Tedesco expects Origin axe despite role in Roosters win

Scott Bailey |

James Tedesco has conceded he will likely lose his NSW State of Origin jersey despite starring in the Sydney Roosters’ 28-18 win over Parramatta.

Less than 24 hours before Michael Maguire is set to pick his Blues side for Origin II, Tedesco was the Roosters’ best at a wet CommBank Stadium on Saturday night.

The Roosters fullback was heavily involved as his team shot out to a 16-0 halftime lead, before the Eels fought back to hold an 18-16 advantage after the break.

Ultimately the Roosters did enough to claim the win, with Daniel Tupou going over in the left corner with 15 minutes to play, before Angus Crichton sealed the victory.

Mitch Moses made his case for an Origin return in NSW’s halves, scoring a try to kick off the Eels’ comeback late in the first half.

NSW Origin hopeful Mitch Moses races away for his try against the Roosters. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

The No.7 had plenty of involvements, but for the second week in a row couldn’t get Parramatta across the line in a close finish.

He is now locked in a battle with Nicho Hynes, Cody Walker and Jarome Luai for two halves spots.

But the man who made the biggest statement on Saturday was Tedesco.

The Roosters captain expects to lose his NSW jersey to Dylan Edwards, provided the Penrith fullback gets through his Sunday clash against Newcastle unscathed.

But after Tedesco was called into Blues camp late for Origin I and had a mixed night in place of an injured Edwards, he starred in his first game back in the NRL.

The fullback threw the last pass to Fetalaiga Pauga for the Roosters’ first try, and also set up Tupou as the Tricolours shot out to a 16-0 lead.

He was also involved in Tupou’s second try that put the Roosters back ahead, sending the ball out the back to Crichton, who put the winger over.

Daniel Tupou scored two tries for the Roosters. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

The Roosters No.1 finished the game with a try-saver on Blaize Talagi, to go with his four tackle busts and 178 metres with ball in hand.

But still, Tedesco expects Edwards will claim the Origin spot.

“I’m not sure, there’s not really much I can do,” Tedesco said.

“If Dyl is fit and plays, I think he goes back in, that’s the way I see it. Who knows. Anything can happen, so we’ll see.”

The result ensures the Roosters will finish the round in fifth spot, and put another nail in Parramatta’s faint finals hopes with their 10th defeat of 2024.

Seemingly out of the contest for most of the first half after an early Kelma Tuilagi sin-bin for a dangerous throw set the tone, the Eels sparked to life just before the break.

They scored tries either side of halftime, with Roosters enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves in the sin bin for a high tackle.

Jared Waerea-Hargeaves (c) earned another stint in the sin bin for a high tackle. (Dan Himbrechts/AAP PHOTOS)

Moses was the first to cross after Junior Paulo put Reagan Campbell-Gillard in a hole, before Dylan Brown stepped past three Roosters for the Eels’ next.

A Talagi try then made it 16-16, with Bryce Cartwright offloading at will and rolling through the Roosters defence to take control of the game.

Parramatta then had the lead when Lindsay Collins was penalised for dissent, but couldn’t hold on as the Roosters’ class on the edges told.

Still, interim coach and former Blues half Trent Barrett insisted Moses should be the man for NSW at No.7.

“He was good, he did some really good things again,” Barrett said.

“Mitch is three games back from his foot [injury]. I think from a State of Origin point of view, I think he’s our best option.”