Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor insists he felt no extra delight in beating Parramatta – the club he almost joined in 2013 – after the joint venture secured a scrappy 22-6 win at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday.
Taylor had agreed terms to take over as Eels coach for the start of the 2014 season and even conducted an interview with the club’s in-house media team about his plans.
However, a huge back flip by the Parramatta board saw the offer withdrawn and the job instead given to Brad Arthur.
The former South Sydney coach returned to the Sydney Roosters to work as Trent Robinson’s assistant before succeeding Mick Potter who was sacked by the Tigers after two underwhelming years in charge.
Despite sporting a wry smile Taylor insisted he’s moved on from the disappointment and was more pleased with his young side’s ability to outlast an injury-hit Eels led 6-4 until 10 minutes from time.
“It’s not something I have thought about at all,” Taylor said.
“I was really happy with most of what we did across the 80 minutes, the finish was on the back of sticking to what we wanted to do and we wore them down in the end.
“The boys defended really well in the first half and that set up the win for us.
“We just want to get better and we are, today was a big improvement on what we’ve been doing.”
The win was set up by a Pat Richards kick on the last tackle when he showed nimble footwork to stay in touch under pressure from John Folau.
Tedesco was then on hand to score what would be the first of three Tigers tries in the last 10 minutes.
The 33-year-old winger scored his side’s third try, which was awarded as an eight-pointer by referee Jared Maxwell, who ruled Will Hopoate had made a high tackle as Richards dotted down.
He finished with a personal haul of 10 points and said he’s revelling in being the elder statesman in one of the youngest teams in the NRL.
“I’m just enjoying my part and my role in the side,” Richards said.
“It was a tough old slog out there at times and we hung in there and we end up getting away with it so it’s a credit to the boys working hard for 80 minutes.”
Parramatta’s defeat extended their miserable record at ANZ Stadium where they have now lost 17 of their last 18 fixtures since 2011 and the team looked a far cry from the one that was so impressive against South Sydney last week.
With five outside backs sidelined before the game and centre Ryan Morgan forced off with concussion there were mitigating circumstances for their lack of firepower, but Arthur said it was no excuse for an error-strewn display.
“We didn’t play to win, we were trying to protect our lead or play not to get beaten,” Arthur said.
“I am not sure if it was a turning point but making three errors with 10 minutes to go and for three sets in a row we didn’t complete coming out of the red zone.
“The injuries probably didn’t help us but it was 6-4 with 12 minutes to go.”