Dylan Edwards outshines James Tedesco in Origin audition after 'freakish' NRL act

The duo are in a showdown for the Blues No.1 jersey.

Dylan Edwards' moment of magic against the Roosters has many believing he has usurped James Tedesco as the standout fullback as the pair duelled it out in a State of Origin audition. An injury-hit Panthers outfit were way too strong for the Roosters on Thursday night with the 22-16 win.

The showdown was also a great audition for the Blues fullback with incumbent Tedesco facing challenger Edwards. Tedesco has started the season with a stunning return to form with many touting him to now retain his No.1 jersey.

Dylan Edwards (pictured right) out performed James Tedesco (pictured left) as the pair duelled it out in a State of Origin audition. (Images: Getty Images/Fox Sports)
Dylan Edwards (pictured right) out performed James Tedesco (pictured left) as the pair duelled it out in a State of Origin audition. (Images: Getty Images/Fox Sports)

Although there has been calls for quite some time for New South Wales coach Michael Maguire to hand Edwards his debut off the back of his consistent form for the Panthers. And on Thursday night there was no doubt Edwards was the fullback that stood out after a moment of magic in the first half stunned the Roosters.

In the 15th minute, Edwards received the ball from a standing start after Jarome Luai managed to evade a few players. From 10 metres out, Edwards spun out of a Tedesco tackle and put through a grubber kick.

He then managed to rush through and slammed the ball down before it hit the dead ball line. "There is something very special about that try," Andrew Voss said in commentary. “Penrith flying early,” Michael Ennis added a on Fox Sports. “That’s brilliant skill.”

Edwards ran for 223 metres, had four tackle busts, two try assists and a try himself. Tedesco had a quiet night for his standards having run for 129 metres with five tackle busts. And while it is way too early to decide who will be the Blues No.1 come State of Origin time, Edwards certainly won the battle on Thursday night with his 'freakish' effort.

While Edwards outplayed Tedesco on Thursday night, it would be silly to rule out the Roosters fullback bouncing back. Only last year, New South Wales fans were calling for a new fullback after Tedesco endured a brutal Game I in the sky blue jersey. His series didn't get much better after the Maroons won their second straight series.

While Tedesco admitted he started the season under pressure, the Roosters fullback has been one of the standout performers across the NRL across the first four rounds. Although Maguire will have a huge decision in his first series as coach with the likes of Edwards and Ryan Papenhuyzen also starting the season in extraordinary form.

James Tedesco calls out bunker decision

Despite the Panthers dominating the match, the contest was marred after a brutal Bunker call took away a Roosters try. In the 22nd minute of the game, Jared Waerea-Hargreaves charged through the line on a decoy run and continued his line for 20 metres.

Joey Manu received the ball 20 metres away and managed to evade two tackles and crash over the line for a Roosters try. However, the Bunker became involved as they wanted to see if Waerea-Hargreaves interfered with play.

Behind play, Waerea-Hargreaves ran through to the try line to avoid play. Panthers fullback Edwards was also seen rushing across. While Edwards was never going to be able to reach Manu, he collides with the Roosters enforcer. The Bunker call backed the decision, which enraged the NRL world.


And Roosters captain Tedesco was left baffled by the call having claimed a player who appealed for a penalty would be likelier to secure one.

"He knocked him a little bit to affect him on that. If Keary went to the ground, it probably would've been no try," he said. Roosters coach Trent Robinson agreed. "(The Manu no try) is a bit like how Sitili got knocked over in our one," Robinson said.

"Was he going to save the try? No, he wasn't. I don't think (Edwards) would've got there either on Joey Manu. But anyway." The Roosters entered the clash as potential title contenders but the loss to a Panthers side missing Nathan Cleary has been a harsh reality check.