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Dan ready to be the man for NRL Roosters

Utility Daniel Mortimer is ready to step up and take control of the Sydney Roosters during the State of Origin period should teammates Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney get NSW call-ups.
Dan ready to be the man for NRL Roosters
by AAP

By Joe Barton

SYDNEY, May 24 AAP - Utility Daniel Mortimer is ready to step up and take control of the Sydney Roosters during the State of Origin period should teammates Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney get NSW call-ups.

Mortimer has carved out a key role as the Roosters impact player under rookie coach Trent Robinson, but he still believes his future lies in the halves.

And he'll get an opportunity to showcase that over Origin when the Roosters face Canterbury in round 15, minus likely Blues trio Pearce, Maloney and Michael Jennings.

Robinson could also be tempted to rest one or both of his halves for games against Parramatta, Manly and Cronulla immediately after the three Origin games - giving Mortimer further opportunity to prove himself.

"It will be massive for me personally and I'm really looking forward to it because I do still consider myself to be a half," Mortimer told AAP.

"To get the chance to play in the halves, especially with the team we have, I'm pretty confident.

"It will be a big task for all of us to step up, but especially me.

"I expect a lot from myself and I'm really looking forward to the opportunity."

Mortimer did the same role last season, when he was in and out of first grade throughout the year, but says he is better prepared this time around.

"I'll definitely be more confident this year going in and filling in for Pearcey," he said.

"If Jim's out too, I'm going to have to really step up with the younger fella Samisoni Langi.

"I dont think there's any reason for us to be too scared if we're stepping up."

Before that challenge however, the Roosters will have to take down defending premiers Melbourne on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium if they are to extend their winning streak to six games.

It's a task Mortimer insists they would be unwise to take lightly, despite a slump which includes two losses and a draw from their past three matches.

Mortimer and prop Martin Kennedy likened the current slip from the Storm to Melbourne's five-game losing streak midway through last year, from which they recovered to win the competition.

"If any team can expect to go through a full year of a competition without having a few losses back-to-back then they are kidding themselves," Kennedy said.

"...They've set the benchmark in defence for so many years.

"They've got some completely freakish players down there. I still view Melbourne as the top of the table team."

Mortimer added: "They had a poor patch last year where they lost five in a row. And they bounced back to win the comp.

"They're still the benchmark at the moment, in all aspects of the game. It will be a good measure for us."




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