Despite the Wests Tigers’ lowly position on the ladder, James Tedesco says he’s glad he back-flipped on his decision to join Canberra last year.
Tedesco will be back to haunt the Raiders next Monday when the Tigers travel to the nation’s capital fresh off restoring some pride to their season with a drought-breaking 34-16 win over Melbourne.
The star fullback went to yet another level against the Storm at Leichhardt Oval on Friday night when he orchestrated one of the upsets of the season.
Twice the Tigers were asked to come from behind and twice it was Tedesco that came up with the decisive plays as he scored two tries and set up another two.
His demonstrated a full array of skills – burning Marika Koroibete for pace with his first. He showed great vision to run a lovely line off a Mitchell Moses short ball for his second. While he displayed a swift set of hands to set up Kevin Naiqama in the shadows of halftime.
The injury-prone 22-year-old – who has twice had his season ended due to knee injuries – sent a shiver through the Tigers camp in the second half when he went down clutching at his leg.
However he was quickly cleared of an ankle issue and will be fit for a tense clash with Canberra at GIO Stadium next week.
Raiders fans would have been ruing Tedesco’s decision to stick with the Tigers after watching him pick apart the Storm.
The Tigers have had little joy this year, winning just six games however Tedesco said he had no regrets, insisting progress was being made.
“Even though we’re not where we want to be ladder-wise, I’m glad I could stay and happy to be playing for the Tigers,” Tedesco said.
“We still enjoy each other’s company, enjoy coming to training and we’ve stayed positive through these tough times.
“If we keep this group of players it’s going to be good times ahead.”
Tigers skipper Robbie Farah, who helped convince Tedesco to stay at Concord, described him as the kind of player they could build a team around.
“He’s a special player and I’d hate to think how we’d be going if we didn’t have him this year,” Farah said.
“He’s only going to get better and in my opinion he’s already one of the best fullbacks in the competition.
“He’s going to be pushing for higher honours next year.
“He’s been outstanding for us this year and I’m glad he’s still at the Tigers.”