Teddy shows winning Roosters what’s ahead

James Tedesco will no doubt keep the Sydney Roosters among the NRL’s elite for years to come, but on Saturday night he almost derailed their top four hopes.

Tedesco helped turn the Tigers’ 16-0 deficit into an 18-16 lead at Allianz Stadium, before the Roosters fought back late to claim a 22-18 victory.

The win leaves the Roosters third on the ladder with two rounds to play.

However it may have come at a cost, with forward Jared Waerea-Hargreaves likely to find himself in trouble with the match review committee for a late and errant elbow on Tigers five-eighth Tuimoala Lolohea after a kick.

Tedesco first helped spark his team’s comeback as he crossed on the half-time siren to reduce the lead to four at the break, before he put Lolohea away in the 60th minute to give the Tigers an unlikely lead.

The pass was blatantly forward, but it did little to take away from the fullback’s dominance.

He pulled off a crucial diving bat down on a Roosters pass just as they looked set to score with 15 minutes to play, and had another try-saver when he slowed runaway winger Blake Ferguson minutes later.

But when Latrell Mitchell crossed with seven minutes to play in the left corner to give the Roosters a lead they never relinquished.

“He’s a good player,” Roosters coach Trent Robinson said of Tedesco.

“He showed that tonight. The thing is if you feel like you’ve got a team under control and a player like him pops up and creates change in the opposition in a major way, he did that tonight.

“He made a huge difference to the scoreline and the way the pressure against us.”

It was also a reminder to Wests Tigers coach Ivan Cleary of the talent the club was losing, despite the fact they have come forward in leaps and bounds this season.

“You’ve just got to enjoy him while he is here,” Cleary said.

“We’re never going to be able to replace him. There’s no James Tedesco’s sitting in a tree.

“We just have to play a little bit differently. The fact he’s left has allowed us to create a different squad. That’s life.”

The Tigers could also be without Elijah Taylor for the final two rounds after he injured his shoulder and ribs, while halfback Luke Brooks will require scans on his hamstring.

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