Teddy hat-trick puts Roosters back in winner's circle against Titans

A hat-trick of tries by Sydney Roosters captain James Tedesco ended his side's two-match losing streak with a 44-16 defeat of the Titans in Mackay on Saturday night.

Tedesco scored back-to-back tries in the first half to put the Roosters on top after conceding an early try before losing hooker Sam Verrills with a shoulder injury and prop Lindsay Collins to the sin bin.

The Kangaroos fullback grabbed his third try in the 65th minute to put paid to a second half Titans comeback and the Roosters finished too strong against a Gold Coast team which has now lost five consecutive matches.

Tongan winger Daniel Tupou and star rookie Joseph Suaalii, playing on the right wing, each scored two tries in what became a lop sided contest, despite the Titans having a greater share of possession.   

Match snapshot

  • It was a frantic start to the match, with Beau Fermor scoring in just the second minute after Joseph Suaalii fumbled a Will Smith grubber in the Roosters in-goal and the Titans centre pounced on the loose ball.
  • Roosters captain James Tedesco hit back for his side almost immediately after putting centre Joey Manu into space and backing up on the inside to score in the sixth minute.
  • The Roosters suffered a double blow midway through the first half when hooker Sam Verrills came from the field with a shoulder injury and prop Lindsay Collins was sinbinned for a shoulder charge on Corey Thompson.
  • Yet momentum swung the way of the 12-man Roosters, with Tedesco scoring his second try in the 25th minute after combining with halfback Luke Keary and stepping out of an attempted Brian Kelly tackle.
  • When Collins returned to the fray, the Titans seemed unable to hold on and Suaalii scored in the 33rd minute before star Tongan prop Siosiua Taukeiaho crashed over two minutes later.
  • Titans prop Sam Lisone gave his team some hope at halftime when he forced his way over for a 37th minute try and when Herman Ese'ese scored just two minutes into the second term they were suddenly back in the game.
  • A 62nd minute Daniel Tupou try extended the Roosters lead to 28-16 and then Tedesco put the result beyond doubt five minutes later when he dummied past Will Smith and beat AJ Brimson to score.
  • Tupou got his second try in the 75th minute after catching a harbour bridge pass from halfback Sam Walker and strolling over to touch down in the corner, while Suaalii completed the win in the 77th minute.

Play of the game
The Roosters were hanging on to to a 6-4 lead when they lost Sam Verrills (shoulder) and Lindsay Collins to the sinbin midway through the first half, but a try by captain James Tedesco while his side were a man short deflated the Titans and the tri-colours quickly stormed to a 24-4 lead when they returned to 13 men.




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What they said
"We weren't happy with the last couple of performances, a couple of tight ones, but that is a positive night and we feel like we learned well this week. As both staff and players we want to keep getting better and we talked about it and they went out and did it tonight. We want to keep improving our footy, that is the most important thing,": Roosters coach Trent Robinson. 

“We were just beaten all over the park tonight, obviously, by the Roosters. They beat us in pretty much every area of the game, and it showed. We are getting the week right, we are identifying it, we are doing all the right things and clearly going wrong once we are out there and under pressure. We made a lot of inroads after last week, we put up a real good show and then we slipped right back tonight. Collectively we let ourselves down. Tonight, we got beat everywhere; attitude, enthusiasm and execution. We obviously need some personnel changes. We can’t accept what we dished up out there tonight,": Titans coach Justin Holbrook.

What's next
All roads lead to Suncorp Stadium for next weekend's Magic Round, with the Roosters facing the Eels on Sunday and the Titans up against the Dragons on Saturday night.

Roosters coach Trent Robinson will be eagerly awaiting the results of x-rays on hooker Sam Verrills' collarbone after he came from the field in the 20th minute, while prop Lindsay Collins was sinbinned and placed on report for a shoulder charge.

Utility Connor Watson has been cleared to return from a throat injury next weekend and will be an obvious replacement for Verrills.

Titans coach Justin Holbrook is likely to consider boom fullback Jayden Campbell after he returned from a rib cartilage injury several weeks ago and a number of other unforced changes are likely.




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Brad Walter, NRL.com Senior Reporter