Tedesco stars as Roosters punish Dogs

Pamela Whaley
Roosters fullback James Tedesco scored a hat-trick of tries in the 42-6 win over Canterbury

In case anyone had forgotten, James Tedesco reminded everyone that he is the best player in the NRL on Monday night.

The reigning Dally M winner made a triumphant return to the field after missing last week with a high temperature, proving unstoppable against Canterbury in the emphatic 42-6 win.

In what is becoming a standard performance for the 27-year-old Australia fullback, Tedesco raced to 194 metres, three tries, two try assists and five linebreak assists as the Roosters logged a third straight win after the season resumption.

"He was Teddy," said Roosters coach Trent Robinson after the match.

"It was just great to watch.

"Forget about being his coach, watching him move around the park and live at a game, we get to see it.

"The camera doesn't always get to see how he moves around and what he does.

"It's just exceptional footy.

"If you look at the way his feet moves, if you look at the way he talks, you look at the way his eyes are. It's very good footy."

Perhaps more remarkably, it was just the second hattrick of Tedesco's NRL career and his first for the Roosters.

It comes after the premiers clocked up 59 points against Brisbane in round four, for a tally of 101 points and one leaked try in their past two games.

Hours after the entire Bulldogs squad was cleared of coronavirus, they came down with a case of inadequacy trying to handle Tedesco at Bankwest Stadium.

In the first postponed premiership game since 1997, the extra 27 hours of preparation sent the teams in opposite directions.

However, Bulldogs coach Dean Pay refused to use the disruption as an excuse.

"It's just something we've got to handle. Who's to say it's not going to happen again next week?" he said.

While the Roosters marched towards a remarkable record from their past two games, the Bulldogs hardly fired a shot as errors and poor passes mounted against the slick champions.

Leading 30-0 with a remarkable 95 unanswered points stretching across three games, the Roosters finally cracked in the 66th minute when Kieran Foran and Will Hopoate combined for the Bulldogs' first try of the night.

The right edge combination of Foran and Hopoate looked most likely and the Bulldogs threatened to score late in the first half before the bunker ruled Christian Crichton's foot grazed the line.

It was the tale of the night for the Bulldogs, capping off a bizarre weekend for the club.

On Sunday the Bulldogs' 50-person bubble were forced to undergo the COVID-19 test following the health scare involving Aiden Tolman.

The veteran prop was cleared on Sunday afternoon and Pay is hopeful he can play next week, although he may be required to isolate from the team.

The drama erupted after Tolman learnt that a teacher at his child's school had tested positive for coronavirus, forcing the NRL to reschedule the match.

The Roosters' win sets up a blockbuster match against undefeated Parramatta at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday night, while the Bulldogs will face Cronulla on Sunday.