South Sydney Rabbitohs' interim coach Ben Hornby has gone into bat for his embattled fullback Latrell Mitchell, suggesting his return to the NRL "wasn't too bad".

There was plenty of talk in recent weeks that Mitchell's return from a suspension would be in the centres owing to Jye Gray's debut and Mitchell's own poor form over the opening weeks of the campaign.

That ultimately didn't happen though, with Gray suffering a syndesmosis injury last weekend.

Mitchell's return at fullback saw a mixed performance at best though during his first game under Hornby, who took over two weeks ago from now axed coach Jason Demetriou.

While the former New South Wales Blues' Origin representative scored a double on a miserable night for the Rabbitohs against the St George Illawarra Dragons, he was directly responsible for a number of sloppy errors leading to Dragons' points during the loss.

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Despite that, Hornby backed his fullback to improve.

“He wasn't too bad,” Hornby said of his returning fullback during the post-game press conference.

“He had some nice moments, but a couple of kicks he probably didn't clean up.

“He'll be better for the run.”

Mitchell, alongside his two tries, finished the game with a try assist, 116 metres, five tackle breaks and an offload, but it's the errors which will stand out to fans who continue to pile on the fullback.

The 28-14 loss was a disappointing performance for the Rabbitohs, who, despite their enormous injury toll which features players across all aspects of the side, should be far better than their one and eight record across their first nine games of the season.

The form led to Demetriou's axing, with Hornby unable to turn the tide in his first two games in charge.

South Sydney, who should welcome back Alex Johnston next week, clash with the North Queensland Cowboys in Round 11 during Magic Round as they attempt to move off the bottom of the NRL ladder.