Gould savages listless Mitchell
NSW's most successful Origin coach Phil Gould has ripped into Latrell Mitchell, questioning if the Sydney Roosters' star centre even wanted to be at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night.
It was only a month ago the 21-year-old was being widely hailed as the NRL's best player after his phenomenal 10 out of 10 performance against Wests Tigers.
But in the weeks since Mitchell has gone noticeably quiet, with genuine fears that he is carrying a closely-guarded injury.
On Wednesday night Mitchell was way off his best in the first half before a second half sin binning capped off a performance to forget.
Queensland legend Billy Slater suggested on Channel 9 on Wednesday night that Brad Fittler needed to find a way to get more out of his strike centre.
"We all agree Latrell wasn't at his best tonight," Slater said.
"He was at his best last year in this series and he dominated it."
But when questions were asked if Mitchell was carrying an injury, Gould didn't hold back with an analysis that would have probably have struck a chord with many disappointed NSW fans.
"It was very telling early in the game because they actually put him away on tackle five and he had (Josh) Addo-Carr outside of him and he didn't even think to run the ball. He just kicked," Gould told Channel 9.
"And I thought, if that was Sunday afternoon playing for the Roosters he'd have swatted that bloke out of the way and created a chance.
"He just wasn't in the game tonight and he has got to decide whether or not he wants to be at this level and wants to play. Because he can't come here as a key member of this side and have such poor input as what he did tonight."
There has been plenty of talk in recent weeks that Mitchell has been carrying some type of leg or groin injury but nothing has been confirmed.
Mitchell has been named to back up against Penrith in Sunday's NRL clash but it remains to be seen if Trent Robinson will give him a rest.
An injury to Mitchell is the last thing the Roosters need with Luke Keary already sidelined due to his concussion injury.
Mitchell was clearly outplayed by his opposite Will Chambers on Wednesday night with the Queensland right edge causing havoc on numerous occasions.
Mitchell's 57th minute sin binning for tackling and denying Matt Gillett an opportunity to score was a major turning point with Kalyn Ponga levelling the scores at 8-all with the penalty conversion.
Mitchell finished with 8 runs for 72m, the least of any of the NSW outside backs.