James Tedesco is optimistic that the NSW Blues‘ pick-and-stick mentality will not backfire against Queensland in the State of Origin opener. Tedesco, along with several other key players, has faced criticism this year over his performances. However, he remains confident that he and others will find form around each other.
While Tom Trbojevic‘s form was also questioned earlier in the season, his hat-trick for Manly just before the Origin side was selected gave him a boost. Five-eighth Jarome Luai also had question marks over his selection, but Tedesco believes he has adapted well to a new left edge. Others, such as Liam Martin and Tevita Pangai, have had limited game time.
Critics have also questioned why Dylan Edwards was not selected in the 17, despite being a standout backline player in the NRL this year. The in-form Nicho Hynes was also only named on the bench for the Blues. Despite these concerns, Tedesco is confident that questions over the form of key players will prove irrelevant come game day.
He believes that he and Trbojevic, in particular, have been under-performing due to their club teams’ struggles. However, being around players who are confident and playing good footy will rub off on him and the team. Tedesco pointed to his second half against the Cowboys last Friday as proof, where he benefited from more ball and territory.
For Tedesco, it’s about getting the team playing well as a team, instead of individuals trying to do too much. He knows that when everyone is doing their job, it allows him to play his best footy. Tedesco believes that the team’s success is linked to having momentum and field position, which will give him the opportunity to create opportunities.
After breaking camp for the weekend, the NSW Blues will return to training on Sunday. They are hopeful that Daniel Saifiti will participate in that session, before the group travels to Adelaide on Monday morning.