Master beats apprentice as ‘superman’ Tedesco’s performance excites Fittler – 3 big hits

The Sharks gave the Roosters a late scare at the Pointsbet Stadium and made a huge comeback after the Tricolors took a 20-0 lead at halftime.

But Trent Robinson’s side came away with a dominant 36-16 win, putting Craig Fitzgibbon’s side at the sword in the first half.

With Origin approaching, James Tedesco put in one of the most complete performances in the first half of the year, with a try and two try assists.

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“The origin must be around the corner, Superman in that first half … the man was on fire,” said Fox League’s Cooper Cronk.

Winger Daniel Tupou crossed for an early double, before Nat Butcher and Tedesco scored four-pointers in the first 40-minute period.

Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves scored the first of the second half before the Sharks put together 20 minutes of quality football.

Ronaldo Mulitalo, Sione Katoa and Cameron McInnes all put the momentum back by 15 minutes.

But the comeback came to nothing as Roosters utility Connor Watson and star center Joey Many provided the icing on the cake with late attempts.

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Here are the big takeaways from tonight’s game!

MASTERS BESTS THE APPLICANT

Roosters coach Trent Robinson has more than beaten his former assist Craig Fitzgibbon.

The current Sharks coach was a member of the Tricolors during an incredibly successful stint, spending 10 years at the Sydney club following a stellar career as a player.

“It’s a battle between the master and the apprentice… Craig Fitzgibbon takes on his mentor Trent Robinson,” said Fox League’s Jake Duke.

Together they won three premierships, four minor premierships and three world club challenges.

Fitzgibbon’s Sharks have emerged as one of the contenders for the premiership, with Nicho Hynes leading his troops to seven wins from 12 games.

Now Robinson has given the Cronulla side a reality check in the form of a 36-16 win, despite the Sharks making a late comeback.

The Sharks gave the Tricolors the win in the first half as the Roosters found comfortable space around the edges and also cut through the middle.

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HOOKS RESPOND CRITICS

The roosters in early 2022 are left-wing fans and pundits scratching their heads.

The combination of Luke Keary and Sam Walker, who was tipped as one of the best in the league, didn’t work and the Tricolors season was nearly written off.

But now, after beating the sharks at their home base, the roosters have answered the critics and sent a letter of intent to the ladder leaders.

“Maybe they’re a little closer to the mark than we give them credit for,” Dan Ginnane said.

“A lot of questions were asked about the Roosters, are they the real deal, can they win the premiership, can they even make the top four?” asked Alexander.

“Their centers have been questioned, their halves have been questioned, the rhythm of their attack, I’ve heard a lot about the roosters being clumsy, that’s not tonight, tonight the rhythm is there.

“It all works tonight, from the fullback to the front rowers.”

But Trent Robinson won’t be completely satisfied with his team’s performance for the full 80 minutes, bringing the Sharks back into the game for a 20-minute period in the second half.

After the big win, the roosters and the sharks jumped the competition ladder and climbed to fifth place.

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TEDDY DINES OUt

NSW Blues coach Brad Fittler could hardly have contained his excitement after James Tedesco returned to his brilliant best against premiership candidates the Sharks.

In the first half alone, the Blues skipper registered some ridiculous stats, as well as scoring a try in his last five games in the Origin period.

“Devastating first half of James Tedesco; one try, one linebreak, two try assists and he’s already run 100 yards and he’s in red-hot form,” said Jake Duke.

“He has now scored a try in five consecutive games, seven tries in his last five games.”

As always, Tedesco is right in front of the Blues and Fox League’s Cooper Cronk pointed out that the Roosters fullback will have one eye on the series opener.

“The origin must be around the corner, Superman in that first half … the man was on fire,” said Cooper Cronk.

“He’s been in and between everything, hard work and finesse, he’s been great.”

Tedesco finished with 205 yards, seven tackle breaks, one try, two try assists and three offloads in a complete display against the Sharks.

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