Despite a slim four point margin, much discussion in the aftermath of last Wednesday night's opening State of Origin game in Brisbane has focused on individual efforts within the losing NSW team.
Superstar-in-the-making Latrell Mitchell is one of a number of Blues players singled out for their performance that night, but speaking exclusively on Over the Black Dot, Mitchell says critics have to put things into perspective.
While Mitchell openly admits he didn't have a great game in the 18-14 loss, last night he said all the attention on individual efforts has been harsh.
"I make mistakes, it's a game of Rugby League: everyone does. I guess it's just been a bit harsh lately. I have seen what people are saying. It's hard to individualise someone, it's a team sport, but then again I will take one for the team. It doesn't bother me," he said.
"A bit of support would be nice from the state. It's one game: it's not the end of the world. We lost one game but we will be ready to go again."
Talk of external influences affecting Mitchell's game have followed the young star for months. Contract talks including links to a potential move to South Sydney as well as management changes have been flagged as reasons for a perceived drop in Mitchell's on-field form.
He claimed while there are issues away from football to sort through, they aren't affecting his game.
"It's just all this hype and the media really need to stop feeding off and believing lies and making these stories," he said.
"For myself I know what I need to do now. I really need to go back and start enjoying my footy and there is a bit of exterior stuff there, but at the end of the day it comes down to me ... doing what I need to do to make me perform.
"The contract and all this stuff is all hype. There's nothing even going on. I haven't even had a word to my manager about moving or talking to another club. I'm here to focus on the Sydney Roosters and playing for my state, that's all I want to do this year.
"When the contracts come around, they will come around. Then we talk. "
Mitchell's Blues left edge partner, debutant five-eighth Cody Walker, has also been in the spotlight. The pair had limited opportunities in the series opener and over the past week several names have been thrown up as potential replacements for game two in Perth.
Mitchell is hoping they both get their chance at redemption.
"I know what Cody can do. It's about him feeling his way into the rep scene. I feel for him because I know it's hard after I came in last year and had to fit in. For him, he just needs to get the ball and play his game," said Mitchell.
"I really hope that Fittler sticks solid with the team. There is something special there, you can feel it."
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