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Over to you Latrell...
Just under two months ago - on the 4th of May to be precise - we saw Sydney Roosters back Latrell Mitchell deliver arguably the most impressive performance of his career to date. It was no mean feat in itself, given the number of highlights he has racked up in such a short space of time.
Flash forward to the 16th of June, and on the back of a decidedly ordinary performance in Origin I, the young star is dropped from the Blues. Just 12 months ago he was dominant in this arena, repeatedly showing up the much more experienced Will Chambers - something he doubled down on in the 2018 Grand Final to help deliver the Sydney Roosters the premiership. What makes a champion is how they bounce back from adversity, and I think of none other than Greg Inglis as I write this. Almost every time he delivered a sub-par performance at any level you could set your watch to the fact he would turn up the next week, and turn in a performance fitting of his reputation.
Latrell for the first time now finds himself in a situation of similar adversity, how will he respond?
Aside from the obvious plotline of Mitchell, this looms as an absolute blockbuster, as both teams have Origin and Test stars across the park, their last encounter was settled by the man so central to the build-up of this game in golden point at AAMI Park on the Easter weekend.
The folks of Adelaide are likely in for another Roosters vs Storm classic!
Last meeting: Round 6 2019 - Storm 20 Roosters 21
That previous encounter was a classic. The Roosters raced out to a 20-0 lead only for the guile and game management of Cameron Smith to drag the Storm back to 20-all. Golden point extra time saw Mitchell kick a monstrous field goal to settle the game in hostile territory.
Who to watch: You could write forever about the situation Latrell Mitchell finds himself in this week, but to put it simply this is a genuine super-star who has been backed into a corner by the media, and come Friday night we will find out what exactly he's made of.
For the Storm it's the forwards for a second match in a row. Last time around against the Roosters the pack was dominated for the first 40 minutes which followed on from the 80 minute hiding in the 2018 decider, so much like Latrell - they need to stand up and show us what they're made of. Over to you Messrs. Bromwich, Asofa-Solamona, Finucane and co.
The favourite: As formidable as the Roosters side is on paper, their form is sketchy with just one win in their last four - and while it was impressive, it was over the last placed and seemingly wooden-spoon-destined Bulldogs. Melbourne have won five in a row and kept their opponents to 10 points or less in four of those games.
My tip: The Storm will exact some revenge for the Round 6 loss and take a close one in Adelaide, 24-20. I also fully expect Mitchell to be somewhere near his usual self and press his claims for Origin 3. Storm by 4.
1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 21. Brett Morris 4. Joseph Manu 19. Matt Ikuvalu 3. Latrell Mitchell 7. Cooper Cronk 13. Isaac Liu 9. Victor Radley 10. Siosiua Taukeiaho 11. Boyd Cordner 17. Mitchell Aubusson 14. Nat Butcher 8. Zane Tetevano 12. Angus Crichton 18. Poasa Faamausili 20. Lachlan Lam
17. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. Suliasi Vunivalu 3. Will Chambers 18. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cameron Munster 7. Brodie Croft 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Cameron Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane 14. Brandon Smith 15. Christian Welch 16. Joe Stimson 19. Tui Kamikamica
Referees: Grant Atkins, Peter Gough; Sideline Officials: David Munro, Michael Wise; Video Referees: Steve Chiddy, Bryan Norrie;