A bemused Jason Taylor has queried why James Tedesco isn’t yet part of the NSW State of Origin set up after the Wests Tigers star almost helped create one of the boilovers of the NRL season.
Melbourne led 26-0 at halftime at AAMI Park on Sunday and were seemingly headed for another massive NRL win, two weeks after their 46-0 humiliation of Sydney Roosters.
But a Tedesco-inspired Tigers fought back to within six points against the second-placed Storm, who boast the best defensive unit in the competition, before Melbourne closed the game out for a 29-20 win.
Tedesco led the way for the Tigers in scoring the opening try just three minutes into the second half and was a threat with the ball throughout.
It was the sort of performance that should force NSW coach Laurie Daley’s hand after Tedesco was overlooked for State of Origin II.
He was ineligible for the series opener due to a shoulder injury.
“He’d done enough to warrant an Origin call-up a few weeks ago, he wasn’t in Origin one because he was injured and he should’ve been in Origin two and he should be in Origin three,” Taylor said.
“I think it’s pretty simple. It’s clear to see. I don’t understand why he’s not there and he should be there for game three.”
Tedesco has heard all they hype before.
“I try and do my best every week and if they think that’s good enough for a spot I will take it with both hands,” he said.
However Tedesco’s sublime form wasn’t enough for the 12th placed Tigers, who suffered their 11th loss in 12 games in Melbourne.
Earlier on Sunday, Canberra moved back inside the NRL top eight with a 30-22 victory over Gold Coast at Robina.
In other round 16 results, Penrith held off South Sydney late for a 28-26 win at the foot of the Blue Mountains to open the round on Friday night.
St George Illawarra accounted for Newcastle 30-18 at Hunter Stadium on Saturday afternoon in Josh Dugan’s return from an elbow injury.
Cronulla recorded a club record-equalling 11th successive win on the back of a James Maloney golden point field goal 19-18 at Shark Park.
On Saturday night, Brett Morris scored three tries in his first game this year in his comeback from a knee injury as Canterbury beat Brisbane 40-14 at ANZ Stadium.
On Monday North Queensland and Manly conclude the round in Townsville.
Parramatta and Sydney Roosters have the bye.