No pressure on Manly's tryless Robertson - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No pressure on Manly's tryless Robertson

By Todd Balym 28/04/2009 05:58:31 PM Comments (0)

Stand-in Manly fullback Michael Robertson insists he is not feeling the pressure to be Brett Stewart even though he has yet to score a try this year.

The three-try grand final hero hasn't crossed the white line in 2009 but says his lack of four-pointers isn't because he's struggling to cope with the expectation of replacing Test superstar Stewart.

"Brett's obviously a great player but I'm not Brett," said Robertson.

Robertson has worn the No.1 jersey in all five games Manly have lost without Stewart and has scored just three times in 14 appearances over four years playing fullback.

Stewart scored five tries in his only two appearances of the year - the only two games Manly have won.

But with Stewart sidelined for three months following knee surgery Robertson will have to get comfortable in the custodian role.

His seven-game tryless streak is the second longest of his career - he has twice gone eight games without scoring - but the 26-year-old says breaking the club's drought without Stewart is more important than him scoring a try.

"Sometimes it happens for you, sometimes it doesn't. I'm not worried about scoring tries as long as we can get some wins on the board," said Robertson.

"We're going to have to figure out how to win without him. He is out for a little while and it is something we just have to deal with.

"It is probably more of a media (issue) that we're not winning without him.

"We've created a lot of opportunities but just finishing them off has probably been a bit of a problem for us of late.

"We're only a pass away or a kick away."

Skipper Matt Orford said he feels for Robertson being thrust into a no-win situation replacing arguably the best fullback in the game.

"It's a tough ask to step in and be compared to an Australian fullback like Brett Stewart," said Orford.

"The more time Robbo gets there and the more stability we get with him there I think he will fit in fine.

"He has been very unlucky this year ... he has probably copped a bit of criticism but you can't put it all on Robbo."

Coach Des Hasler said Stewart would not have made any difference in last Saturday's loss to North Queensland, but admits his side is lacking the ability to finish games off without him.

"Maybe you win the game by 30 if Brett's playing. If not, maybe 12," said Hasler.

"We are just not putting sides away ... there are still class players in this side.

"We've been in situations where we've had games well in our keeping and well in our control and whether it be the football gods or whatever we haven't put those football games away.

"Michael Robertson in his own right is a class and quality player ... he's been in plenty of positions to score tries.

"They're not avoiding him, we're just not finishing off a couple of options. He hasn't got a problem scoring tries."

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