Tedesco beats 28-year Origin record for tackle busts
James Tedesco turned rubber man at the MCG to claim man of the match honours and bounce his way into the State of Origin record books in the process.
Tedesco trumped all-comers with a try, 224 running metres, two line breaks and a whopping 17 tackle busts in a 22-12 triumph over Queensland.
Those 17 busts are the most recorded by any player on either side of state lines, beating Queensland fullback Gary Belcher who notched 16 busts 28 years ago, coincidentally when Origin was first taken to Melbourne in 1990.
With Billy Slater's retirement from rep football putting the Australian fullback role up for grabs, Tedesco put himself at the front of the queue, clocking an impressive 35.1 km/h - according to Telstra Tracker technology - en route to the try line as he backed up a James Maloney break.
The Maroons could barely contain Tedesco at times as he pinballed his way around the paddock, with the No.1 crediting Fittler's new skin-tight Blues jerseys for playing a part in his opening try.
"I just thought every time there was a quick play the ball I should take them on, Freddy encourages us to take them on," Tedesco told Channel Nine.
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"I saw a bit of lazy work from marker and took them on. Thank Freddy for the tight jerseys, they couldn't handle the tight jerseys.
"He got us to get them all fitted tighter. I think it helped, they couldn't grab them and the boys benefited from it."
With Tedesco (17 tackle busts) and backline rookies Josh Addo-Carr (12) and Latrell Mitchell (11) running riot, NSW forced Queensland into a total of 53 missed tackles – a figure that has only been topped once in the last 10 years by the Maroons.
Tedesco also now averages over 200 metres per game in five Origin matches since debuting in game three, 2016.
Most tackle busts in an Origin
James Tedesco (NSW) 17 tackle busts – Origin I, 2018
Gary Belcher (Queensland) 16 tackle busts – Origin II, 1990
Wendell Sailor (Queensland) 15 tackle busts – Origin II, 1999
Garry Jack (NSW) 14 tackle busts – Origin III, 1987
Michael O'Connor (NSW) 14 tackle busts – Origin III, 1987
Adam MacDougall (NSW) 14 tackle busts – Origin II, 1998
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