Roosters' Mitchell wary of NRL baiting

Latrell Mitchell found himself on the end of taunts from South Sydney players on Friday.
Latrell Mitchell found himself on the end of taunts from South Sydney players on Friday.

Latrell Mitchell has played against Will Chambers, so he should know better.

Instead, the Sydney Roosters star allowed himself to get baited in his side's 26-16 round-one loss to South Sydney on Friday.

Mitchell was sporting a decent cut following a head clash with Dane Gagai, who was in the face of the representative star for most of the night.

But the Kangaroos and NSW Origin representative insisted it wasn't the increased physicality that opposition teams are throwing at him as his star grows.

"I think they want to bait me. They sort of got me a little bit tonight, but I'll let them have that," Mitchell said after the match.

"I definitely feel as though I can be more of a threat with the ball. I was a bit quiet tonight and I'll take that upon myself and work hard on that."

It is not the first time Mitchell has been targeted by rival players.

There was plenty of chippiness in his battles with Queensland and Melbourne centre Will Chambers last year.

"He was pretty good at it, the best. (But) I think I went away from that. I've got to get back to playing my footy," Mitchell said.

Much of the build-up to the match was also about Mitchell's individual match-up with Greg Inglis, who has been switched from left to right flank by Wayne Bennett.

Mitchell suggested he showed the Kangaroos veteran, whose fitness and form was questioned leading into the contest, too much respect.

"I tried not to show him as much respect as I should have. It's good to see him out there and playing some footy," Mitchell said.

"I know he's had a bit of backlash. I feel as though it's a step in the right direction for him. I want to praise him because he's GI.

"But he's obviously a great opponent to go up again. I just didn't want to focus too much on it, it's obviously Greg Inglis but it's just another opponent."

Australian Associated Press