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James Tedesco credits ‘special bond’ between Kangaroos players as key to Rugby League World Cup triumph: ‘It’s an incredible feeling’
Australia captain James Tedesco paid tribute to the “special bond” that inspired the Kangaroos to Rugby League World Cup glory.
The Aussies were crowned world champions for a record 12th time in 16 editions of the tournament after beating Samoa 30-10 in the final at Old Trafford on Saturday (Sunday morning AEDT).
The overwhelming favorites to retain the trophy for the third time before the tournament, the Kangaroos lived up to their tag.
James Tedesco (centre) paid tribute to his Australian teammates after the Kangaroos won the Rugby League World Cup by beating Samoa 30-10 in the final.
And Tedesco, who was named Man of the Match after scoring a try and racking up a team-best 234 yards, said the connection between the players was the key to his success.
“It’s pretty incredible,” he told BBC Sport after the match.
“This group of guys came here six or seven weeks ago and we have a very special bond.”
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Kangaroos’ 42-8 win in their tournament opener against Fiji was their first Test match since losing 16-12 to Tonga in November 2019.
Tedesco was named Man of the Match and scored an excellent try in the final at Old Trafford.
The lack of Test matches also meant Australia were relegated to fourth in the world rankings ahead of the tournament, but he traveled to England determined to set the record straight and prove himself.
“Covid has killed us for three years, not being able to play for our country, but we got here early and hit it off right away,” Tedesco added.
“We created that connection early on and we wanted to work hard for each other and we showed that tonight.”
Josh Addo-Carr (left) echoed Tedesco’s stance, dedicating the victory to “everyone in Australia”
Josh Addo-Carr, who scored 12 tries in the tournament, one short of setting a new record, struck a similar tone.
“We came to England with one goal: to win the World Cup,” he said.
‘We did it for everyone in Australia, for all our families. What a way to end.
Lifting the Rugby League World Cup as Australia’s captain was particularly meaningful for Tedesco, who represented Italy at the 2013 and 2017 World Cups when they qualified for the Azzurri through his father.
Tedesco said he was incredibly proud to lead Australia to World Cup glory after representing Italy at the Rugby League World Cup in 2013 and 2017.
And the Roosters star insisted that wearing the green and gold was a special honor for him.
“It’s very special to put on this jersey and represent my family and friends,” he said.
‘I know they’re watching, so yell at them. It’s incredible, it’s an incredible feeling.