Player Ratings - Origin II
This article first appeared on NRL.com.
1. Billy Slater
Did not miss a beat after a two-year Origin hiatus, causing headaches for the Blues from the get-go. One of Queensland's best. 8.5/10.
2. Valentine Holmes
Mixed night. Had a nervy start making a mistake with his first carry in the opening minutes, but he made up for it in the 9th minute with a spectacular try. Another mistake before half-time undid his good work. 5.5/10
3. Will Chambers
Tackled into touch during Queensland's first attacking raid and then caught out of position to give NSW their first points. Worked hard carrying the ball out of his own end all night. Had great awareness to put Gagai over. Always involved. 7/10
4. Darius Boyd
Slotted into centre seamlessly, setting up Queensland's first try with a classy draw and pass. Did not put a foot wrong. 7/10
5. Dane Gagai
Tackled into touch with his side on the attack. Tried hard all night and jagged a try to keep his side in it during the second half. Led his side by running for the most metres then scored the match-winning try. What a player he is becoming. 9/10
6. Johnathan Thurston
Proved there was no issues with his shoulder with a try-saving tackle on Tyson Frizell in the first half. Uncharacteristically kicked out on the full before injuring his shoulder. Excellent goal-kicking helped the Maroons to the win. Brave effort playing through injury. 6/10
7. Cooper Cronk
Did not have his usual impact, with the strongest part of his game, his kicking, hardly seen. The Maroons looked unorganised at times and in need of some inspiration. Late line break almost broke the game open. 6/10
8. Dylan Napa
Ran for just 23 metres in the first 20 minutes before going off. Made an impact in his second stint and was always looking for the big play. Really lifted when his side needed it. 8/10
9. Cameron Smith
Did nothing wrong. Hardly noticed which is a good sign for a hooker. Plenty of tackles and a couple of very smart decisions with the boot. 7.5/10
10. Jarrod Wallace
Only two runs in his first 20-minute stint. Struggled with the speed of the game, blowing his lungs out when he came off. As a starting prop he needed to do more in the opening stanza. Did not return. 3/10
11. Gavin Cooper
Solid without being brilliant. Tackled his heart out and put in an 80-minute performance. Can hold his head high. 8.5/10
12. Matt Gillett
Plenty of tackles but not much of a threat in attack. Workmanlike performance from one of the best second-row forwards in the game. Costly error late in the match. 6/10
13. Josh McGuire
Huge work rate in defence, making 24 tackles in the first half alone. Set up Queensland's second with a barnstorming run and finished with 49 tackles. 9/10
14. Michael Morgan
Made a poor start, knocking on with the try line in sight with his first carry. Only had four runs in a 25-minute stint. Came back on and threw a superb flick pass to put Gagai over for the match-winning try. 6/10
15. Coen Hess
Limited opportunity on debut. Can't fault his performance and hard to be critical of the young forward. Bright future. 4/10
16. Tim Glasby
Was on the field for only a few seconds before missing a tackle on James Maloney that led to NSW's second try of the night. Bad read minutes later helped the Blues score again. Worked hard up the middle to try and make up for it but the damage had been done. 4/10
17. Josh Papalii
The Maroons' best bench forward. Bent the Blues' line back on many occasions and took it upon himself to put in the hard yards. Two runs in the first set after half-time typified this. 7/10
NEW SOUTH WALES
1. James Tedesco
Allowed the big boys to belt each other for 20 minutes and then burst into the game, providing the final pass for Hayne's try and burst through the middle of the Maroons defence before putting Pearce away. Forced off with a head knock 20 minutes from full-time and only got back on in the dying stages. 6.5/10.
2. Brett Morris
Confined to carries from deep early but showed great polish to score the Blues' second try and worked well with Hayne to keep Chambers and Gagai in check for much of the night until Gagai's two tries stole the game away from them. 7/10.
3. Josh Dugan
Struggled to assert himself in attack but when his team needed a tackle in the final seconds of the first half he was there to get under Morgan and hold him up. Grew in stature as the game wore on and moved to fullback to cover for Tedesco late, producing a timely kick return to give his side momentum and pick-up in his in-goal. 7/10.
4. Jarryd Hayne
Speed and strength to force Chambers over the sideline early and then powered through tackle of Cronk to score Blues' first try. Should have passed to an unmarked Morris eight minutes from half-time and flick midway through the second half was careless and put his side under pressure. Went for big plays when conservative would have served his side better. 5/10.
5. Blake Ferguson
Caught in no man's land for Queensland's first try but started to make up for it with a tackle on Holmes midway through first half that forced an error. Good first-up contact to help stop Morgan scoring with final play of the first half. Strong carries in second half helped NSW out of territory. 5.5/10.
6. James Maloney
Gave away two early penalties to cede territory to the Maroons and first points but showed deft hands to put Blues in motion for their first try. Kick on fourth tackle to earn repeat set in first half was clever and glided past Glasby to set up the try for Brett Morris. Running battle with Slater was very fun to watch but couldn't finish it off for his side. 7/10.
7. Mitchell Pearce
Early kicking game was on point and was prominent in two of the Blues' first half tries, backing up a bust from Tedesco like all good halfbacks should. Kick that resulted in Gagai being caught in-goal was class but he didn't take a stranglehold of the contest when he had the chance. 6.5/10.
8. Aaron Woods
Two hit-ups in opening set and followed up with hit on Valentine Holmes to force an error got his team on the front foot and he continued to push through the Maroons defence with each charge. Offloads caused the Maroons some issues but came on in the second half with his team on the back foot and couldn't turn it around. 7/10.
9. Nathan Peats
Poor option on last tackle early in the piece but set an aggressive early tone defensively in the Blues' middle third. Made 56 tackles, double the next best for the Blues and was courageous with every one of them. 7.5/10.
10. Andrew Fifita
Was a marked man from the outset but drew enough attention and caused enough havoc to allow the likes of Woods and Jackson to make inroads. Four offloads kept the Maroons honest but by and large they handled what the big guy threw at them. 6.5/10.
11. Boyd Cordner
The skipper tried to inspire his troops by spearing in behind the ruck with each run and battled on although he appeared to be injured late in the game. 6.5/10.
12. Josh Jackson
Poked nose through twice early to get on front foot and worked tirelessly and extremely effectively for his 34-minute first half stint. Pound-for-pound must be close to the most effective forward in the NRL today. 8/10.
13. Tyson Frizell
Got at Thurston early with customary charge and forced the great man to wince in pain late in the first half. Replaced after 56 minutes and didn't return. 6/10.
14. David Klemmer
Took on the responsibility of carrying on the work of the starting props and ran with it. Hard. Topped the Blues metre count with 173m from 16 carries. 7.5/10.
15. Wade Graham
Rushing out on Josh McGuire early in the second half allowed Queensland to get back within four. Kicking game was a handy option on the Blues' left but careless penalty for a strip on Napa invited Queensland to attack again five minutes from time. 5.5/10.
16. Jake Trbojevic
Turned the game on its head with a strong first carry and then two tackles later a superb inside pass for Tedesco in the lead-up to Pearce's try. Stunning try-saver on Cronk in the final minute of the first half. Destined to be a Blues Origin great. 8/10.
17. Jack Bird
Only given 19 minutes as Queensland surged in the second half and had little influence on the result. 5/10.