Tedesco's form building at the right time
Roosters fullback and likely NSW custodian James Tedesco picked a good time to produce his best game of the season - but his coach Trent Robinson said any questions over the former Tiger's season to date are misplaced.
Tedesco was everywhere in a 34-14 win over the Titans at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday, scoring once off a Jake Friend grubber and beating half the Titans side to set up Mitchell Aubusson to seal the win.
He finished with eight tackle busts and 201 metres in a game where he was a constant threat around the ruck and in support.
Tedesco, perhaps wary of the building Origin hype and challenge from Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic, elected not to speak to waiting media after his match-winning effort but his coach had praise not only for his round 12 efforts but his season to date.
"Tedesco was really present pushing around those [rucks]; they created some momentum there and we were able to capitalise," Robinson said after the game.
"I think Teddy's been playing really well for us for a long time. I think we're sitting lowest tries against in the competition and the fullback's got a lot to do with that.
"He's really organised [our defence] well, he's carrying a lot around the rucks and terrorising those rucks so I feel like he's been really strong."
Robinson publicly stated the team's attacking structures had changed after the round eight Anzac Day loss to the Dragons and admitted those changes had suited the attack-minded fullback as well.
"It has, you can see it has [suited him]," Robinson said.
"He's had a big impact on the way we've attacked."
There are plenty of possible NSW reps in the Roosters side with skipper Boyd Cordner a certainty and Cordner's fellow left-edge players Luke Keary and Latrell Mitchell vying for debuts. Right winger Blake Ferguson is in the conversation.
Mitchell had a deeply underwhelming first half with just one carry and some defensive lapses as the Titans earned a 14-6 advantage.
He produced one monster run for a try and some better defence in the second half before a stint in the sin-bin on the back of repeated penalties against his team.
"I think there was a lot of emotion there for him [when he scored]," Robinson said.
"The first half wasn't to his liking so he really wanted to come out in the second half and push a bit harder, went down the short side, Boyd passed to Latrell which opened up that gap, he hit a really good angle, he scored that try and forced a couple of errors there with some better defence in the second half."