Trent Robinson says Latrell Mitchell and Angus Crichton have "paid the price" for NSW's Origin I loss as he and Brad Fittler denied any off-field factor in Mitchell's shock axing.
Mitchell and Crichton were told of their Blues dumpings just moments after the Roosters' 38-12 thumping of Canterbury, Crichton informed on live radio while captain Boyd Cordner relayed the news to Mitchell after being told during an interview with Channel Nine.
Mitchell's demotion in particular has caused shockwaves given his superb form at club level up until game one and his status as one of the NRL's most dangerous attacking players.
A two-try performance in his return for the Roosters was not enough to save him, Fittler describing the call to drop Mitchell as "one of the toughest decisions" he's made in coaching.
Mitchell's off-field focus has been the subject of much debate amid an alarming drop in form, but Robinson defended the centre, who turned 22 on Sunday, yet again when pressed on his Blues axing.
"There's nothing more to it," Robinson said.
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"The guys believe in Latrell. It's not a coach trying to get the best out of a player, I believe in him. He's a good man, he's a good character.
"He's been put in a spotlight at a really young age, he was 18 when he started playing ... It's about putting some really good principles in place for him off the field and on the field and Latrell knows it.
"We talk about it. And what he's done, he's had a great week."
Mitchell and Crichton were rested by Robinson after Origin I, a coaching call he concedes left the pair with limited game time to press for NSW selection.
Neither were at their best as the Roosters comfortably accounted for the Bulldogs at the SCG, while Mitchell politely declined interview requests afterwards.
But with a grand final rematch against Melbourne as the premiers' next hit-out, five days after the standalone Origin next Sunday, Robinson expects the pair will have a point to prove.
"They're both disappointed," Robinson said.
"They know that there is a fair bit of motivation for what they have both done so far in their careers at a young age and what they are going to get to.
"You can be slightly off and not be in a team and that is what's happened.
"I guess the only thing is a bit of clarity about why ... it doesn't have to be this week, but knowing what they need to do and what they need to improve."