Form of Roosters pair is key for Blues

Pamela Whaley and Scott Bailey
·2-min read

It is the winning formula for Sydney Roosters that NSW has mastered, with Daniel Tupou and James Tedesco giving the Blues a territorial advantage with mass metres.

Under Trent Robinson, with the help of Blake Ferguson and now Brett Morris, the duo have been running a power game over the past three years as the Roosters have surged to two NRL titles.

Back in 2018 they were among the biggest metre eaters in the competition.

And under Brad Fittler they have provided the same combination, with big metres out of back field giving the Blues forward pack an enviable territorial advantage.

Across both Origin games this series, Tupou and Tedesco have made more than 200 metres per game each, a greater distance than any other player on the field.

"Robbo teaches us how to love doing it and over the years I feel like I'm improving and I still have a lot to learn," Tupou said.

"I don't really think about it, I just do my job.

"The metres don't mean nothing to me, I just want to get involved.

"Instead of standing out there getting cold, I'm just doing my job."

In the NRL this season Tupou averages 181 running metres - the most in his career - earning his recall into the Blues side after a four-year break.

And after a form season for the Roosters, the 29-year-old gave his best ever representative performance in Origin II in which he scored his first try for NSW.

His achievement was made even more special by the presence of teammate Tedesco, who captained the side for the first time and gave Tupou the self-belief that anything was achievable.

The Blues will need the same attitude heading into a decider at what is set to be a full-house Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday night, after Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk announced that from 4pm Tuesday open-air stadiums in the state will be able to operate at 100 per cent capacity.

Tupou made his Origin debut in the opening match of the 2014 series in Brisbane and knows how tough it is to win in front of 50,000-plus screaming Queenslanders.

"It was a tough game, I remember it like it was yesterday," he said.

"It was full-on for the full 80."