Sharks halfback Chad Townsend has fired back at Roosters fullback James Tedesco after the latter suggested he sledged teen sensation Sam Walker on Saturday night.
In just his second NRL game Walker showed maturity beyond his years as he masterminded a stunning Roosters comeback after trailing 18-4 late in the second half.
Walker set up two tries while scoring one of his own in the space of seven minutes and Tedesco told reporters post-game it was the perfect response to trash talk from Townsend.
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NRL: 18 year old Sam Walker stole the show for the Sydney Roosters, getting his first NRL try and setting up another in the dying moments to win them the game over the Sharks….
NRL: 18 year old Sam Walker stole the show for the Sydney Roosters, getting his first NRL try and setting up another in the dying moments to win them the game over the Sharks.
“Townsend was giving it to him, but cop that Townsend,” Tedesco said, per NRL.com.
“He showed him how to play footy.
“They were going after him but it doesn’t faze him if you run over him. He’ll still carve you up.”
Townsend though hit back at Tedesco, denying claims that he targeted the young rookie, instead admitting to only speaking to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves.
“This is trash from Tedesco. The only person I spoke to on the field from the Roosters was JWH,” he tweeted on Sunday night.
Townsend and Waerea-Hargreaves had come together in the 35th minute when the latter tackled the Sharks halfback late, conceding a penalty which saw Cronulla add an easy two points.
Regardless of whether Townsend did have a few words for Walker or not, it did not have any real impact on the 18-year old with Waerea-Hargreaves lauding the teenager’s calm demeanour post-game.
NRL: Sam Walker has led the Sydney Roosters to a comeback win over the Cronulla Sharks at the SCG….
NRL: Sam Walker has led the Sydney Roosters to a comeback win over the Cronulla Sharks at the SCG.
“He is doing a great job,” Waerea-Hargreaves said.
“He is a real calm kid, but for him to play those certain plays at those crucial times it is a credit to him.
“We try and harness him a little bit, but that is what he brings to the team.
“He is a calm, collected kid but he can also play those type of plays as well.”
It was a similar sentiment from Tedesco, who said you would not believe Walker was 18 and had only played two first-grade games by what he does on the field.
“He just backs himself and you see his skill to throw those passes it is just great to watch and it is great to play with him,” he said.
Originally published as‘Trash’: Star fumes at rookie abuse claim
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