Bron­cos win race for Jimmy the Jet


THE Jet will not be de­part­ing Bris­bane, with light­ning cen­tre James Roberts to ink a new deal with the Bron­cos.

Roberts will be­come the lat­est player to com­mit to Wayne Ben­nett’s pre­mier­ship pur­suit at Red Hill when he signs off on a likely three- year ex­ten­sion, pos­si­bly as early as next week.

Roberts ripped the Bull­dogs apart with a scin­til­lat­ing twotry per­for­mance at Sun­corp Sta­dium on Thurs­day night to prove he could be Bris­bane’s X- fac­tor in the Septem­ber fi­nals se­ries.

The 24- year- old took his sea­son tally to 13 tries in 17 games in the Can­ter­bury maul­ing, bust­ing six tack­les and run­ning for 149m.

It was feared Roberts may leave Bris­bane in search of more money, but stand- in Bron­cos cap­tain Adam Blair said he had to stay at Red Hill to re­alise his po­ten­tial.

“This is where he should be,” he said. “It’s a good place for him to be. He seems to be en­joy­ing him­self.

“We all know there is a salary cap and we can’t keep ev­ery­one here but we’ve signed pretty much ev­ery­one up. It would be good to see Jimmy hang around.

“He is so fast and strong. He is great to have in your team, es­pe­cially when you get tir­ing for­wards around the mid­dle.

“He is some­one that can take the game on, on his own. It’s great to see he’s en­joy­ing him­self.”

Roberts had in­ter­est from Syd­ney NRL clubs but the Bron­cos will re­ward him for the form he has shown this sea­son with an up­graded deal.

The for­mer Rabbitohs, Pan­thers and Ti­tans speed­ster has had a sta­ble sea­son af­ter at­tend­ing a re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre in Thai­land last year fol­low­ing off- field in­ci­dents.

Bron­cos util­ity Benji Mar­shall said Ben­nett’s in­flu­ence had helped turn Roberts’ ca­reer around.

“He’s had a few dra­mas at other places off the field,” Mar­shall said.

“With the help of Wayne and guys he has around him, it keeps him pretty grounded here. You can see that hap­pi­ness is re­flect­ing on the field.”

James Roberts.

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