Latrell stand-in's finals debut wows NRL great

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Legendary fullback Billy Slater has heaped praise connected South Sydney's Blake Taaffe for the occupation helium did successful spot of the suspended Latrell Mitchell successful his finals debut.

Playing successful his archetypal finals match, Taaffe performed admirably successful the Rabbitohs' No.1 jersey, mounting up a effort successful his side's shock 16-10 triumph implicit the Penrith Panthers.

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Slater, who made the presumption his ain during a stellar vocation with the Storm, credited the 22-year-old for the mode helium regained his composure aft an aboriginal spill.

"It was really a spot of a shaky commencement for young Blake," Slater recalled connected 2GB's Wide World of Sports Radio. "He dropped his archetypal bomb, helium knew they were coming, but helium didn't driblet 1 aft that."

Taaffe celebrates with Souths teammate Cody Walker aft the Rabbitohs' 16-10 qualifying last triumph implicit Penrith (Getty)

"There was a infinitesimal successful the 2nd fractional wherever Nathan Cleary enactment up a kick, it was close underneath the posts and Stephen Crichton flying down and it was a immense contest.

"He spun astir successful the air, but the aggression helium went up into the shot with was bully to see. He acceptable up a effort and what a crippled it was from him."

Slater besides extended the praise to Bennett's full squad and said the triumph implicit Penrith puts Souths connected the "easier broadside of the draw".

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"The full Bunnies team, we've each been saying they can't triumph without Latrell, good they proved america each wrong," helium said.

"They've got the week disconnected arsenic good present and I would accidental they've got the easier broadside of the gully truthful they could easy find themselves successful a expansive last successful 3 weeks' time."

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