NSW Blues v QLD Maroons
Game I – player ratings
New South Wales drew first blood in the 2018 State Of Origin series with a 22-12 victory over Queensland in Game I at the MCG.
The Blues had a powerful second half to overrun the Maroons after it looked as though the latter would grind them into the ground after taking a 12-8 lead early in the second half. Tries to Latrell Mitchell, Tom Trbojevic and Josh Addo-Carr complemented James Tedesco’s opener to give Brad Fittler’s side the edge heading into Game II at ANZ Stadium.
James Tedesco and James Maloney feature highly in our player ratings (below) while Damien Cook had a cracking Origin debut for the winning side also.
NEW SOUTH WALES – player ratings
JAMES TEDESCO (9) – always looked a threat with the ball, constantly making breaks and scoring one try and setting up the majority of the Blues points. Standout and a clear Man of the Match!
TOM TRBOJEVIC (8) – had a quiet first half but was Lazarus in the second 40 mins. Was constantly peppered with bombs but dealt with each one while taking hit ups to get the Blues out of trouble. Scored the try which gave NSW the lead back for good.
LATRELL MITCHELL (8) – did his job out in the centres and created some problems for his opposite numbers when presented with attacking opportunities. Scored a vital try.
JAMES ROBERTS (6) – didn’t get the chance to attack much and had to mark Inglis.
JOSH ADDO-CARR (8) – solid in his Origin debut. We didn’t see a great deal of his speed but made a few half breaks and scored the winning try. Defended well when needed.
JAMES MALONEY (7) – was involved in every try for the game. His two errors gave Queensland their scoring opportunities while he was influential in NSW scoring their 22 points.
NATHAN CLEARY (6.5) – didn’t have the impact we thought he would have but it was his first game. Queensland gave him little time on the ball but the youngster didn’t shirk his task.
DAVID KLEMMER (7.5) – ate up the metres again and did his job in driving the team forward.
DAMIEN COOK (8) – had a slashing Origin debut and caused plenty of headaches when running from dummy half. Set up the opening try of the game.
REAGAN CAMPBELL-GILLARD (7) – was brought in to be the NSW enforcer but was a little quiet for his standards. Finished the game strong when the result was locked in.
BOYD CORDNER (7) – brave effort from the skipper who took the ball up on countless occasions. Didn’t break the line but kept leading from the front.
TYSON FRIZELL (7.5) – had a great first half and was close to the Blues best during the opening stint but was barely used in the second half.
JACK DE BELIN (7) – played half the game and did what he had to during that time.
PAUL VAUGHAN (7) – did okay on his Origin debut and wasn’t afraid to take the ball up when needed.
JAKE TRBOJEVIC (7) – played a big portion of the game and always put his hand up to take the defence on. Lacked some punch though.
ANGUS CRICHTON (7) – a fairly quiet debut for him but he was involved in a few key moments which swung the momentum NSW’s way.
TYRONE PEACHEY (5) – given just 8 minutes to make an impression.
QUEENSLAND – player ratings
MICHAEL MORGAN (6) – didn’t look safe at the back and made a few errors but still ran for over 170 metres.
VALENTINE HOLMES (7) – one of the Maroons best tonight. Read the play perfectly to grab the intercept and score his team’s first try.
WILL CHAMBERS (7) – solid enough but was found out a few times with Mitchell getting a try on him and nearly grabbing another.
GREG INGLIS (7.5) – led from the front as a captain should but was more focused on trying to belt the opposition and lift his side. Never really got space to attack.
DANE GAGAI (6) – other than his try he was pretty quiet but you can never switch off against this bloke.
CAMERON MUNSTER (6) – looked a little overwhelmed having to steer the ship but didn’t mind taking on the opposition.
BEN HUNT (7) – did well at half and set up the Maroons second try. Pulled off a 40/20 late to give the side some hope.
DYLAN NAPA (6) – did his job but wasn’t a standout.
ANDREW MCCULLOUGH (6) – nothing special about his night but nothing wrong with it either. The poor bloke has Cameron Smith’s shoes to fill!
JARROD WALLACE (6) – started well but died out as the game went on.
GAVIN COOPER (6.5) – played tough and hard and made the yards.
FELISE KAUFUSI (7) – arguably the best of the forwards from the Maroons. Didn’t hesitate in taking a hit up for the team.
JOSH MAGUIRE (5.5) – was trying to start fights and more interested in throwing cheap shots than playing footy.
JOSH PAPALII (6) – made the yards when he came on but didn’t get enough time on the park.
COEN HESS (6) – probably one of his better games for the season but still below his best.
JAI ARROW (6) – no highlights from him but was solid.
ANTHONY MILFORD (4) – thrown on as a desperation play by Kevin Walters but didn’t get a chance to shine.