Loss of Roberts adds injury to insult for Brisbane

Origin speedster James Roberts lasted just five minutes as Brisbane went down 22-12 to Melbourne at AAMI Park and he faces an anxious wait for tests on a lower back injury.

It's unclear at this stage how long Roberts will spend on the sidelines but new Broncos coach Anthony Seibold didn't have too much encouraging news for Brisbane fans after the match.

"Jimmy is not real flash to be fair," Seibold said after his side's 10-point defeat.

"He hurt a disk in his back, or he felt an issue with his back on pretty much his first carry.

"We will see how Jimmy pulls up tomorrow morning and get the doctor to assess him.

"He was in a fair bit of pain. He is not lying down," the coach said. 

"He certainly couldn’t have come back on was pretty much the message from the medical staff straight away."

Storm fullback Jahrome Hughes had just scored the first try for the new NRL season, when Roberts appeared to be in trouble.

He grabbed his lower back and couldn't walk without limping.

Roberts, who made his NSW Origin debut last year, was assisted up the tunnel at AAMI Park by trainers and by the time he made it to the Broncos shed, he could barely walk.

Kotoni Staggs came off the Broncos bench to move into Roberts' right centre position.

Despite the loss of Roberts, the Broncos battled valiantly on defence and could have easily pinched the game after they closed to within four points (16-12) when Corey Oates scored twice in quick succession around the hour mark.

"I am really proud of the effort and that is the benchmark for effort as far as I am concerned," Seibold said, after his first NRL game in charge of Brisbane since moving up from South Sydney in December last year.

"The easy thing to do would have been to throw in the towel.

"With only 12 minutes to go we were only four points down after being dominated field-position wise and possession-wise.

"The guys showed a lot of grit and showed a lot of what we are trying to do defensively."

Seibold is counting on his Broncos being able to replicate that defence when they host the Cowboys in eight days time at Suncorp Stadium.

"The effort was extremely high tonight," Seibold said.

"To get ourselves back in the game with 15 minutes to go showed a lot of grit.

"We just spoke about it and that is the benchmark we want to set for effort."