Roosters centre Latrell Mitchell justified his recall to the NRL side with a dominant display on the left edge in his first game back since being subbed off against the Broncos in Round 6.
The 19-year-old took just four minutes to open the scoring as his side thumped the Eels 48-10 at Allianz Stadium, with Mitchell finishing the game with 119 metres, six tackle breaks and no missed tackles.
"I thought it was a great performance," Roosters coach Trent Robinson said after the game.
"On the defensive side he moved really well on that left edge with Boyd (Cordner) and the boys over there, and then [in] attack, we all see that and we saw what we got. But his kick-chase was really good – I thought his kick-chase was exceptional."
After all the hype surrounding him last year, it couldn't have been easy for Mitchell to be sent back to play for the Wyong Roos in the Intrust Super Premiership but according to his coach the Indigenous All Star handled himself with aplomb.
Robinson said the outside noise surrounding his decision to move Mitchell back to reserve grade was way over the top and off the mark, with the youngster doing everything in his power to earn a recall.
"It's really private the stuff that we talked about," he said.
"I think everyone speculated on what we discussed and how I was feeling and he was feeling. It was pretty ridiculous for a while there, actually.
"We understood how we wanted him to play and what he's capable of and he just needed a couple of weeks off. He played some good reserve grade games and came back in and played really well tonight.
"We try to create a story out of it about why and what's going to happen and all that, but the guy played well tonight and he deserved it. He played bloody well and he earned it through training and hard work and all that, and that's what this week will be about again."
Tipped by many to be one of the games of the round, the Roosters blew their opponents off the park with a performance that Robinson had been calling for after their 6-3 start to the season.
"We thought we'd been good, not great, in the first nine rounds, so we wanted to have a really good start. We wanted everyone to be on and I thought we were. That was our style tonight," he said.
"You can't dictate the score before a game, but we wanted to play better than what we had been.
"I don't know why the score ended up like that – other than that we continually applied pressure, and we got some good results."
This article first appeared on NRL.com