After being hailed as one of the signing coups of 2016, scintillating centre James Roberts has largely disappointed in his first season in Brisbane.
The former Souths, Penrith and Gold Coast flyer – who top-scored for the Titans last year with 16 tries – crossed the stripe just four times in his first 16 games for the Broncos, struggling to have the expected impact as retired club legend Justin Hodges’ replacement.
Roberts was touted as a front-line contender for a NSW Origin debut in the pre-season, but he only rated a passing mention during the interstate selection debates, with the Blues preferring Michael Jennings, Josh Morris, Dylan Walker and Josh Dugan as their centres during the series loss.
But despite the Broncos’ recent struggles, ‘Jimmy the Jet’ is beginning to produce the form that had fans salivating over his arrival at Red Hill.
Roberts has now scored in each of his last four outings, including sizzling long-range efforts in the past fortnight against two of his former clubs, the Rabbitohs and Panthers, which showcased his peerless speed and brilliant evasion.
If the Broncos are to resurrect their 2016 campaign, the Kempsey product will play a key role in a three-quarter line that has been buffeted by injuries throughout the season.