Hat-trick hero Mitchell gets ‘pass mark’

first_imgAs the Roosters ran riot in the first half to open up a 28-0 lead at the break Mitchell was one of the major beneficiaries, scoring two tries in the first 40 minutes before sealing the 32-18 Telstra Premiership win with the final try of the night.Robinson was unaware that Mitchell had even scored the first hat-trick of his young career and said the decision to move him into the centres was made just two days after the 2016 season came to a close.After scoring 10 tries in 16 games at fullback last season the freakishly gifted athlete looked set for a lengthy tenure as the Roosters’ custodian but the arrival of Michael Gordon in the off-season saw Mitchell moved to left centre.He caused the Titans defence issues with virtually every touch in the first half yet despite his three tries and seven tackle busts only received a muted accolade from his coach.”They’re there to finish those tries and score those tries,” was Robinson’s blunt assessment.”People are going to value that but I didn’t know he’d scored three until someone reminded me after the game.”We’re looking at the other stuff that was good and it wasn’t a bad game from him. It was a pass mark from what we want from our centres but it’s a good start to our season.”Mitchell declined to be interviewed after the game but his partner on the left edge, Roosters winger Daniel Tupou, believes they merely scratched the surface of what’s possible in their first game together.Tupou was among the Roosters’ best with some damaging runs (210 metres) and six offloads and says he has to be alert at all times as to what Mitchell may produce.”It’s a good start, especially for us two as a new combo,” Tupou told NRL.com.”We’ve still got stuff we need to work on but in the meantime we’re happy with that start and we’ll just get ready for next week.”I’ve just got to adjust to whatever he does because he can play and you don’t know what he’s going to come up with.”He’s a good attacker so I’ve got to be alert all the time because he can offload at any time.”Tupou’s six offloads were four more than the next highest from either team on Saturday night with wing partner Shaun Kenny-Dowall coming up with two of his own.A freedom to promote the ball granted by coach Trent Robinson allowed the Roosters wingers to generate plenty of momentum for their team in the first half but Tupou admitted they pushed their luck too often in the second term.Tupou twice came up with turnovers after making long breaks late in the second half that kept the Titans within reach and said the fatigue factor led to some poor decision-making.”Fatigue just took over and I should have just held the ball there,” Tupou said.”I was a bit filthy on those two errors but I’ve just got to improve and back it up again on Thursday.”[Robinson] does [allow us to play footy] which is good but tonight we overdid it so we’ve just got to go back and take the ball up and get a quick play-the-ball and get our sets started for the boys.”The first half was pretty good, we should have just held onto the ball more in the second half.”last_img read more

Arsenal v Barcelona: This is exactly what will happen tonight at the Emirates

first_img4 Arsenal face the unenviable task of stopping Lionel Messi and co. in the Champions League on Tuesday as Barcelona travel to north London.While there are many pundits predicting a goal-fest for the Catalan giants, here is a more light-hearted prediction of what could unfold at the Emirates…Francis Coquelin begins the night by scything down Messi in the opening minutes and somehow escapes a red card. However, Arsene Wenger claims he “did not see it” as he was too busy trying to zip up his coat.via GIPHYArsenal start well, as Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez go close and belief engulfs the home fans.The Gunners duly take the lead, as Olivier Giroud’s freshly-styled quiff gets enough on the ball to guide Sanchez’s cross into the bottom corner.  via GIPHYSatisfied with their opening few minutes work, Arsenal sit back and find themselves 3-1 down 15 minutes later, with Neymar bagging a brace and Luis Suarez getting the third.The camera cuts to Thierry Henry celebrating in the stands with an Arsenal-Barcelona ‘half and half’ scarf. Jack Wilshere challenges Lionel Messi in 2011 Per Mertesacker – left in a daze after fast moving objects by the names of Neymar and Suarez flash past him – is withdrawn at half time at the request of Hollywood director Peter Jackson, who wants the German to star as an Ent tree-like being in his next adaptation of a J.R.R Tolkien book.via GIPHYAn interactive poll for who should replace Mertesacker takes place during the break and is won by Gunnersaurus, who immediately lines up next to Laurent Koscielny at the back.Twitter then erupts and celebrity fan Piers Morgan makes a witty comment about Gunnersaurus being only the second footballing dinosaur on display, after Wenger. Barcelona dominate possession in the second half, which begins to frustrate Mesut Ozil, who is so concerned about his assist-to-game ratio he begins to play killer balls through to ‘MSN’, and is applauded by Gunners for his imagination and ‘out-of-the-box thinking’.via GIPHYOne of Ozil’s passes finds Lionel Messi, who has had a stinker of a game due to his complete inability to score against Petr Cech (a run which now stretches to eight games), but the Argentine is brought down in the area after a clumsy foul from Gunnersaurus.Messi, totally psyched out by Cech, slips as he steps up to strike the ball, but the ball rolls two yards into the path of Suarez, who taps in. The commentators hail Messi’s genius, while the watching Thierry Henry and Robert Pires get their coats.Meanwhile, Wenger throws a pound coin in the direction of Suarez and whispers “there’s 40 million more where that came from”.Despite losing 4-1, Arsenal win a Twitter poll to decide the most likely Champions League winners and the home side take a celebratory selfie…center_img 4 4 4last_img read more