crowd were buying his apologies.

Those who have played with Mitchell generally form a consensus that while he is so quick to lose control in the heat of battle, he rarely needs to be prodded to apologise or acknowledge that he was in the wrong. And therein lies the tragedy.

Who can possibly reach Latrell if his teammates, close friends and coach cannot?

A subsequent dangerous tackle on Tohu Harris later in the match further compounded Latrell's woes in the same match. In defence, he had lifted and placed Harris in an extremely vulnerable position — actions that are incongruent with the spirit of the game.

The moments of lapse not only put Mitchell under scrutiny but also compounded the challenges facing Souths, who copped a 34-4 defeat.

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Head coach Jason Demetriou didn't mince words post-match.

"They are both just stupid things. [He] has to be better, simple as that," he remarked during the post-game press conference.

“There will be conversations during the week. It's not something for me to talk about now. As a group, we will be honest as we do every week and look at some of the things we need to be better at.

“It's balancing emotion over getting our jobs done and the desire to want to compete but also controlling the emotion side of it. That's a big part of where we are at the moment. It's a big part of why we are losing our focus."

The pressure on Demetriou is being acutely applied through his stubborn refusal to drop Mitchell to reserve grade, or least shift him to centre where he played arguably his best football for the Sydney Roosters.

Cameron Murray hinted at the introspective capacity that Mitchell has, suggesting an awareness and a potential for correction that might pave the way for redemption.

But how many chances are left?

And more importantly, when will Souths' fickle fan-base start to express their dissatisfaction via attendance at games and membership numbers, and force Demetriou's hand?

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“Latrell has got some good self-reflection and he normally knows what he needs to change before anyone tells him, but passing by conversations won't hurt. It's pretty fresh after the game right now but it'll be something to think about I think," Murray said.

Despite facing intense criticism and booing from NRL fans, Latrell continues to prioritise a connection with community, demonstrated by yet another visit to rural NSW (Moree), this time with NSW officials, including the premier and police commissioner, to promote Operation Pathfinder.

The initiative aims at deterring youth from crime through rugby league, and it highlights Mitchell's capacity to transcend sports and impact social issues.

Yet his actions on the field are showing those he wants to influence how he is yet to learn how to control his actions in the heat of conflict.

The booing that now follows Mitchell draws parallels to the experience of AFL legend Adam Goodes, who faced similar public scrutiny, raising concerns about underlying racism disguised as spectator participation.

Booing is an integral part of sport spectating, and is reserved for not only the most elite players who pose a threat to defeating the teams we follow, but also those who do not play in the right spirit of the game - regardless of race.

It goes without saying that those who carry resentment towards Indigenous Australians have their intolerance for Latrell exacerbated by their feelings on race.

At the moment, he's arguably the biggest grub in the game.

If he wants to carry more influence for his positive work off the field, he needs to clean up his act on the field.