Wednesday 21 March 2018 / 02:55 AM

State of Origin I – Player Ratings

Here’s our carefully considered individual player ratings from Queensland’s tense 11-10 defeat of New South Wales in the 2015 State of Origin series opener at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium.


1 Billy Slater: Great rep comeback from the veteran; highly involved with a few brilliant pieces of play and magnificent position-wise at the back. No signs of the shoulder injury in making 140 metres from 12 runs. 8


2 Darius Boyd: Racked up 141 metres from 16 carries, although he seemed to lack a bit of trademark zip. Should have had a record-breaking try but for a poor pass from co-record-holder Inglis.


3 Greg Inglis: A bit of a rare Origin dud from GI, who had a disrupted build-up and played like it with a couple of errors and 60 metres less than any of his outside-back teammates. 5.5


4 Justin Hodges: Tallied an invaluable 184 metres and ran from dummy-half an incredible 13 times. Got under the Blues’ skin and was typically tenacious. 7


5 Will Chambers: The best winger on the field by a country mile, streeting the field with 238 metres from 23 carries and scoring a try with a consummate finish. An early sideline break set the tone for a stellar performance. 8.5


6 Johnathan Thurston: Timing was off in a repeat of last season’s series, but his presence was clearly a plus for the Maroons. Good involvement. 6.5


7 Cooper Cronk: Excellent display from the Storm maestro, proving that his absence was the difference when the Maroons’ streak came to an end last year. Superb solo try, key hand in the other and the match-winning field goal. Vintage. 8.5


8 Matt Scott: Workhorse effort from a genuine workhorse, leading all front-rowers with 149 metres from 14 runs. 7.5


9 Cameron Smith (c): Grabbed man-of-the-match honours in a somewhat token gesture from the Test selectors, but his defensive toil, direction and option-taking was outstanding. 8


10 Nate Myles: Somewhat anonymous, but worked hard for 36 tackles and 117 metres from 13 runs. 6.5


11 Aidan Guerra: Made his presence felt on both sides of the ball, attempting to play a Beau Scott-like role for the Maroons – the numbers weren’t astounding, but the impact was. 7


12 Sam Thaiday: Big, physical effort from the stalwart, making 34 tackles and 12 hit-ups. 7


13 Corey Parker: One of his less eye-catching Origin performances, but nonetheless industrious and solid. 6.5


14 Michael Morgan: Did nothing wrong in limited game-time and certainly didn’t look out of place. 5


15 Josh McGuire: Made 18 tackles (no misses) and seven runs in a solid-enough debut, without standing out. 5.5


16 Matt Gillett: Brought on late and made a handling error, but otherwise did his job. 4.5


17 Jacob Lillyman: Made 17 tackles (no misses) and seven runs in a typically reliable bench performance. 5.5




1 Josh Dugan: Would have been man-of-the-match by the length of the straight had the Blues snuck home. Genius try assist and dangerous all night, making a team-high 162 metres and coming up with some excellent defensive plays. 8.5


2 Will Hopoate: Got involved but definitely lacked impact. May have done just enough to be retained. 5.5


3 Michael Jennings: Outplayed by Hodges, struggling to get involved in attack and making some poor defensive plays. 5


4 Josh Morris: Didn’t get too many chances besides finishing off one of the great Origin tries, but proved his worth with a sensational defensive performance opposite Inglis. 7.5


5 Daniel Tupou: Mud from the lanky flyer, struggling on both sides of the ball to put his head squarely on the block ahead of Origin II selection. 4.5


6 Mitchell Pearce: Very good first half but an error early in the second set the tone for another ultimately disappointing outing in the sky blue. Exacerbated by playing alongside an underperforming halfback, but still not good enough to silence the doubters. 5.5


7 Trent Hodkinson: Solid enough in the first 40 but dreadful thereafter, beginning with a failure to find touch from a penalty deep in the Blues’ territory. Needed to take charge but went into his shell; he and Pearce both played like stopgap five-eighths. 5


8 Aaron Woods: Tremendous start and was one of the few Blues to shine in the second stanza, finishing with 41 tackles and 16 runs for 140 metres. 8


9 Robbie Farah (c): Battled on with a shoulder injury to make a mammoth 61 tackles – inspirational. Less effective with the ball and inexcusably failed to find Hodkinson when a levelling field goal was in the offing. 7.5


10 James Tamou: Sensational first stint and his offload to set the Blues’ first tryscoring movement in motion was magic. Tapered off after rejoining the fray. 7.5


11 Beau Scott: Harassed Thurston and barged over for a fine try; as usual, the numbers – 21 tackles and six runs for 53 metres – didn’t tell the story of his quality. 7


12 Ryan Hoffman: Tireless performance from the Warriors’ first-ever NSW rep, making 36 tackles and 15 runs for 120 metres. An all-or-nothing strip cost the Blues a last-ditch chance at salvaging the match. 7


13 Josh Jackson: A bit of a surprise non-factor on debut with 20 tackles and six runs for just 44 metres – particularly when the numbers the player he replaced in the No.13, injured skipper Paul Gallen, traditionally produces are taken into account. 5.5


14 Trent Merrin: Looked to make an impact when finally injected. Very busy in limited game-time. 5.5


15 Boyd Cordner: Disappointing from one of the premiership’s very best backrowers. Busy defensively with 28 tackles but his five runs for 40 metres summed up the below-par output of the Roosters’ vaunted left-side combination. 5.5


16 David Klemmer: Excellent impact with the ball, making 11 runs for 102 metres; a shame his teammates couldn’t summon similar fire during the second half. 6.5 


17 Andrew Fifita: Pinpointed as the Blues’ danger-man pre-match, and despite solid numbers (25 tackles, 12 runs for 87 metres, two offloads), was below-par. Seemed preoccupied with grappling with his markers than producing a game-breaking play. 5.5



[YouTube – NRL Highlights]

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About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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