James Tedesco is the world's best rugby league player. Now he is finally a Wally Lewis Medal winner.
Tedesco was never going to be denied, as he was last year by Billy Slater, as the Blues superstar scored two tries, including the epic match-winner with less than 30 seconds on the clock, in the Origin series decider.
The NSW No.1 stood in the corner surrounded by his teammates and watched the try unfold on the giant screen inside Sydney Olympic Park before celebrating again.
Every league fan on the planet will wake up on Thursday morning happy to agree Tedesco is in a class of his own.
While Queensland makeshift No.1 Cameron Munster was outstanding for the losers, Tedesco was brilliant in all three games of this series.
He was the best player on the park in the first half at Suncorp Stadium, then featured in a blanket finish for man-of-the-match honours in Perth, only to be pipped by Jake Trbojevic.
Tedesco ran for 222 metres and made 10 tackle busts on Wednesday night. A man who prides himself on defence, Tedesco also came up with some brilliant tackles in the last line of defence, including a couple on Munster and Will Chambers early in the second half.
Tedesco, 26, was the big reason the Blues were able to march upfield and score their first try after the half hour. He skipped across field and exploded around the outside of Daly Cherry-Evans before he raced down-field. He fired a ball to Josh Addo-Carr before Paul Vaughan was able to eventually cross a couple of tackles later.
Tedesco then picked out Chambers and charged at him before pushing off Dane Gagai to score and give the Blues a lead in the 51st minute.
Paul Vautin said on the Channel Nine coverage: "You can't beat speed, you can't beat power and Tedesco has got plenty of [both]. That was just a surge over the line."
It was just four years ago in the same game at the same venue Tedesco made a name for himself in the sky blue. You have to wonder how much more he can improve in the next four years.
Kangaroos coach Mal Meninga, who assured Tedesco would keep his Australian No.1 jersey before the series started, Laurie Daley and DarrenRead More – Source