State of Origin
State of Origin
QLD Maroons v NSW Blues
The New South Wales Blues have secured this year’s State of Origin title with an emphatic 26-0?victory in the Suncorp Stadium cauldron.
Brad Fittler’s men once again had the measure in the middle of the field, but it was their back five led by James Tedesco and Latrell Mitchell that was the clear difference.
The result means NSW take home the shield in 2021 and the Blues have now won two consecutive games in Queensland for the first time since 1998.?
Here’s how we rated each Blues player’s performance in the commanding Game II win.
A huge game from the Blues’ skipper. Caused all kinds of headaches as he tends to do around the ruck with his speed and agility, which created plenty of opportunities down both edges. Finished with 234 run metres, two try assists and 10 tackle breaks.
The Maroons clearly put extra work into defending To’o after his dominant performance in the series opener, but what the nuggety winger provided with his runs was pivotal. Finished with 212 metres, 78 post-contact, a linebreak and five tackle breaks.
Even without the extra space afforded for him to play the roaming role in Game I, Turbo caused all kinds of havoc to his opposite number Kurt Capewell and Queensland’s left edge overall. Finished off the Blues’ third try that all but secured the result. Had 170 run metres, a try, a linebreak assist and seven tackle breaks.
A narrow second behind Tedesco for the Blues’ best player. Scored a brilliant intercept try after going the distance from the Blues’ 10 metre line but his power game was uncontainable. Had an exciting running battle with Rabbitohs teammate Dane Gagai and more than had his measure. Finished the night with 176 run metres and four tackle-breaks.
Nabbed the Blues’ first try and set up Trbojevic for their third after showing blinding pace down the right edge, before grabbing another four-pointer in the second half. Crossed for a double, made three linebreaks and ran for 105 metres.
Another classy performance that was brimming with typical confidence from the Blues five-eighth. Didn’t shy away from the extra attention put on him from Daly Cherry-Evans and Felise Kaufusi. Ran for 62 metres and?made a linebreak.
Put under plenty of pressure by Queensland’s attempts to rush up in defence but like in Game I didn’t overplay his hand. Kicked terrifically. Finished the night with 114 metres, a linebreak and a linebreak assist along with 16 kicks for 484 kick metres.
It was a far more even contest in the middle with Christian Welch and Josh Papalii back for the Maroons, but Saifiti did an excellent job finding his front off his strong running to help lay the foundations for his side in attack. 128 run metres, 45 post-contact and 34 tackles.
The Maroons had Cook’s running game pretty well contained but the hooker barely put a foot wrong in attack otherwise, linking up perfectly with his two halves and Tedesco sniffing around the ruck. Made 40 tackles and ran four times for 22 metres.
Did exactly what the Blues needed of him without being a standout, running some hard direct lines in attack and offering his typical aggression in defence. Made 11 runs for 92 metres and 18 tackles.
A commanding effort on the right side from Murray whose ability to read the play in attack and when to run and when to pass created a number of opportunities for the likes of Addo-Carr and Trbojevic. Made 44 tackles and ran for 79 metres.
Another workmanlike effort from the Blues aggressor with some monstrous carries out of territory and some big hits in defence. Has struck up a dominant defensive partnership with?Mitchell and Luai. Made nine runs for 95 metres along with 29 tackles.
Made for the Origin arena. The way Yeo links the Blues’ two sides of attack alongside Panthers teammates Jarome Luai and Nathan Cleary is a huge difference-maker. Another outstanding performance in what was his third Origin game. A game-high 45 tackles to go with 93 run metres.
Came on with eight minutes left in the game.
Performed his role off the bench beautifully, playing hard and fast through the middle of the field. Was the Blues’ best forward on the right edge in last year’s series but proved just as handy around the ruck. Ran 16 times for 124 metres and 19 tackles.
The Blues’ most dominant middle forward when he came off the bench midway through the first half. The Maroons struggled to contain the monstrous young prop, whose x-factor is something the Queensland forwards lacked. Made 24 tackles with no misses and ran for 105 metres.
Played a limited role off the bench in the second half, slotting in on the right edge and in the middle and didn’t put a foot wrong. Proven he’ll be a Blues players for years to come in just two games off the bench. Made three runs for 41 metres.