Roberts to oversee Taylor's NRL education
Titans five-eighth Tyrone Roberts has vowed to use his NRL experience to usher in the next generation of Gold Coast playmakers, starting with his current halves partner Ashley Taylor.
The combination between Roberts and Taylor has shown promising signs in the opening three rounds of the competition with Roberts releasing more of the leash on Taylor with each game in the top grade.
Taylor scored his first try in the NRL after combining well on the left side with Josh Hoffman in Saturday's win over the Wests Tigers while Roberts kicked perfectly for Nene Macdonald's try and showed that he and Chris McQueen will form a dangerous partnership on Gold Coast's right edge.
The 30-18 victory that sees the Titans sitting sixth ahead of a trip to Canberra on Saturday was a milestone 100th NRL game for Roberts and he knows that with that experience comes responsibility for those around him.
"I've done my apprenticeship, I know that, and I've experienced ups and downs," Roberts said.
"I went through tough times and I know what's expected every week. I can talk to the young blokes coming through, especially Ash.
"Me and Ash get along well and I know when he's having a bad day. I've been there and done that and that's what's so good at the moment. He knows what's expected and always listens to me.
"He's always at my house now so it feels like my little brother. He's just another brother.
"I've just got to teach him what I know and hopefully he can take it in. He's got some talent and it's his time to shine.
"I remember when I first started I was just hungry and loved it and he's loving it at the moment."
Titans coach Neil Henry was measured in his appraisal of Taylor following Saturday's win over the Wests Tigers with his defence on the left still an area of concern.
But for all the knocks and criticism he will inevitably receive playing in the NRL, Roberts said the key to longevity in the halves is not to dwell on past mistakes.
"You've just got to spit out the divots. If we make an error we've just got to spit it straight out," Roberts said.
"We can't carry our divots because the more we carry our divots the more errors we're going to make and the more it's going to affect the team.
"They need us halves to be upbeat and that's what's expected from us."
To reach a century of NRL games marked a significant achievement for Roberts who moved from Ballina at the age of 14 to further his education and rugby league opportunities in Newcastle.
Early on he desperately wanted to return to his family but his mother and father convinced him to stay on where he completed his schooling through until the end of Year 12 and played 97 games for the Knights between 2011 and 2015.
"Being a young person, the average is like 24 games in the NRL and once you get in the hundred club you know you have achieved a milestone," said the 24-year-old who was reluctant to talk about his 100th game until after it was finished.
"Anyone that plays 100 games in the sport you love is something to take away.
"All that support, all the fans, you take a look back down memory lane and realise how many people supported you and looked after you growing up.
"I'm a proud Indigenous man and to move away from my family when I was 14 was really tough.
"Mum and dad drilled it into me, they knew what was expected and what talent I had but the main focus when I did move away was education.
"I was the first one to go to Year 12 in my family which was the goal that I set when I moved away and the rest took care of itself."