James Tedesco detail comes to light as Roosters savaged over 'embarrassing' NRL scenes

Tedesco was a late scratching as the Roosters suffered a shock defeat to the Cowboys.

James Tedesco's late scratching from the Roosters side that collapsed to a shock 18-16 defeat to the Cowboys on Sunday has left club powerbrokers less than impressed. Tedesco was called into Blues camp on game day as an injury replacement for Dylan Edwards, who was ruled out of Wednesday night's State of Origin opener with a quad injury.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson refused to use Tedesco's late NRL omission as an excuse for his side's defeat to a struggling Cowboys side that were missing six players due to Origin duty. The Roosters were also missing five Origin stars after their captain was called up late to the Blues squad, having originally been dumped as NSW skipper by coach Michael Maguire and replaced with Edwards at fullback.

Recalled NSW Origin fullback James Tedesco was a late scratching for the Roosters as they suffered a shock defeat to the Cowboys in the NRL. Pic: Getty
Recalled NSW Origin fullback James Tedesco was a late scratching for the Roosters as they suffered a shock defeat to the Cowboys in the NRL. Pic: Getty

But veteran News Corp league journalist Phil Rothfield told The Big Sports Breakfast on Monday that Roosters management were "not happy" with the way the Tedesco situation unfolded and how it left them scrambling to reshuffle their starting side on game day. “Clubs have to give up a lot around State of Origin. (The Cowboys and Roosters) game yesterday was missing 10 players and then Tedesco had to pull out," Rothfield said.

“They weren’t happy because it happened on game day, they were okay they gave up all the other players a week ago when the teams were announced. They think it might be the difference between winning and losing in a tight football game, Tedesco with his leadership might have held the side together. You can’t blame James for wanting to play, it would have been interesting if he knocked them back and was dirty.”

Roosters coach Robinson said while it was a "hard one" to lose his captain and have to make changes to his side on game day, he would not use it as an excuse and said his side were simply "not good enough" to finish the job after leading 14-4 at halftime. "It was a hard one. When Madge called... we had to go through all the changes that were going to happen to [our] team," Robinson said.

"But the simplicity of it was that we were happy for James. We all felt for him this week - obviously, Dylan (Edwards) deserved his spot." Robinson conceded his stand-in No.1 Joey Manu - who has excelled at fullback in place of Tedesco before - had a rare off game against the Cowboys on Sunday. "Joey didn't have his best night," Robinson said of Manu's display on Sunday. "He was way off what his quality is. He's usually not like that."

Seen here, Joey Manu playing for the Roosters against the Cowboys in the NRL.
Joey Manu had a largely forgettable game in a Roosters display against the Cowboys labelled 'embarrassing' by NRL fans. Pic: Getty

The Roosters - who could have jumped into the top four with a win - were fully expected to beat a Cowboys side that had already been struggling this season and were missing six of their best players. Robinson called out his spine and a general lack of energy for the reasons behind the loss, which was described as "embarrassing" by many supporters.


"That's a game we needed to win (at) 16-12," Robinson added. "If you're hard enough you'll go 'OK, we're missing some opportunities but we'll hold in there, get some field position back, and win a game' and you go into the top four.

"We just couldn't get enough energy from the guys, some poor leaked tries and you lose the game. I expect us to be a team that can adapt but we just didn't nail that today. Our spine wasn't good enough as a whole, along with other players."