Josh Roberts out for the season with broken leg
IN a massive blow to Norths Tigers title hopes inspirational captain and five-eighth Josh Roberts is out for the season after breaking his leg in the clash with Brothers.
Norths went on to win the Ipswich A Grade encounter 34-24 on Saturday night but the fallout was what everyone was talking about.
Coach Anthony O'Brien said his captain and five-eighth would be a huge loss but added that he had a classy replacement in Lewis Smith ready to fill the void.
Roberts was resting at home yesterday after having his leg put in a cast at Ipswich Hospital.
O'Brien, who had just got off the phone to Roberts, said the break happened early in the first half at Brother Seery Oval.
"He broke his tibia,” O'Brien said.
"It was a bit innocuous and he said there was a twist in the tackle, just one of those footy incidents that happen.
"It is a huge loss for us and for the competition really, but we have Lewis Smith who played the first round when Josh was out with his baseball commitments.
"Young Lewis has been going well in reserve grade and it is a chance for him to take ownership of that spot.
"He has a big future in this A Grade competition. It is just that he's had Josh and Westy (Steve West). There is a progression plan in place.”
The club still has veteran half West on board to guide the ship. West was the player of the match in the win over Brothers.
"Westy took control of things and took ownership of the side,” O'Brien said.
"Ricky Mato out in the centres was a handful all day and Chris Porter and Chris Turner in the middle were good.
"It wasn't an easy win. It was a game where we had to keep plugging away at things.”
Norths could still finish in the top two and O'Brien has forwards Chris Scanlan, Gerico Cecil and Joseph Wegert to return.
Roberts will go back to the doctors this week to get another x-ray and determine whether he needs surgery.
"But it was a clean break and hopefully for his sake it will be all good,” O'Brien said.
In the other Saturday night clash, Goodna Eagles beat West End 62-22 with centre Amanaia Tanielu and winger Ratu Waqanivalu both scoring hat-tricks.
Ramon Filipine and Alex Tupuse notched two tries each.
Coach Laurie Campbell said his side's razzle dazzle was a feature.
"We scored some really good footy tries,” he said.
"The players stuck to their game plan and that set it up with their shape out wide.
"Our halves Corey Kirk and Alby Talipeau led the team around and our forward pack was good.
"We debuted Folau Matangi and two Reserve graders, Josh Shadford and Chris Moore, and they all went well.”
Kirk captained the side for Goodna Indigenous Appreciation Round and did his culture proud, as did all of the Eagles.
"It was a special day for Corey and he really stood up. It was great day and we had a nice welcoming ceremony,” Campbell said.
"The (Indigenous) jerseys were auctioned off at the end and they made quite a few thousand dollars.''