Unimpressed by a pre-season barb, Gold Coast coach Neil Henry says it remains to be seen whether ex-Titan James Roberts has rediscovered his award-winning form ahead of their long awaited NRL reunion.
The stage is set for a lively Gold Coast-Brisbane derby on Friday night after Roberts ruffled feathers when he left the Titans over an off-season contract forgery bungle.
However, Henry had the right to be the most disgruntled after Roberts cheekily claimed he had learned more in his first two weeks under Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett than he had in two years at the Titans.
Henry still couldn’t see the funny side of Roberts’ comment ahead of Friday night’s clash on the Gold Coast.
“Jimmy has a habit of saying the first thing that comes into his head and that was an example,” Henry said.
Titans veteran Greg Bird gushed over Roberts’ breakout display in the NRL grand final re-match last round, saying it confirmed why the youngster was the reigning Dally M Centre of the Year.
But it seems Henry isn’t so sure.
“He has a couple of runs and he’s peaking? I don’t know,” Henry said.
“But he’s dangerous regardless.
“He’s got a couple of fast play the balls, but he was doing the same when he was here.
“We are more than aware of what he is capable of.”
Roberts scored a stunning try and ran 209m against North Queensland to finally fire for his new club Brisbane after controversially walking away from the Titans.
Bird was initially not impressed by Roberts’ off-season departure, claiming the once troubled youngster had used the contract forgery bungle as a convenient excuse to leave the rebuilding Gold Coast after it had “turned his career around”.
But it seems they have made up since.
“I have got no hard feelings at all,” Bird said.
“As a player you realise it is a professional setting and you have to do your best for yourself and your family.
“I am disappointed that he is not playing alongside me but it is what it is.”
But Bird added: “I am sure he will want to get one up on his former teammates this week”.