James Tedesco silences critics in staggering display after Byron holiday furore

The Sydney Roosters captain produced an absolute masterclass to take down the Gold Coast Titans.

James Tedesco.
James Tedesco was brilliant as the Roosters beat the Titans. Image: Getty/Fox Sports

James Tedesco had the perfect response to his critics on Saturday as he terrorised the Gold Coast Titans in a masterful display that revived the Roosters' NRL finals hopes. Tedesco and the Roosters came in for heavy criticism last week when it came to light that he'd jetted off to Byron Bay with his wife after being given a rest by coach Trent Robinson and missing the round 20 game against the Storm.

Many believed Tedesco should have been at the game even if he wasn't playing, rather than holidaying in northern NSW and posting about it on social media. Robinson defended the move, saying it was his decision and hoping it would benefit the captain after a gruelling State of Origin campaign.

'EMBARRASSING': Latrell Mitchell truth emerges in South Sydney drama

'INSANE': Reece Walsh lights up NRL world in return from suspension

Tedesco returned to action on Saturday on the Gold Coast and immediately showed why the week off was a masterstroke. The veteran fullback scored a try, had two try assists, one line break and two line break assists as he ran for a staggering 230 metres in the 36-18 victory.

The win moved the Roosters to 22 competition points - just two points behind the eighth-placed Parramatta Eels with six rounds remaining. Robinson lashed out at the criticism of Tedesco in his post-match press conference, describing it as "really disappointing".

"It was my call. That was it," the coach said. "He came back and he played the way he plays. He was a bit fresher and he was the biggest difference in the game today. It was just great to see him playing that way and he dominated the game.

“We can talk about selections and all that but it’s disappointing when someone gets personally attacked for doing right by the club. But that’s our game I guess.”

James Tedesco, pictured here celebrating a try with Roosters teammates.
James Tedesco celebrates with teammates after scoring a try for the Roosters against the Titans. (Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images)

Robinson said the win made him feel vindicated by his decision to rest Tedesco. “You’re always going to back yourself,” he said.

“I felt like what we did last week at the start of the game, we were right up to it in our eyeballs last week and because you lose you get asked those questions and because you lose you get vindicated. We don’t really work like that and I understand that, you’ve got to predict the future and what’s best for your team and you get them right sometimes and you don’t others, it was just great to see him playing that way and he dominated that game today.”

James Tedesco masterclass leaves NRL world in awe

The Roosters hadn't scored 30 points in any previous match this year, but led 30-0 at half-time on Saturday. Tedesco started off his masterclass a slick piece of ball-playing to hold a pass up and send Egan Butcher over.

Minutes later he slipped a ball to send Butcher careering through a hole, before backing up and scoring under the posts. And the NSW captain wasn't done there, bursting onto a Luke Keary inside ball to send Nat Butcher over later in the half.

The fullback's defensive display was also outstanding, putting his body on the line to defuse a Kieran Foran grubber on the cusp of half-time, before coming from the clouds to crunch Brian Kelly and save a try in the second. NRL fans and commentators were left in awe of Tedesco's best performance at club level for months.

with AAP

Sign up to our newsletter and score the biggest sport stories of the week.