Roberts issue no distraction say Broncos

The television news cameras staking out their training facility carpark might suggest otherwise but Brisbane players insist an investigation into James Roberts isn’t a distraction.

The NRL club launch a probe last week after it was revealed centre Roberts had been forcibly removed from a Brisbane hotel after allegedly abusing a female staff member when refused service.

Further claims that Roberts was given a 10-day banning order by police after allegedly spitting on a bar manager in Brisbane’s Fortitude Valley are also being examined by the Broncos.

The 23-year-old has a poor history with off-field indiscretions, having already been sacked by South Sydney and Penrith for misdemeanours.

Roberts played against Canterbury on Thursday, a day after the news of the investigation broke, as the Broncos sealed an impressive 20-10 win.

Veteran forward Sam Thaiday was emphatic when asked if the matter was a distraction for the players ahead of Friday’s clash with ladder leaders Melbourne.

“No, not at all,” the Queensland and Australia representative replied, adding he didn’t believe Roberts would be suspended as a result of the club’s investigation.

The sixth-placed Broncos are firmly in the hunt for a top-four finish after their victory over the Bulldogs.

Brisbane (28 pts) are just two points behind the Bulldogs (30) along with fifth-placed North Queensland (28) with just two matches to play.

The Cowboys take on the Bulldogs at Belmore on Thursday, while the Broncos face a tough task on the road against the Storm a day later.

Playmaker Anthony Milford didn’t finish Monday’s training session as he continues to manage a ongoing leg niggle but his halves partner Ben Hunt played down any concern over the five-eighth’s fitness.

“It’s just monitoring really,” Hunt said.

“We’ve got to look after him. He’s a player we need out there so we’ve got to keep him fit and healthy.”

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