Roberts admits ‘quiet’ NRL Broncos start

It won’t happen overnight, but James Roberts promises it will happen.

The Brisbane flyer has made an inauspicious start to life in Broncos colours but believes it’s only a matter of time until he hits his straps for the NRL powerhouse.

Yet to score a try or even make a major attacking impact in his two games for the club so far, Roberts admitted it is taking longer than he thought to come to terms with coach Wayne Bennett’s game plan, and said he feels he has a target on his back following his breakout season with Gold Coast last year.

“I think everyone does after a good year,” said Roberts, who crossed 16 times in 24 matches for the Titans in 2015.

“I don’t mind, I’d rather score no tries and win a game, as long as all the boys are happy, than score three and lose.”

Teammates have defended Roberts’ output over the opening fortnight of the new season, with Darius Boyd crediting his sheer presence for attracting defenders and giving him space to score his 55th minute try against New Zealand last weekend.

Roberts said his mind was more on improving his defence than worrying about becoming the gamebreaker the Broncos believe he can be.

“It’s been a bit quiet but I’m not too worried about my attack at the moment,” he said.

“We pride ourselves on our defence. Holding that right side down is my main priority for the team at the moment.

“I’ve just got to do my job out there and hold shape. If the ball comes, it comes, if it doesn’t I just worry about my defence.”

Meanwhile, Roberts said he “can’t even remember” the moment that nearly led to an NRL suspension for contrary conduct after making contact with a referee against the Warriors.

Roberts escaped a ban after taking an early guilty plea, having innocuously patted referee Matt Noyen on the chest, seemingly an act of gratitude.

“The NRL’s dealt with it their way, that’s all you can do,” he said.

Roberts was one of several players held back on light duties at training on Tuesday, along with Josh McGuire and Boyd, but the Broncos expect all will be fit for Saturday’s away clash against Penrith.

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