The world of Rugby League.

rleague.com

Newcastle No.7 ready for NRL prelim final

Newcastle halfback Tyrone Roberts was cleared of major injury on Monday, paving the way for a mouth-watering battle with Sydney Roosters counterpart Mitchell Pearce in Saturday night's NRL preliminary final at Allianz Stadium.
Newcastle No.7 ready for NRL prelim final
by AAP

By Rob Forsaith

SYDNEY, Sept 23 AAP - Newcastle halfback Tyrone Roberts was cleared of major injury on Monday, paving the way for a mouth-watering battle with Sydney Roosters counterpart Mitchell Pearce in Saturday night's NRL preliminary final at Allianz Stadium.

Roberts, who suffered a knee injury in the Knights' upset win over reigning premiers Melbourne last Saturday night, will be further assessed at Wednesday's training session but Monday's scans suggest he will be fit to take on the Roosters.

The 22-year-old hyper-extended his right knee in the 77th minute against the Storm, finishing the man-of-the-match performance in a leg brace and with serious doubts about his chances of playing in the grand-final playoff.

"I asked him (Roberts) this morning and he said 'it's all good. The knee is feeling good'," Knights forward Alex McKinnon said at Monday's recovery session.

"Obviously he'll have to do a few little things this week, but he should be right to play this weekend.

"He had a brace on yesterday but he hasn't got it on today, so it's a big step."

So much of Saturday's preliminary final build-up will focus on Sonny Bill Williams and Willie Mason renewing hostilities, especially after their most recent on-field meeting ended with a two-match ban for Williams and a fractured eye socket for Mason.

But the playmaking duel between Pearce and Roberts will also be pivotal in deciding which side progresses to the grand final.

Incumbent NSW State of Origin No.7 Pearce may be more credentialled, but Knights forward Neville Costigan has full confidence in Roberts.

"He (Roberts) is probably the form halfback of the game," Costigan, a premiership winner and former Queensland Origin representative, said.

"He's always been a good player. He's just hitting some good form and he's matured a lot, which is good for us.

"He's been playing pretty well all year, but he's probably just come out of his skin now."

Costigan, who also played under supercoach Wayne Bennett at Brisbane and St George Illawarra, felt the in-form Knights were comparable to those two sides.

"I've been in pretty good teams before like the Dragons and Broncos. I feel that we're up there, the same standard as they were," he said.

"The good thing about us is we've got heaps of confidence as well," he added.

The Knights will have a light week on the track, as they bid to become just the second NRL side after Parramatta in 2009 to make the grand final from seventh or eighth.

"We'll probably have to lay back on training, everyone's a bit more sore and recovery is a massive key for us a the moment," McKinnon said.




Your thoughts?


You need to login or register to contribute here



Follow rleague.com on Facebook

Related Profiles

View profile pages including statistics, results, news, photos and more on all of the following...

Popular News Stories