NSW Blues v QLD Maroons
Game II – player ratings
New South Wales have captured the Origin series for just the second time in 13 seasons after a dramatic victory in Game II at ANZ Stadium.
The Blues won the match 18-14 and played 10 of the final 11 minutes of the game with 12 men after James Roberts was sent to the sin bin for a professional foul. Making the win one of the best for New South Wales in many years, the team overcame an early 10-nil deficit to go into the break 12-10 up.
Scoring the decisive try in the second half to take it to 18-10, Queensland pulled one back but couldn’t take advantage with the extra man after having a few chances to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat – again!
One of the best Origin games seen for many years and we saw some players step up to the toughest arena in football while others floundered and have some big question marks on their representative futures.
NEW SOUTH WALES – player ratings
JAMES TEDESCO (8) – wasn’t his devastating self from Game I but safe as houses at the back and gave the Blues that stability from the rear.
TOM TRBOJEVIC (7.5) –defensive misread led to the Maroons first try but hard to fault him after that. Was tough and drove the Blues outside their danger zone time and time again.
LATRELL MITCHELL (7.5) –proved a menace in attack again but committed a few errors as well, one that led to a Queensland try in the second half and opened the door for the visitors. Will be an Origin player for many years.
JAMES ROBERTS (6) – kept Greg Inglis in check for most of the match but offered little in attack. Sent to the bin for a vital 10 minutes which pushed his rating down.
JOSH ADDO-CARR (7) – was found out defensively a couple of times. Pulled off some great tackles in dangerous situations though and scored the try that got the Blues back into it.
JAMES MALONEY (8.5) – tried to do too much at times but was the Blues maestro for most of the match. Managed the game in the final stages when NSW were down to 12 men. They don’t win without him.
NATHAN CLEARY (7) – started running late in the second half but would’ve liked to see him do it more in the early stages of the game. Solid as a rock and mature beyond his years. Will be the Blues half for many years to come.
DAVID KLEMMER (8) – arguably NSW’s best forward and didn’t play that long. Was vital for the Blues in getting out of trouble especially in the first half.
DAMIEN COOK (7) – wasn’t allowed to run from dummy half like Game I but was good when he needed to be.
MATT PRIOR (6) – did his job and played his heart out – as usual. Didn’t do anything flash but then again, never does but he is Mister Reliable.
BOYD CORDNER (7.5) – led from the front which is what you want your captain to do. Drew the foul that led to the penalty try. Tough as anything and deserved to guide this team to the series win.
TYSON FRIZELL (7.5) – ran his heart out and made 30 tackles while missing none. That is Origin personified!
JACK DE BELIN (8) – had a great game once again. Took hit ups when needed and forced a few crucial errors from the Maroons. Has taken the step up to Origin in his stride.
PAUL VAUGHAN (7) – provided a bit of mongrel that the Blues needed once he came on after Queensland had dominated the opening exchanges.
JAKE TRBOJEVIC (7.5) – kept plowing through the Queenslanders like a bobcat and even asked some question of the defence when shifting a little wide in attack.
ANGUS CRICHTON (7) – wasn’t afraid to take it to the Maroons and had a big second 40 minutes once Brad Fittler called on his services.
TYRONE PEACHEY (5) – didn’t get a great deal of game time but was like a terrier when he did come on and took pressure off a side that was being pummelled after going down to 12 men.
QUEENSLAND – player ratings
BILLY SLATER (8) – hasn’t played for six weeks but came on the field and dominated like it was his house! Was brilliant early on but lost influence as the game wore on in the second half but overall was very dangerous.
VALENTINE HOLMES (7.5) – continued his brilliant try scoring run in Origin with a four-pointer here. Was solid again and provided plenty in attack once more.
WILL CHAMBERS (6) – definitely not his best series but had moments of brilliance throughout the game, highlighted by his try in the second half.
GREG INGLIS (8) – the Maroons best by far and away but what would you expect from the captain? Proved a constant menace out wide and always attracted two to three players.
DANE GAGAI (7) – built for Origin and showed why he is rated one of the game’s best finishers. Made the most of his opportunities but came up with a few errors too.
CAMERON MUNSTER (7) – was good but not great. He came up with some impressively plays but couldn’t help deliver the final blow to the Blues when needed.
BEN HUNT (4.5) – a game he will want to forget in a hurry. Gave away a penalty try and made some poor decisions in attack when the Maroons had the man advantage.
DYLAN NAPA (6) – did his job but needs to step up to that enforcer role that we have seen glimpses of in the past.
ANDREW MCCULLOUGH (7) – solid and looked more at home in Game II than he did in the opener. One of his team’s best.
JARROD WALLACE (6) – tried hard but couldn’t make the impact that the Queenslanders needed.
GAVIN COOPER (6.5) – ran more than any other Queensland tried his guts out but didn’t really pose any serious questions of the Blues.
FELISE KAUFUSI (6.5) – actively involved in the first half but couldn’t get into the game in the second 40 minutes. Was a big reason the Maroons went out to their early lead.
JOSH MAGUIRE (5.5) – tough and likes to brawl but needs to be the leader of the pack and that is something he definitely wasn’t in this.
JOSH PAPALII (5) – failed to make an impact.
COEN HESS (5) – like most of the forwards just didn’t seem to lift when required. Did okay but that isn’t good enough in Origin.
JAI ARROW (5) – didn’t get a huge amount of game time but didn’t mind getting his hands dirty when he did.
KALYN PONGA (7.5) – should be a starter for Game III. Caused headaches from the moment he came onto the field.