Rugby League

Tedesco leads Roosters to thrilling win over Bulldogs

June 4, 2023 7:19 pm

[Source: NRL News]

Roosters skipper James Tedesco proved he is still one of the game’s leading fullbacks, steering the Roosters to a narrow 25-24 victory over the Bulldogs at Gosford.

Back in the Tricolours after suffering a 26-18 loss to the Maroons in Wednesday’s State of Origin series opener, the Blues skipper had a point to prove, silencing critics with a performance consisting of two tries, one try assist, 11 tackle breaks and 190 run metres.

Late inclusions into the Bulldogs lineup, Blues teammates Josh Addo-Carr and Tevita Panagi Junior stood up in Cameron Ciraldo’s side but losing hooker Reed Mahoney to a head knock in the first half, the Bulldogs couldn’t capitalise in the back end of the match.

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Forward Pangai Junior was quick to assure no signs of Origin fatigue, powering downfield to scoop up a loose ball at pace to score under the sticks, drawing first blood for the Bulldogs.

Up and about, the Dogs went back-to-back three minutes later when Addo-Carr broke Roosters defenders before finding Mahoney on the inside who crashed over for just his second try as a Bulldog. Another successful Matt Burton conversion put the visitors in front by six.

Come the 17th minute and Tedesco got his side on the board, pushing up to support a Luke Keary linebreak to score beside the posts.

After a week of criticism following his Blue’s series opener defeat on Wednesday, Tedesco was looking out to make a statement, gathering a Corey Allan kick to go back-to-back in just four minutes for the tricolours and lock up the scores 12-12.

Just one minute before half-time, the Tricolours fullback looked to bag his third try for the half off the back of five-eighth Joey Manu but the try was ruled out for obstruction by Nat Butcher in the lead up and the score was tied up at the break.

Two minutes into the second half and the Bulldogs broke the deadlock with Blues winger Addo-Carr streaking away from inside his own half, burning Roosters centre Joseph Suaali’i to score his seventh try in just seven games this season.

Ten minutes into the first half Tedesco burst out of dummy-half and broke through Bulldogs defenders before finding winger Junior Pauga in support to cross on his club debut.

But four minutes later, the Dogs had all the momentum off several Roosters errors and a pin-point Matt Burton kick found Addo-Carr who scored his second try of the term and the Bulldogs were back in front by six.

Bringing the Gosford fans to their feet again, the Roosters struck back with centre Suaali’i going over untouched for his first try since Round 1 and the scoreboard was locked for the third time of the match.

With five minutes to play, the Roosters hit the lead when Keary calmly slotted a clutch field goal to put his side in front and that was enough to seal the two points in the tightly contested Round 14 match.