Teddy dazzles but Roosters sneak home over Tigers
A JAMES Tedesco clinic wasn't enough to get his Wests Tigers over the line against the club he will join in 2018.
Tedesco was the star of the show but to no avail, as the Tigers fell 22-18 to a gritty Roosters outfit in wet conditions at Allianz Stadium.
The Bondi boys started hot and rushed out to a 16-0 lead within half an hour, but blew the advantage to let the Tigers creep in front midway through the second half.
Ivan Cleary's troops scored 18 unanswered points and it was Tedesco who flicked the switch for the club destined to finish in the bottom half on the ladder.
He scored a try of his own and then set up Tui Lolohea to steal the lead in the 60th minute, although Tedesco's final pass inside to his teammate was about three metres forward and missed by the sideline referee.
Tedesco also pulled off direct trysaving plays, two of which were late in the game and prevented the Chooks from retaking the lead.
But in the end it was his future teammates who got the chocolates thanks to a Latrell Mitchell four-pointer and a Michael Gordon sideline conversion in the final 10 minutes.
Tedesco ran for 154 metres and registered two linebreaks, six tackle breaks, a try and that try assist.
He later admitted he had mixed emotions heading into the game against the team he will join in just a couple of months.
"I didn't want to think about it too much, I'm excited about next year but want to finish this season well with the Tigers," Tedesco told Fox League post-game.
The Roosters hit the board first when Jared Waerea-Hargreaves produced a stunning offload to find halfback Mitchell Pearce who dived over under the posts.
They almost scored their second just minutes later when Mitchell darted down the sideline and kicked infield perfectly, only for Gordon to spill the bouncing ball with the tryline just metres away.
But the Tigers coughed up possession immediately and it lead to Aidan Guerra walking through a gaping hole to score on the next play.
The Roosters were dealt a blow when experienced forwards Boyd Cordner and Waerea-Hargreaves were ordered off for a HIA after colliding trying to tackle Josh Aloiai.
But the Chooks couldn't be stopped, and Mitchell Aubusson extended the lead with a ripping try in the corner in the 28th minute.
Then it was skipper Jake Friend who spilt the ensuing kick-off, handing the Tigers prime attacking ball.
They capitalised when Luke Brooks laid a great pass on the chest of Aloiai who crashed over the line to make it 16-6.
Then Gordon spilt a Tigers bomb minutes later and in the next set Tedesco found the tryline to make it 16-12 at half time.
Waerea-Hargreaves got the second half underway by being placed on report for throwing an elbow into the face of Lolohea after a kick.
Then the Roosters were robbed when Tedesco broke through the defence and ran, but then threw a wildly forward pass to Lolohea who sprinted away to score under the posts.
The converted try handed Tigers a 18-16 lead but it should have been called back by the sideline referees.
Then it was Tedesco who saved a certain Roosters try by knocking down a pass from Cordner to Ryan Matterson.
And the future Rooster did it again minutes later when he ankle tapped a charging Blake Ferguson and then scooped up the loose ball to regain possession.
But it was the Roosters who struck next, breaking the Tigers onslaught when Gordon threw a ball to winger Mitchell who took the overlap to score.
Gordon then slotted the conversion from the sideline to make it 22-18 with seven minutes to play.