Raiders halfback Josh McCrone says the club harbours no ill-feelings towards Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco and won’t target him come Saturday.
Wests Tigers fullback James Tedesco needn’t worry about his impending rendezvous with Canberra, with the NRL club admitting it would be hypocritical of them to pay him any special attention.
Tedesco publicly humiliated the club earlier this month when he backflipped on a three-year, $600,000-a-season deal with the Raiders just days before the round-13 signing deadline.
While many will be expecting the Raiders to make Tedesco pay for his change of heart when the two sides clash at Campbelltown this Saturday, Raiders halfback Josh McCrone said the players harboured no ill-feelings.
“We’ll be treating him like any other fullback,” McCrone said.
“We’ll have 12 players in the kick-chase, and try and pick him up and put him back in the in-goal.”
When asked whether there would be any extra venom in those tackles, McCrone replied: “I don’t think so. He’s a pretty hard bloke to get a hold of at the best of times.”
McCrone’s indifference stems from the fact the Raiders used the NRL round-13 registration deadline last year to retain the services of Maroons forward Josh Papalii.
Papalii reneged on a three-year deal with Parramatta after the club officially announced they’d signed him for 2014.
The Raiders also tried to exploit the rule earlier this season when they unsuccessfully fought to keep fullback Anthony Milford from returning home to Brisbane next year.
“It’s not (Tedesco’s) fault. Those rules are put in place by the NRL and he’s just used them. So no issue there,” McCrone said.
“It would be a bit hypocritical of us after what Josh Papalii’s done. It’s obviously the right decision for him and his family.”
Tedesco’s teammate Curtis Sironen backed the Italy international to not be fazed by Saturday’s game and said he was delighted he’d decided to stay at the club.
“He’ll be right, it’s probably good we’re playing in Campbelltown,” Sironen said.
“He’s pretty cruisy, I don’t think he’ll put much pressure on himself and we’ve all got his back.
“We were pretty disappointed with the news he was leaving and he wasn’t really himself for a few weeks.
“Now he’s changed his mind and he’s back to normal and it’s good he’s staying.”