Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Josh Has Faith Tigers Can Roar; Norths Legend Gives Smith Thumbs Up

Newspaper article The Queensland Times (Ipswich, Australia)

Josh Has Faith Tigers Can Roar; Norths Legend Gives Smith Thumbs Up

Article excerpt

JOEL

GOULD

joel.gould@qt.com.au

RUGBY LEAGUE: Injured Norths captain Josh Roberts insists the Tigers can still go all the way in the Ipswich A Grade competition and has given his replacement Lewis Smith the seal of approval.

Roberts, on crutches after breaking his leg against Brothers, spoke to the QT after watching a brave and impressive Norths narrowly lose 36-30 to defending premiers Goodna on Sunday.

Roberts won back-to-back premierships with Norths in 2014 and 2015 and while he won't be playing in the season decider this year, he reckons the Tigers can still go all the way.

"There are certain times when you play that you can smell a premiership," he said.

"This year was one of those years, and we are still a good chance.

"We just lost to the best side in the comp by one try so we have proved we can match it with the best.

"It is just a case of going on with it now."

There is no good time to break your leg, but for Roberts it came just as he could almost touch another finals' campaign.

"It is obviously very disappointing," he said.

"It is a long season and to miss out on playing in the finals by two games hurts . . . but that is football I guess.

"I knew as soon as it happened that I was gone and something was terribly wrong. I knew my season was over.

"I've broken the fibula.

"There is a plate up the side and all the ligaments had to be fixed up, so there is a bolt right through the ankle as well.

"I've got six weeks with no weight on it and in 12 weeks hopefully I will be back to full fitness.

"That is the plan."

Roberts was impressed with the skill and courage of Smith, the man who has replaced him in the number six jersey.

"He had a target on his back out there. There were plenty of shots after he passed the ball but that is what you expect as a half," Roberts said.

"You are going to get pressure put on you and he handled it really well.

"Lewis took some heavy knocks, kept shaking himself off and got back up. …

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