Bolter sees rival as a future Blue
ORIGIN bolter James Roberts wants to combine forces with Roosters rival Latrell Mitchell, after both pushed their claims for a NSW call-up on Friday night.
The electrifying Broncos centre gave Blues coach Brad Fittler plenty to think about after his performance against the Roosters — Roberts scored the try that equalled the match at 22-all. In a moment when little was going right for the home side, Roberts raced 70m and beat five defenders to score, showing Fittler why he is ready to debut in Origin.
But Mitchell also put in a notable effort, setting up two tries for playmaker Luke Keary in the first half.
While it was a tale of two halves for the duo — Mitchell dominated the first and Roberts the second — 25-year-old Roberts believes there could be room for both in the NSW side.
Fittler is expected to pick his team next week, with Roberts and Mitchell both major contenders for the backline.
“It would be good ( to both be selected),” Roberts said. “( Mitchell is) a quality player and hard to handle out there. He’s big and strong and pretty fast as well. It’s up to the selectors and Freddie. Whoever they pick, I’m sure they’ll do a good job.”
The duo are creating a nice rivalry, after the Roosters talent trampled Roberts in last year’s finals series to snatch victory for his side. On Friday night however, it was Roberts who had the last laugh.
While Mitchell was impressive in the first half, Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett applauded Roberts’ ability to hold his head high and respond strongly. “He held his head together,” Bennett said.
“He picked his game right up. His defence was outstanding for the rest of the night.
“He’s grown so much. It’s a real credit to him.”
Brisbane’s James Roberts.