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'People will go home and remember that forever': Why Fittler's hope for Blues future rests in blistering backline

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12th July, 2023
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It took a while, but they got there in the end. The Foxx flew, Bradman was Best and James Tedesco, after 160 minutes of struggle, finally brought his A Game to State of Origin.

That left edge was what unlocked the Queensland defence after two games of toil in this year’s series: Josh Addo-Carr, feeding off the Newcastle centre and the Souths maestro, Cody Walker.

It’s what makes Blues coach Brad Fittler confident that his side can take something from their 24-10 victory in the dead rubber into the 2024 series, with fans remembering the potential inherent within this side.

“I’m glad that we executed a couple of nice tries,” he said. “It’s great to see Foxx in space, scoring tries in front of 75,000 people.

“It’s a sport and when it’s done well, it’s so entertaining. To see Foxx in space to chip over a fullback and regather, people will go home and remember that forever. Now we have to do it in Game 1 and 2. 

“There’s a lot of good to take out. You can only win the game that’s in front of you and they did. But we should have been better in Game 1 and 2.

“You can’t change anything, but I’m glad our crowd got to see some really exciting moments, some speedsters in space to get off their chair and have a cheer.”

Fittler focussed in on Best, the breakout star of the evening.

“He was so good,” said the coach. “He’s always had that. He’s been at a club that hasn’t done well for a long time. Now it’s up to him to take it to the next level. 

“To see him score some tries is just wonderful. A lot of fans, once they absorbed the fact that he was playing, I think they were excited. For him to go and score a couple of tries was just great.

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“He was pretty grateful when I was there. I had a small opportunity to say hello after the game and congratulate him. He was very excited, just looking around.

“I think sometimes you forget when you haven’t been in that arena that 75,000 people is a lot to take in. It’s a big experience for him.”

Tedesco, too, turned in his best showing of the year, leading Fittler to mention a run-in he had with the player’s father before the game.

“It was good to see him in space,” he said. “It was funny, I was talking to his Dad earlier and he was rattling off stats, he couldn’t understand why people were criticising him so much. It’s funny how far it stretches.

“Teddy’s been strong. During Game 2 he changed how he played because we asked him to, and he was able to do it. That means he’s out there listening and thinking, he’s not just full of pressure and angst. I was wrapped with the way he went today.

“I just said that, at the end of the day, if things aren’t going great you need to change some things. He’s a smart kid. He’s got a lot going on. He’ll work it out, he’s tough.

“I asked him a lot of questions and he came up with pretty good answers.’

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