Wednesday 21 March 2018 / 02:10 PM

State of Origin III – Player Ratings

Here are our studs and duds from Queensland’s 52-6 obliteration of New South Wales in the State of Origin decider at Suncorp Stadium


1 Greg Inglis: One of GI’s great Origin hands in a rare outing in the Maroon No.1 jumper. Outstanding with the ball, Queensland revelled in the physicality he brought from the back in attack and defence. Made two line-breaks and 153 metres as well as extending his Origin record to 17 tries. 9


2 Darius Boyd: Consummate effort from Boyd without overly standing out, making 74 metres from seven runs and notching his 16th Origin try with a fine finish. 7


3 Will Chambers: Superb in his first Origin start in the centres, chalking up a game-high 159 metres from 18 runs and scoring a determined try to bring up the half-century. The best three-quarter on the field. 8


4 Justin Hodges: A fine farewell for the veteran without having his usual overwhelming impact. Made 66 metres from nine runs – including four from dummy-half – and produced a freakish bit of dead-ball line defying play to set up Matt Gillett’s try. Who would’ve thought after his notorious 2002 debut that Hodges would be retiring after the biggest win in Origin history 13 years later? 7.5


5 Dane Gagai: Sensational debut reminiscent of Chambers on the same flank in last year’s dead-rubber. Raced over for the first try and racked up 101 metres from 13 powerful runs. 8


6 Johnathan Thurston: Absolutely magnificent. Played a key role in several tries with his sleight of hand, ran for 112 metres, defending resolutely and kicked a Queensland record nine from nine – including four conversions from the touchline. Lewis-like influence. 9


7 Cooper Cronk: Pulled the strings in characteristic fashion, constantly hemming the Blues in with a pinpoint kicking game. Hardly ran the ball but didn’t need to in a dominant team display. Cronk has proved over the last two series how much his presence adds to the Queensland team and how much his absence hurts them. 8


8 Matt Scott: What a reply from the old warhorse after being outplayed in game two. Made 17 runs for 147 metres and consistently rattled the talked-up Blues pack on both sides of the ball. Inspirational. 8.5


9 Cameron Smith (c): A pretty easy gig playing behind a dominant pack, but the captain put aside days of controversy to steer the ship brilliantly. Notched 24 tackles and five runs while giving his customary outstanding dummy-half service and was far more creative than in the first two games. 8


10 Nate Myles: Stood up impressively with 22 tackles and 13 hit-ups for 98 metres. Clearly had a point to prove and saved his Origin career in doing so. 8


11 Aidan Guerra: Led the Maroons’ tackle count with 26 (no misses), scored a try and ran hard all night in an energetic 65-minute performance. 8


12 Sam Thaiday: Stats of 17 tackles and nine runs for 65 metres don’t tell the story of Thaiday’s impact on the match. He was a terrier, diving on loose NSW passes on multiple occasions in a performance that proclaimed he is still among the code’s best backrowers. 8


13 Corey Parker: A deserving man-of-the-match and Wally Lewis Medal recipient. Chalked up 24 tackles, 132 metres from a game-high 19 carries, and five offloads in a non-stop display for which he has built his reputation. 9.5


14 Michael Morgan: Great impact in 24 minutes off the bench in a roving playmaker role, scoring a try and then sending Boyd over with a gem of a cut-out pass soon after. Would be picked ahead of Daly Cherry-Evans if a Cronk-less Queensland team was to be named tomorrow. 7.5


15 Josh Papalii: Did the job he was recalled to do, bending the Blues’ defensive line back with nine strong runs in 25 minutes on the field – including a crucial try running a great line off Thurston. 7.5


16 Matt Gillett: Played 41 minutes off the bench and contributed well with nine runs, 11 tackles and an opportunist try. 7  


17 Jacob Lillyman: Another veteran clearly determined to prove he wasn’t a spent force at Origin level, making an astonishing 13 runs for 129 metres in just 31 minutes of game-time. Wonderful contribution from the unassuming Warriors prop. 8



1 Josh Dugan: Probably the Blues’ best, producing several brave plays at the back and making 10 tackles – a phenomenal tally for a fullback. Struggled for opportunities in attack, running for just 67 metres. 6.5


2 Will Hopoate: A contentious selection throughout the series, ‘Hoppa’ will be doing well to retain his place next year after a woeful display in the decider. Coughed up the ball twice early on and made just seven runs for a paltry 20 metres. 2.5


3 Michael Jennings: The game two hero was virtually anonymous until swooping on a loose pass to sprint away for NSW’s only try. That run accounted for more than half of his 127-metre tally. 5


4 Josh Morris: Racked up 18 tackles but had zero impact with the ball in hand, making just five runs for 39 metres. Very disappointing from a traditionally strong performer at this level. 4


5 Brett Morris: Channelled his twin brother with a pathetic contribution of three runs and three errors. Arguably the best winger in the world, but was barely up to NSW Cup standard, let alone Origin. 3


6 Mitchell Pearce: Surely that is it at Origin level for the hapless Roosters linchpin. Made 21 tackles but missed seven, ran the ball just once and made no impression on the contest after a couple of handy kicks early on. Not aided by playing with the conservative Hodkinson, but still failed badly in the stepping-up department. 3.5


7 Trent Hodkinson: Played his sixth and last Origin, unable to take control for his side whatsoever. Hodkinson is an ideal half for a front-running side with a pack that is dominating, but he was all at sea in last night’s demolition. 3.5


8 Aaron Woods: Didn’t let anyone down, but certainly didn’t live up to his billing – many were calling him the best prop in the world after game two. Reeled off a mammoth 40 tackles and carted the ball up 11 times for 85 metres, but was overshadowed by Scott, Myles and Lillyman. 6


18 Michael Ennis: Led the tackle count with 52, but resorted to niggle when it became clear he was going to make zero impression on the contest with the ball in hand. A poor selection choice even given NSW’s scant dummy-half options. 4.5


10 James Tamou: Another who may have had his representative cards marked after a dreadful showing. Made four hit-ups for 28 metres and conceded three penalties, while almost certainly earning a few weeks on the sidelines for an ugly high shot and subsequent grubby swinging arm on Lillyman. 3


11 Beau Scott: Constantly talked up like some sort of Origin messiah over the last couple of years, Scott proved he is only suitable for the tight contests. Defending strongly as usual but ran the ball just twice. 4


12 Ryan Hoffman: Left the field with a leg complaint after just 21 minutes, during which time he had notched five tackles and one run. 3.5


13 Paul Gallen (c): The best of a badly beaten Blues pack, but it’s hard to remember a game where Gallen’s physical impact was so muted. Racked up 41 tackles and a team-high 18 runs for 128 metres in a wholehearted display. 6.5


14 Trent Merrin: Has been crying out for more time on the field but did little with his 31 minutes, other than dump Parker on his head and give himself a holiday courtesy of the judiciary. Ran the ball three times. 3


15 Boyd Cordner: Played 59 minutes off the bench but was largely a non-factor, making 28 tackles and five runs. 5


16 David Klemmer: Couldn’t replicate the barnstorming displays of the opening two games, but was still one of the Blues’ better performers. In 34 minutes, made 21 tackles and eight runs for 73 metres, although he was credited with two errors. Klemmer and Woods are the only NSW forwards that can be assured of lining up in next year’s series. 6


17 Josh Jackson: Nondescript performance from the workhorse backrower, making 23 tackles but just one run in 27 minutes on the paddock. 3

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