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Mitchell-Chambers rivalry to reignite for final time in 2018

They've gone hammer and tongs four times already in 2018 and so far young buck Latrell Mitchell has well and truly had the wood on elder statesman Will Chambers – and if he maintains that dominance through round five he could very well pinch Chambers' Test jersey.

The furious head-to-head battle between the pair was one of the more intriguing sub-plots of this year's Holden State of Origin series, won 2-1 by Mitchell's Blues.

Chambers and the Storm narrowly grabbed the points in their one club meeting this year back in round 16 with a 9-8 win in Adelaide in the middle of the Origin series, though both star centres were individually quiet in that game.

The Origin battle exploded quickly though, with Chambers doing his best to get under the young Rooster's skin and Mitchell giving as good as he got in the verbal stakes.

Mitchell won a knockout blow on the scoreboard, besting Chambers in tackle busts 17-6, in tries 2-1 while playing a big role in Chambers racking up 15 missed tackles against three for Mitchell.

"It's exciting, he's a great young talent and playing some outstanding footy," Chambers said this week about the chance to go up against Mitchell again, admitting the Roosters three-quarter had had the wood on him this year.

"It will be another tough challenge. We've played each other about four times this year already so playing each other for the fifth.

"It's exciting, it's a good challenge that I'm looking forward to. I know he'll be up for it, he's a big game player, we've seen that throughout the Origin period.

"He's a big boy and hard to handle. I know they'll be getting him the ball and I'll have to be on my best game defensively and work together as an edge to nullify his impact on the game."

As the above graphic highlights, Mitchell's attacking form at club level in the 2018 Telstra Premiership has far outstripped that of Chambers, with more than triple the tackle busts, four times as many tries and far fewer missed tackles.

Mitchell said he enjoyed the battles against the best centres in the NRL.

"He is probably one of the best centres in the game and has been for a long time," Mitchell said.

"He would have to be the toughest I have played, everyone else I have done a good job on them but Chambers has done what he has done for the past couple of years and I think he is just going to come out and do the same thing.

"I have just got to keep in mind that I know he is an old dog and he is ready to come out and play some good footy."

Of the ongoing verbals between the two, he added: "That's footy, you talk to them and you try to get them off their game. Other than that it keeps me honest and keeps me in the game."

 

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