He came with big wraps but is only now showing why he is a player of the future – injuries prevented him from doing so earlier – as Penrith Panthers winger James Roberts nabbed a hat-trick in the Panthers 40-18 rout of the Gold Coast Titans at TIO Stadium in Darwin.
It was on the back of five unanswered tries that saw the Panthers record a comprehensive win, after the scores were deadlocked at 12-all at the half-time break.
It was the second consecutive disappointing performance from the Titans, who were not in the best of shape despite solid debuts by both Jahrome Hughes and Hymel Hunt.
Titans captain Greg Bird said that as of right now, it comes down to desire and his club just do not have that.
“There’s not enough desire and Electronic Cigarette want, I think, and that shows,” admitted Titans captain Greg Bird.
“We wanted to make amends and put that one behind us down in Newcastle, but I guess we replicated the performance.”
Roberts was not the only Penrith player to stand up, with veterans David Simmons and Kevin Kingston also turning in good performances, as did interchange hooker James Segeyaro.
With the Panthers not expecting such a big win, in-form centre Dean Whare admitted that it was a surprise to record the victory.
“We came up two days early to try and combat this heat, and we won it in the first 10 minutes of both halves,” he said.
“We went in with a game plan … and the Titans were just unlucky there.”
3. James Roberts
2. Dean Whare
1. Kevin Kingston