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Score to settle: Teddy eyes Origin retribution, not Arrow revenge

James Tedesco was already showered and sitting on the Suncorp Stadium sidelines as his Blues lost to the "worst ever Queensland team".

The NSW skipper watched in a groggy haze last November as Maroons opposite Daly Cherry-Evans clapped back at a media barb Queensland took with them right through to a historic series upset.

Tedesco insists there is no "bad blood" between he and Maroons forward Jai Arrow, whose manhandling of the sky blue star after he copped a knee from Josh Papalii dominated fallout from the 2020 decider.

Coach Brad Fittler told The Sydney Morning over the weekend that he was disappointed NSW teammates didn't step in on Tedesco's behalf when he was knocked out.

For the Blues captain, the chance to atone for that game three defeat and its foggy aftermath is the only score he is intent on settling.

"It was tough, disappointing how it all ended for me and for the team," Tedesco said on Tuesday.

Fittler says Arrow showed a 'lack of respect'

"Obviously I wanted do my best to lead the boys to victory and then I couldn't really do anything about it. It was really unfortunate and that's footy sometimes.

"I was a bit out of it. I came back out for the second half. I don't remember much, even the whole incident I didn't remember what had happened until I watched it back.

"There's definitely some hunger there to get that shield back and to do everything I can personally as a leader and captain to lead our team to victory."

Tedesco relieved to get through light training

For his part, Arrow has offered public and private apologies for his behaviour towards Tedesco in his moment of madness last year, maintaining he did not know the NSW No.1 was unconscious when he picked him up and dropped him.

The incident saw Arrow and family members subjected to social media abuse and death threats, while Roosters forwards painted a target on him earlier this year when he turned out for Souths.

Arrow was as philosophical as a rugby league enforcer gets when quizzed on being a wanted man next Wednesday. Not for nothing, he played a blinder when the Roosters went after him back in March. 

"Whatever comes at me then so be it," Arrow told NRL.com.

"Whether my head is on a platter who knows?"

Tedesco doesn't think it'll come to that, especially given the NRL's hard-line stance on any contact with the head or neck, adding that the only time he recalls the unsavoury clash is when asked about it by reporters.

"Obviously the Roosters boys took it a bit personal, I think just because it's against Souths and there's that rivalry anyway.

"There was a lot of talk about it at the end of last year but there's no bad blood between me and him.

"I don't think anyone's going to go out and take his head off.

"That's kind of the nature of the sport anyway, playing against Queensland is a battle. But I have no personal battle there."

Arrow hopes for Origin leniency

Of the NRL's ongoing crackdown, which the governing body says will not be eased in any way for Origin I, Tedesco said: "We've got to be aware of it because those sin bins and [being] down to 12 men can really change a game.

"It's up to us players to be aware of that. We can't be against it or have a negative attitude towards it. We need to embrace it and do our best to be disciplined."

Tedesco completed light training duties on Tuesday as he nursed a hip injury from the weekend.

The keen golfer sat out while his teammates hit their way around The Coast Golf Club at Little Bay, but Tedesco is in no doubt for next week's trip to Townsville.

 

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