Finding their ruthless streak is the key to turning around the Wests Tigers’ concerning trend of giving up leads, according to star fullback James Tedesco.
The NRL’s entertainers turned chokers for the second time in three weeks after giving up yet another double-digit lead in Saturday’s 34-26 defeat to Cronulla in Campbelltown.
The Tigers led 16-6 after half an hour against the Sharks before being slowly pegged back in what became a testy affair between the two sides.
The Tigers also blew an early advantage against Gold Coast two weeks ago, kick-starting a three-game losing streak that’s now undone all their good work to start the season.
They were also forced to survive late comebacks in their opening two wins of the year.
“I’m not sure what to put it down to. We’re a pretty fit team,” a dumbfounded Tedesco said.
“Our forwards go forward all day, but we just need to compose ourselves a bit when we do hit the lead, to keep playing footy and not try and protect it.”
The NSW State of Origin fullback candidate admitted he was concerned about their poor second halves.
“We lose our way. The way we play in the first half, everyone knows their job and then we just fall away in the second half,” he said.
“Trying to control the game when we’re in the lead – we just have to learn to do that. We can only do that through experience, going through situations again.”
Tedesco sent a shudder through the Tigers camp when he was floored by an accidental knee from Luke Lewis in the opening minute that resulted in a nasty gash to the side of his head.
He later returned, sparking a three-try burst that helped them gain the ascendancy.
The 23-year-old conceded he was fortunate to come back and finish the game unscathed.
“There’s a bit of a lump there. I copped a good knee, but I think I was lucky it wasn’t too high in the temple,” he said.
“It’s a bit sore, but I got through the game alright. I’ve just got to rest it up. We’ve got an eight-day turnaround so I should be sweet.”
With just two wins from their opening five games, the 10th-placed Tigers next visit Newcastle next Sunday.