It appears they’ve lost their Teddy but the Wests Tigers deny they’re toothless without their star No.1.
The Tigers’ charge towards an unlikely top-eight berth copped a double hammer blow on Saturday when fullback James Tedesco suffered a suspected broken jaw in their 19-18 loss to a Jarryd Hayne-led Gold Coast.
It was reported that the Tigers star No.1 had been diagnosed with a broken jaw but coach Jason Taylor insisted it was too early to tell.
Tedesco was assisted from Campbelltown Stadium after being collared by Titans prop Ryan James and was taken to hospital, with the club sweating on the results of scans.
The 23-year-old has been a shining light for the club this year and it’s hard to imagine them being a force without him.
Coming into round 23, the NSW Origin custodian was fifth on the league try-scorer’s list with 14, and is in the top ten for several major attacking stats including linebreaks and tackle busts.
However, Taylor insisted they were more than a one-man team and rubbished suggestions they were a spent force without him.
Asked if they could still make the top eight, Taylor said: “Absolutely.
“It’s on the back of our performances and we were still behind when James went off and the guys really rallied so there’s no reason we can’t do that.
“Jordan Rankin (who filled in for Tedesco at fullback) was superb so the confidence is still high but we have to get on with it.”
The Tigers are in 10th on 24 points but will find themselves three points outside the eight if Penrith defeat last-placed Newcastle on Sunday.
Their cause was helped when Warriors suffered a surprise loss to South Sydney on Saturday however Taylor’s team have a tough run home against the Panthers, Warriors and Canberra.
They will be boosted by the return of halfback Luke Brooks next week after he missed the last fortnight with a knee injury.