Targeting Tedesco pointless: McCrone
Canberra halfback Josh McCrone says targeting Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco this week will be pure folly for his teammates.
"He's not going to help us hold onto the football. It's not too much of a focus for us," McCrone told NRL.com this week.
Saturday night's clash against the Raiders will be the first time Tedesco meets the team that he backflipped on last month, reneging on a lucrative four-year deal that would have made him the franchise face of the club.
And while Raiders players might have privately been fuming about the snub, if the 21-year-old performs anything like he did against Newcastle three weeks ago, seeking revenge could blow up in their faces.
"He was impressive that game he had against the Knights. I had a bit of a look at it. So hopefully he doesn't perform to that standard because he's a quality player," McCrone continued.
"He's fortunate enough to stay at the Tigers and he's playing with his mates. I won't be surprised if he has a big game."
Tigers prop Keith Galloway said his teammate was fortunate the grudge match would be played in his home town of Campbelltown, as opposed to the chilling reception he would've met in Canberra.
"I think he'll be right. It's another game of footy, it's our home game. We're not playing in Canberra in front of their home crowd where he's going to be booed by the whole crowd," Galloway said.
"He's proven the calibre of player he is. I don't think he has to prove anything. Obviously the press will be talking about it, but it's our home game."
Teammate Curtis Sironen said the side's morale had lifted since Tedesco reneged on the deal, adding he believed the Raiders would target Tedesco regardless.
"When you've got a quality player in the side anyway, they're going to try and give him a bit anyway just to throw him off his game. I don't think they'll give him any more than they would. Teddy will be alright. He's a big boy," he said.
"Teddy moving to Canberra, it would've been hard, one of your good mates moving away. We weren't happy about it.
"But for him staying, team morale, when he made the decision, we were all up. We went into the Newcastle game, we can tell there was a bit of excitement. It was disappointing [against the Rabbitohs] but hopefully we can get that going again. He's here now so we'll make the most of it."
Meanwhile, as veteran Liam Fulton deliberates on his long-term future in the game, the club has been boosted by the progress of utility Tim Moltzen.
The 25-year-old began training with the team last week and while he is still a few weeks away from contact, his return to the paddock is a positive sign in his recovery.
"He's had it tough for a while. He's bounced back from injuries and he's back out with the team. So he's a really good bloke and he deserves all the luck he can get from here on. It's good to see," Galloway said.
"It's obviously a good sign that he's running around. Obviously there's a process where he's got to tick a heap of boxes, but he's taken a few steps now, so it's really good."