James Tedesco incident back in spotlight as NRL world left raging over double standards

NRL fans were quick to point out James Tedesco's incident earlier in the year.

The Cowboys faced a number of controversial calls on the weekend in their gutsy win against the Panthers but fans pointed out James Tedesco's moment earlier in the season that does not sit right with them. The Cowboys overcame a number of penalties and six agains in a row during a first-half onslaught at BlueBet Stadium to finish 16-6 winners in a tough NRL game following State of Origin Game 2.

With a number of representative players missing from both teams, the Cowboys defended with aplomb against a disjointed Panthers attack and managed to overcome two sin-bin setbacks to earn the points. One sin-bin occurred when centre Jaxon Purdue was marched after tripping Daine Laurie on his way to the try line.

James Tedesco's trip earlier this year has once again resurfaced after the Cowboys copped a sin-bin for a similar incident on the weekend against the Panthers. (Images: Fox Sports/Getty Images)
James Tedesco's trip earlier this year has once again resurfaced after the Cowboys copped a sin-bin for a similar incident on the weekend against the Panthers. (Images: Fox Sports/Getty Images)

The commentators agreed it had to be a penalty and a sin-bin for Purdue, which was the case against the Panthers. "Had to be a penalty and quite rightfully a sin-bin given the situation where they were on the field," Warren Smith said in commentary. There was no argument from Purdue and the Cowboys as he made his way from the field for a professional foul after a number of six again sets for the Panthers.

However, a number of players have avoided the sin-bin for trips this year, which naturally left Cowboys fans frustrated. The biggest name is Roosters fullback Tedesco against the Melbourne Storm.

Tedesco escaped the sin-bin earlier in the season for a trip on Ryan Papenhuyzen when the Storm fullback stepped around him. The Roosters No.1 stuck out his foot and brought down Papenhuyzen as he looked to find space from a kick return.

There was uproar at the time as fans were left questioning why Tedesco was allowed to stay on the field and wasn't sin-binned after appearing to blatantly trip Papenhuyzen. While the Roosters captain copped a fine for the incident, he was able to play on. Earlier this year, Manly prop Josh Aloiai also escaped a penalty after tripping Panthers player Laurie in back play.

James Tedesco talks to referee Adam Gee.
James Tedesco (pictured) escaped a sin-bin earlier this year for a trip on Ryan Papenhuyzen.

Officials missed the incident during the game. Aloiai later was banned for two games after the incident was reviewed. Unfortunately, it was the Cowboys and Purdue who copped the call with the bunker telling the referee of the professional foul a play later.

This saw Purdue off the field. And it was pointed out Tedesco and Aloiai received favourable calls earlier in the year, while the Cowboys copped it tough against the Panthers with a tough penalty count.

Earlier in the year, Tedesco was hit with a grade-one dangerous contact (tripping) for his incident with Papenhuyzen. The 31-year-old was offered a $750 fine with an early guilty plea. It would have been $1000 if not for Tedesco's clean judiciary record. Regardless, the incident made headlines with fans fuming the Roosters fullback didn't cop 10 minutes in the bin for a professional foul.

A number of coaches have been calling out the frequency of sin-bins in recent weeks with veteran Wayne Bennett leading the criticism of the NRL. And Roosters coach Trent Robinson admitted he felt for his opponent after the Tigers had two players spend 10 minutes on the sideline.

The first to go was Tigers captain after he was deemed to have made a dangerous lifting tackle. Adam Doueihi then joined Koroisau on the sidelines after a hip-drop tackle.


And Robinson alluded to Bennett's comments when he questioned whether Koroisau deserved 10 minutes in the bin, which all but ended the contest. “It’s a hard one, but I don’t know if it’s ten minutes or not, that’s me,” Roosters coach Robinson said of the Koroisau's sin-bin.

“Someone might tell me I’m completely wrong. But I think it changes the course of the game completely and I think that’s the debate Wayne (Bennett) started a few of days ago.” Benji Marshall said it was a 'lottery' when it came to whether a player will be sent to the bin after an incident.