Roosters' radical move unleashes Mitchell

 

A radical backline experiment by Sydney Roosters coach Trent Robinson has been credited for Latrell Mitchell's career-defining NRL finals moment.

Mitchell's brilliance is set to feature on highlight reels to come after his match-winning solo effort in last week's qualifying final win over Brisbane.

And utility Ryan Matterson insists the play was no fluke, revealing how Robinson hatched a plan to make the most of Mitchell's explosive attacking power.

The scheme involves Matterson, who has been filling in for injured winger Daniel Tupou, regularly switching with Mitchell in attack and defence.

Mitchell has been in barnstorming form. pic: Getty

"In attack on set starts I find myself on the wing, but then transitioning when they kick live ball, I'll stay in the centres," Matterson told AAP.

"They want (Mitchell) defending on the wing and me in the centres.

"But then they want (Mitchell) doing the clutch stuff that he does in attack.

"I'm just hanging out on the wing catching my breath."

Matterson admits to being initially surprised by Robinson's proposal but quickly jumped on board as Mitchell's form picked up late in the season.

Matterson made 19 tackles compared to Mitchell's five against the Broncos, conserving enough energy for the latter to break 10 tackles with early ball.

And the formula isn't limited to the 20-year-old either, with Robinson also keen on getting NSW and Kangaroos representative Blake Ferguson into top gear.

"It's never really been done before. (Mitchell Aubusson's) been doing a fair bit with 'Fergo' as well, with Aubo going onto the wing," Matterson said.

"It's just one of those things, you want Fergo and 'Trell getting as much ball as they can in the open.

"You've got to do what's best for the team."

Matterson, who this time last year was playing front row, said he would be ready to deliver on the wing should Tupou be unable to recover from injury.

"I've got 100 per cent confidence in myself. Robbo does as well," he said.

"I'm a footballer, I'll play wherever.

"It's not like the NFL where you go on and do one role. We're experienced, we're a lot tougher than them.

"I was a five-eighth in my juniors as well but I think that's helped me in my career because defending in the halves, you know what everyone else is doing.

"Centre, lock, prop ... it's hard transitioning but I'll do anything to play."

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