WESTS Tigers should fear Jason Taylor more than the Sydney Roosters five Origin stars when he returns to Campbelltown Sports Stadium for the first time as an opposition coach.
That was the opinion of Tigers skipper Aaron Woods who said Taylor “knows our game back to front’’.
Taylor was quickly picked up by the Roosters as an assistant to Trent Robinson after he was punted as the Tigers head coach earlier this season.
The last game he oversaw at Campbelltown was the 36-2 thrashing by Penrith in round two, eight days before he was sacked.
While the Roosters will have representative stars Mitchell Pearce, Boyd Cordner, Blake Ferguson, Aidan Guerra and Dylan Napa ready to continue the Bondi club’s brilliant record against the joint venture — they have won 12 of their past 13 games — Woods was mindful of the coach once booed by his own Tigers fans at Campbelltown.
“JT is a quality coach, he’s very smart and a tactical coach,’’ Woods told The Daily Telegraph.
“He knows our game back to front, and I’m sure he’s been studying it since he left as well. He’ll be excited to come up against his old club.
“There are no surprises why Trent Robinson signed him up straight away. When watching video, JT always knew what a team was doing the play before, and what they were setting up for. He knows the ins and outs of everything.
“Obviously his time was up at the start of the year, it didn’t work out, but he’s moved on to another club … we can’t worry about the JT factor.’’
The one positive for the Tigers has been fullback James Tedesco, who backed up from a brilliant Origin performance to be the club’s standout in a tight loss against St George Illawarra.
If he fires, Tigers fans will always give their team a hope — and what better weekend for the No.1 to fire up against his future cashed-up employers.
“Yes he’s made his decision (to join the Roosters) but along as he gives everything to the jersey the rest of the year, that’s all you can ask,’’ Woods said.
“At times he’s tried too hard, but that’s because he wants the best for his team. He’ll have no point to prove to them, and he just needs to go out and do a job.’’
Tuimoala Lolohea was one player keen to build on his on-field partnership with Tedesco after the new five-eighth made his club debut without a training session along side the star No.1.
“I learned to expect anything from him, he’s that good a player, agile and so quick, and he can create something out of nothing. It’s about staying alive around him and feeding him the ball,’’ Lolohea said.
Meanwhile, the Roosters became the third club to axe Paul Carter in the space of four years.
Carter, who was signed until the end of next season, had only completed rehabilitation in Thailand at the end of last year because of alcohol addiction.