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Raising the steaks: ‘Hunger back’ for refreshed Tedesco after lockdown

If Bulldogs fans were shattered by the Tedesco-inspired 42-6 blowout, Tigers supporters were entitled to be in the foetal position – again – as they were reminded that their club let the world’s best player leave at the end of 2017.

James Tedesco scores in the Roosters' rout of Canterbury on Monday night.

James Tedesco scores in the Roosters’ rout of Canterbury on Monday night.Credit:AAP

It could get worse for Tigers fans when another former player, Mitch Moses, plays for Parramatta against the Roosters in a Saturday night blockbuster at Bankwest Stadium.

Tedesco, 27, is at the top of his game and club officials believe it is only a matter of time before he becomes a Rooster for life.

The only hold-up is his good friend and new manager Joe Wehbe receiving the proper accreditation.

Tedesco could fetch more than $1.2m elsewhere when his deal expires at the end of 2021, but the Roosters know he appreciates being a part of a dynasty with fellow long-serving champions like Boyd Cordner and Luke Keary, as well as coach Trent Robinson.

All smiles ... Teddy celebrates after a Brett Morris try on Monday night.

All smiles … Teddy celebrates after a Brett Morris try on Monday night.Credit:Getty Images

Tedesco received more raps from teammates, opposition players and good judges on Tuesday.

“He looked fresher than I’ve seen him, but his teammates also helped a lot,” former Rooster and NSW coach Brad Fittler said.

Bulldogs star playmaker Kieran Foran said: “He was so dominant and every time he touched the ball something was going to happen.

“He’s playing with so much time at the moment and that ability to see everything unfold before it happens, and then he pounces when it’s time to pounce.

“He’s been the best player in the game the past couple of years. There are not many flaws in his game – he can beat you with his running game, his step and beat you with his quick hands. He’s the complete package, isn’t he?”

Roosters winger Brett Morris added: “Teddy looks after himself off the field, and when it comes to training paddock he’s one of the first out there and one of the last to leave. It’s no fluke he’s playing like this.

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“Throughout your career you look at some of the players you’ve played with, Teddy is one of the best I’ve played with, and when you line up next to him, you’re always confident you can do your job and he’ll absolutely nail his.”

Tedesco said after the game he was forced to eat steak two nights in a row when the Canterbury clash was delayed because of a COVID-19 scare, and might have to enjoy a double serving of meat from here on in.

Apart from his pre-game diet, Tedesco said the enforced suspension of the competition because of the coronavirus had done wonders for his mind.

“Having that break, where I had time to get away from the footy and get out of the fast lane – the last few years have been full-on with two grand finals, rep footy, internationals – the break refreshed me mentally,” Tedesco said.

“I had that hunger back when we came back for training. Everyone is also playing good footy around me, which helps me.”

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