KIERSTEN DUKE: James Tedesco’s message to Dylan Edwards what NSW needed and the Maroons are not underdogs

The Nightly
3 Min Read
Every year Queensland are the underdogs yet most years they win.
Every year Queensland are the underdogs yet most years they win. Credit: Getty Images

He is no longer head of the class for the NSW Origin team, but James Tedesco showed he was all class this week.

For weeks, experts, journos and fans were weighing in on who would be wearing the Blues’ fullback jersey.

Panthers star Dylan Edwards or incumbent Blues captain Tedesco. The shock call to drop the captain from the origin squad altogether left the NRL community rattled – myself among them.

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But, in true Teddy form the Roosters captain handled the situation how he does most things — cool, calm and classy.

He was one of the first to reach out his fullback replacement Dylan Edwards and congratulate him on his new role. With Queensland taking out three of the last four series it was clear the Blues needed a shake-up and Michael Maguire stayed true to his promise to choose the team on form not loyalty.

Fan favourite and workhorse Jake Trbojevic was named as captain despite not leading his side Manly. With a reputation for being one of the nicest guys in rugby league, Trbojevic is expected to not just bring his insane work ethic to the camp, but an optimistic outlook the team desperately needs after two straight series losses.

To do so, they’re going to have to dig deep because the naming of the Maroons’ side made me nervous.

Which reminds me, why do Queenslanders play the underdog card every year? Guys, you’ve won over half the Origin series and are the current $1.70 favourites. You should be heading into this series as confident as ever, surely?

Well, if I wore Maroon I’d be feeling pretty ready for battle with the likes of Harry Grant, Selwyn Cobbo and Mo Fotuaika on my bench.

As a Blues supporter my biggest fear is seeing a tired NSW team holding on for grim life only to have Billy Slater unleash Cobbo off the bench. Absolute carnage could occur.

Leading the Maroons into battle is Trbojevic’s teammate and Sea Eagles captain Daly Cherry-Evans. DCE and Jurbo, above, have become the first opposing Origin captains from the same club since Adrian Lam and Brad Fittler in 2000.

That year the Blues won. So from one one-eyed Blue’s supporter to another, I hope history repeats itself.

Next week will be a bumper week of mate against mate, state against state with the men’s series opener to be followed by game two of the women’s Origin series.

What a ripper of a first game the Sky Blues had up at Suncorp.

The second try scored by Jaime Chapman had fans off their seats as she capitalised on a poor Queensland kick that opened up acres of space for Chapman.

With no kick chase pressure, she ate up the ground in Winx-like fashion. Scoring in just the 11th minute she gave herself, her family and her fans a moment they’ll never forget.

At McDonald Jones Stadium for the second game, the Sky Blues will need to keep their winning momentum going to stay ahead of the Maroons in the first ever three-game series.

There’s one thing NSW should never do — underestimate the fighting spirit of Queenslanders.

When they have their backs against the wall, that’s when they are at their most dangerous.


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