James Tedesco – 9.5
Shone brightly in what was surely his finest ever performance in the sky blue jumper. Scored the opening try in support of a Damien Cook bust through the middle. Set one up for Latrell Mitchell, before creating another to Josh Addo-Carr in truly spectacular fashion. Looked equally dangerous off kick-returns as he did on the attack, regularly making tackle-busts and running for a total of 220m. Has now arguably cemented his status as NSW’s premier fullback.
Josh Addo-Carr – 7
One of NSW’s many debutants, and it was certainly one to remember. Looked dangerous whenever he touched the ball, made the tough carries when required and finished off with the final try of the game in the 68th minute. Showed good toe while chasing in vain a runaway Valentine Holmes, but unfortunately didn’t get a chance to light up the MCG with ball in hand. Here’s hoping he’s saving one of his trademark length-of-the-field efforts for games 2 or 3 of the State of Origin series.
Latrell Mitchell – 8
Barged over for a try on debut from close range. Ran and tackled with gusto, making defenders work hard to tackle him. Worked hard to get his team out of trouble. Also showed tremendous maturity in his running battle with Will Chambers. Should take plenty out of his first of what could be many outings for NSW.
James Roberts – 6.5
Struggled to get into the game in attack in the face of constant pressure from Greg Inglis, but in turn held his own in defence against his cousin. Took pressure off the forwards with some good runs coming out of the red-zone, but will look to get more involved in Game 2.
Tom Trbojevic – 7.5
Another who bagged a try on debut, he looked instantly at home in a Blue jersey. Also looked at home on the MCG, taking a spectacular mark to score his try. Got hammered by Greg Inglis in the second half in what was something of a ‘welcome to Origin’. Looks set for a long career ahead of him for NSW.
James Maloney – 8.5
Added a touch of class and direction at times when NSW needed it most. Set 3 tries up and kicked 3 goals, he showed again that he is the premier half in NSW, despite missing the odd tackle, making the odd error and giving away the odd penalty.
Nathan Cleary – 7.5
Showed ability beyond his years in what was a strong debut. Showed early that he was willing to take on the line. While he didn’t end up getting amongst the tries or try assists, it was in defence that he truly impressed, making some remarkable tackles.
David Klemmer – 7.5
Ran and tackled hard all night. His first stint produced 104m from just 9 runs. Didn’t find his front as often as he would have liked, but still helped set a great platform for the likes of James Tedesco and Damien Cook.
Damien Cook – 8.5
Did exactly what he was picked to do – make tackles and split the defence like a hot knife through butter. Made the break that led to James Tedesco’s opening try and topped the tackle count with 55. Went down with a rib injury midway through the second half, but soldiered on in what was truly an Origin-worthy display of toughness.
Reagan Campbell-Gillard – 7
Didn’t quite make good on his promise to “kill someone”, but he did hit the Queenslanders quite hard. Made strong charges too and was a big part of the reason for NSW being able to gain the ascendency early.
Boyd Cordner – 7
Led from the front with a typically strong performance. Had the most runs of any player on the field with 21. Ran good lines and looked dangerous close to the try line.
Tyson Frizell – 7.5
Looked very dangerous early with some big charges, but failed to threaten much in the second half. Made a whopping 46 tackles as Queensland relentlessly attacked his edge.
Jack De Belin – 7.5
Made it his mission to cut Queenslanders in half right from the get go. Didn’t do much in attack, but was picked to be a tackling machine, and that’s exactly what he did.
Paul Vaughan – 7
Good debut. Got put on his back in his first charge, but got up and continued to make strong charges throughout his time on the field.
Jake Trbojevic – 7.5
Came on to maintain the aggression of the NSW forwards and did exactly that. Got limited attacking opportunities, but will be looking to exploit his combination with brother Tom in Game 2.
Angus Crichton – 7
Looked at home in the Origin arena. Had a limited impact on the game, but tackled and ran hard.
Tyrone Peachey – 3
Played limited minutes and made a minimal impact. Will be looking for more opportunities in Game 2.
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