Sydney Roosters fullback James Tedesco silenced his critics and led his team to a thrilling one-point victory over the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs on Sunday. Tedesco’s performance included a try-scoring double, a try assist, and a line break. His efforts lifted the Roosters, who went into the matchup with the worst completion rate and fewest tries of any club in the competition, after they fell 12 points behind in the opening 15 minutes.
Despite the Roosters being dominant early and forcing two goal-line dropouts in the opening five minutes, the Bulldogs drew first blood when Tevita Pangai jnr scored from a Matt Burton grubber. The visitors doubled their lead just three minutes later when Josh Addo-Carr and Reed Mahoney combined to take on the Roosters’ right-side defence.
The combination of Tedesco and Luke Keary lifted the Roosters out of their try-scoring rut, with Keary slipping through the Bulldogs’ defensive line and passing to Tedesco to open the scoring for the Roosters. This was followed by a kick in-field from Corey Allan, which Tedesco scooped up to score his 20th NRL double and bring the Roosters back into the game.
Both teams went try-for-try for the majority of the game, with Tedesco creating the opportunity for Joseph Suaalii to score and tie things up at 24-24 with 11 minutes left. With the Roosters trailing by one, it was Luke Keary’s field goal with five minutes left that put them ahead for the first time and sealed the victory for the struggling side.
The win came at an important time for Tedesco, who faced criticism about his position as captain of NSW. However, he demonstrated his resilience and leadership on the field, proving why he is one of the best players in the league.