Roosters Latrell Mitchell was a relieved man at full-time in the preliminary final. Picture: Brett Costello
Roosters Latrell Mitchell was a relieved man at full-time in the preliminary final. Picture: Brett Costello

No sympathy for Slater says Mitchell

ROOSTERS star Latrell Mitchell was an anxious mess while watching the preliminary final on the sideline, worrying he had let his teammates down after copping a one-week ban for a crusher tackle on Cronulla's Josh Dugan.

With rookie Paul Mimirovski in the centres, the Roosters held on to claim their place in Sunday's grand final, but the helpless experience taught Mitchell a lesson he'll never forget.

"I never want to go back there again. I want to keep all of that stuff out of my game and keep playing footy," said the 21-year-old representative star.

"It's not even for myself, it's for my teammates, I don't want to let them down and put them through that.

He spent the night in the sheds with his teammates and after the win, was so elated he left early to go home and start grand final preparations.

But don't be fooled into thinking he spares a thought for Melbourne fullback Billy Slater, who will learn his fate at the judiciary on Tuesday night.

"He's not on my team so it doesn't really bother me if he's there or not. We're going to go out and play our own footy," he said.

Billy Slater arrives with Craig Bellamy ahead of his judiciary hearing. Picture: Danny Aarons
Billy Slater arrives with Craig Bellamy ahead of his judiciary hearing. Picture: Danny Aarons

The young firebrand will get the chance to reignite his rivalry with Storm centre Will Chambers - the pair brutally clashed in opposite colours during this year's State of Origin.

Mitchell got the best of Chambers in the Origin arena - verbal stoushes and all - but says the Melbourne star is the best in the game.

"He's probably one of the best centres in the game and has been for a long time but to come up against him in the big dance is pretty exciting," he said.

"He'd have to be the toughest I've played. Everyone else I've done a good job on them. Chambers has done what he's done for the past few years so it's going to be tough.

"He's just been around as long as he has and experienced what he has, but we just have to keep in mind that, I know he's the old dog but he's ready to come out and play some footy and I'm there to do the same."


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