Matt Gidley had the flick pass. Andrew Johns made the banana kick famous. Tyrone Roberts may not be in the same bracket as the Knights legends but the crafty halfback is winning admirers with his signature move, and the most important of those is coach Wayne Bennett.
Roberts produced a classic “show and go” to score a brilliant solo try for a second straight week and put the Knights on their way to 28-12 victory over the Raiders at Hunter Stadium last night.
After jumping to a 10-0 lead, the Knights had conceded back-to-back converted tries to trail 12-10 at half-time.
A play after Alex McKinnon was held up over the line, the ball was swung to the left.
Roberts received it two passes wide and 20 metres out and with Josh Papalii racing up, the diminutive playmaker dummied on his outside and strolled through a gaping hole to race in to score.
He added the extras to put the Knights back in front 16-12 and they were never headed.
“He sold one dummy there, where I was looking for the player running,” Bennett said.
“He has a little bit of class.
“That is a great show and go he has. He just confuses defenders.”
Last night’s try was a copybook – almost to the blade of grass – of his individual effort in scoring to open the Knights account in the 34-6 triumph over the Cowboys last Monday.
But Roberts had not featured in Bennett’s Plan A at the start of the season.
The master coach had intended to use captain Kurt Gidley alongside Jarrod Mullen in the halves, with Roberts a back-up dummy half for Danny Buderus.
But a calf injury to Gidley in the lead-up to the Cowboys game, opened the door for the Ballina-born 21-year-old to return to his preferred position, at least for now.
“No-one is number one anything,” Bennett said.
“He [Roberts] is doing the job there at the moment.
“Kurt only made himself available late yesterday. I was not going to change the team at that late notice.”
Gidley started at hooker against the Raiders, with Buderus on the bench.
However, the captain shifted to left centre midway through the half after an injury to James McManus forced a reshuffle.
Gidley then suffered a head knock late in the half attempting a tackle on Blake Ferguson, didn’t return after the break, and is in doubt for the trip to Kogarah to take on the Dragons on Sunday.
“Kurt has a concussion,” Bennett said.
“They will do the cog sports test. He has no history of concussion and if he passes the test he will be clear.
“We don’t have any control of that. The game is the one who runs the cog sports test.”
Roberts, as he was a week ago, was targeted in defence by the Raiders who sent big boppers Papalii, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs and Joel Thompson at him on the edges.
Papalli brushed through an attempted tackle from Roberts and Gidley to put the Raiders ahead just before half-time.
“He had a pretty tough task tonight,” Bennett said.
“It is a funny game our game. You have the littlest bloke in the team and he has to tackle the biggest bloke in the opposition, and he was at him all night.
“Tyrone had the same scenario last week.
“He has a wonderful tackle tech and plenty of bravery. He just didn’t get his body in front for the try they scored when he [Papalii] went over Tyrone and Kurt.
“Other than that I thought he did a really good job. I’m confident in him because he has great tackle tech and he has plenty of courage.
“He will stop more than run over the top of him.”
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