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THE first field goal of Michael Roberts' rugby league career turned out to be a match-breaker.
With the Queensland Cup on a knife edge at 12-6 to the Dolphins, hooker Roberts nailed a one-pointer from close range to put his side two scoring opportunities ahead.
"I thought the field goal was the turning point and not because I kicked it," Roberts said.
"We had been down their end for five or six sets and had not broken through. I thought if we did that again and failed we might get a bit down.
"There was 10 minutes or so to go and the conditions were in our favour if we could get further ahead. There had been only three tries scored so far in the match so I reckoned it was the way to go."
Roberts had an explanation for him never landing a field goal before. In past seasons he has had senior players such as Tony Gould and Shane Perry to take the responsibility.
"I planned the field goal as soon as packed the scrum," he said. "I placed myself at first receiver and it never looked like missing.
"But that doesn't take it away from our defence, which won us the game. It was just a bit of turning point."
This season Roberts, playing in his fifth Queensland Cup grand final, has assumed the role of a senior player with the Dolphins.
He was playing in his fifth decider and the victory gave him a three-from-five record.
"It was funny that after the field goal things started going our way," he said. "They were in front of a kick-off and started dropping the ball a bit."
Roberts rated the premiership "a pretty special one". "No one away from the Peninsula gave us a chance," he said.
"It was very quick out early on and 20 minutes into the game the coach gave me a break. I was starting to blow a bit but was always the plan.
"The match was a direct contest of their speed and athleticism and our experience and composure. We have a lot of grand final experience and it counts for a lot.
"I mentioned in my speech about the core group of players and everyone knows who they are. There's Troy Lindsay, Adam Starr, Grant Flugge, Danny Burke and myself, all of whom have played together for five or six years while Shane Perry also would have been there."