James Tedesco has moved ever closer to his NSW State of Origin debut after a stunning defensive effort in Wests Tigers’ loss to Parramatta.
And NSW hooker Robbie Farah has joined the chorus of calls from those who want the fullback in a Blues jersey.
Tedesco has been one of the NRL’s most potent attacking players over the opening month of the NRL season, but it was his efforts without the ball in the Tigers’ 8-0 defeat to the Eels at ANZ Stadium on Easter Monday that would have had Blues coach Laurie Daley grinning.
The Tigers No.1 stopped a rampaging Semi Radradra dead in his tracks just short of the tryline early in the first half.
He then backed that up to hold up a stepping Michael Jennings over the line after the break.
It didn’t ensure a Tigers win, the sole try in the match a Junior Paulo touchdown midway through the second half, but it kept the home side well and truly in the contest.
“Attacking wise it probably wasn’t our best game or his (Tedesco’s) best game but they are the sorts of plays that you expect and want from an Origin player,” Farah said.
“Everybody says a try saved in Origin is as good as a try scored and a couple of those tackles he came up with would have caught the eye of the selectors watching.”
Farah said he had had talks with Daley about Tedesco.
“I have a high opinion of James and whenever I am asked it, I give it,” Farah said.
“But if he keeps playing the way he does, it doesn’t matter what I think or what anyone else says, his performances will speak for themselves.”
Tedesco is the leading tryscorer in the NRL after four rounds and Farah’s support comes after Blues skipper Paul Gallen and Tigers coach Jason Taylor had already declared last year’s City Origin representative ready for the interstate arena.
“He is a tough kid and people underestimate that. He is not the smallest bloke in the world and the best fullbacks in the comp come up with tackles like that and so did he,” Farah said.
The win moved Parramatta to 3-1 while the Tigers slipped to 2-2 after the opening month of the season.
In the earlier games in the NRL’s fourth round, Canterbury thumped a Sam Burgess-less South Sydney 42-12 in their traditional Easter Friday clash.
Later that night, Anthony Milford kicked the match-winning field goal in extra time in Brisbane’s 21-20 win over North Queensland at Suncorp Stadium.
Canberra suffered their first loss of the season to Gold Coast 24-20 on Saturday in the nation’s capital as the Titans move to 3-1.
Sydney Roosters are 0-4 after going down 22-20 to Manly at Allianz Stadium on Saturday night.
A late Gareth Widdop conversion was the difference in St George Illawarra’s 14-12 defeat of Penrith at Wollongong on Sunday.
The Warriors won their first match of the season in Auckland on Monday, defeating Newcastle 40-12.