Ahead of their historic 59-0 annihilation of the Brisbane Broncos on Thursday, a health scare threatened to leave the Sydney Roosters without three of their star players.
Fullback James Tedesco had already been ruled out of the highly-anticipated fixture due to a stomach bug, and upon arrival at Suncorp Stadium, Roosters players Kyle Flanagan, Joey Manu and Brett Morris — who was set to replace Tedesco at fullback — also failed mandatory temperature checks.
However, the trio was eventually cleared to play and combined for 30 points during the one-sided encounter.
Roosters co-captain Boyd Cordner played down health concerns on Saturday, blaming bulky headphones and beanies for the failed test.
“There’s been a couple of incidents where guys have been wearing headphones which raises your temperature,” Cordner said.
“As soon as they take them off, or someone is wearing a beanie, it records a high temperature.
“So we weren’t anxious. If the guys were sick, they would have said something, and they weren’t sick.”
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Broncos halfback Brodie Croft also failed a temperature test ahead of last week’s game against the Parramatta Eels but was similarly cleared to play soon after.
Corner admitted the loss of Tedesco was a worrying sign ahead of Thursday’s clash but backed the squad’s depth. He also revealed the 2019 Dally M Medal recipient was still under the weather but was confident he would be ready for the Roosters’ next game against the Canterbury Bulldogs.
“When Teddy had the fever there, it’s not good. He’s the best player in our team, so obviously it’s not handy hearing that news,” Cordner said.
“But at the same time, we’ve got some great depth in our side and (Brett Morris) with the experience he’s got he just slotted in like nothing.
“But with Teddy, I think it was just a stomach bug. He’s fine. He will be in over the next couple of days.
“All that stuff is precautionary. They are strict rules that we are living by at the moment.”
The Roosters’ round four game was the club’s third-largest victory margin since its establishment in 1908.
SYDNEY ROOSTERS BIGGEST WINS
87-7 vs Canterbury Bulldogs, 1935
62-0 vs South Sydney Rabbitohs, 1996
59-0 vs Brisbane Broncos, 2020
62-4 vs Western Suburbs Magpies, 1998
61-5 vs University, 1935
Cordner admitted he was surprised by the result, but praised his teammates for the stellar victory.
“You don’t expect to win NRL games by that margin,” the 27-year-old said.
“But the way we started the game we earned the right to play some footy, we held the ball, we controlled the game really well.
“By the second half we kept at it, we weren’t searching for big plays, but we knew with the lead that we got we had to defend the zero — that was the most pleasing thing.”
— With AAP