Bennett praises young halfback Roberts but will not make him first-choice halfback after win v Raiders

Adam Cuthbertson

Like with any coach, when there are decisions to be made, ones that can be tough, it is often hard to know what decision to make – but for Newcastle Knights coach Wayne Bennett, with young halfback Tyrone Roberts so well and filling in so well for the injured Kurt Gidley, you would think he would be in consideration to have the starting halfback role permanently.

Think again. Despite another solid performance from the talented youngster, at this stage, Bennett refuses to make Roberts the first-choice halfback for the club with a fully fit squad (when he has that), at his disposal.

What he did say, however, was that he was pleased yet again with the efforts of Roberts and that it is likely he keeps the halfback spot – for now.

“He sold one dummy there and I was waiting to see someone else running and he got to the line before I realised he still had the ball,” said Bennett.

“He does that well, Tyrone, he has that little bit of class.

“It’s a great show and go he’s got and it works for him. It confuses defenders.

“But no-one is No.1 for anything. He’s doing a good job there at the moment and Kurt has got a head knock.

“Kurt only made himself available yesterday, no-one thought he was going to play and I wasn’t going to change the team at that late notice.”

The win gives the Knights three wins out of four this year, with Bennett praising his side for their performance, one he believes they would not have been able to win last year.

“We wouldn’t have done it last year, we lost our way in the first half but regrouped at halftime,” he said.

“The most pleasing thing is we’ve backed it up two weeks in a row with a pretty decent performance. It was not as good as last week but it was good enough.”

For Raiders coach David Furner, he was left disappointed and seething at his side’s performances, directing some of the blame towards his halves, especially lamenting their lack of a kicking game.

“Our last play options and kicking game were pretty ordinary in the second half,” Furner said.

“We didn’t give ourselves a chance in the first half, we visited their line four times and didn’t even get a repeat set, it makes it hard,” Furner said.

There was some controversy in the game, though, when Danny Buderus put Blake Ferguson on his backside in what looked like a shoulder charge but was not called – a decision that left Furner rather unimpressed.

“I just saw it again on the video, and I was very surprised,” he said.

“There’s been a lot of hoo-ha about this recently, and what I saw summed it up.

“Going off what we’ve been going off it was most certainly a mandatory penalty.”

3. Adam Cuthbertson
2. Tyrone Roberts
1. Kade Snowden

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *