The New South Wales Blues have won the first game of the 2017 State of Origin series by 24 points away from home in a superb performance. Here are The Roar‘s player ratings for the Blues
James Tedesco – 8.5
Tedesco’s first half was solid without being sensational, but he turned it on during the second half big time! His defence was brilliant, the try saving on Matt Gillett springs to mind, while his running game saw him collect 189 metres, a try assist, a try and a couple of line breaks.
There’s no threat of the fullback not retaining his spot in three weeks time.
Brett Morris – 6.5
A pretty typical Morris-type performance. No errors, no silly decisions and a lot of good ball running as well as a game modelled around defensive skills. He shut down the Maroons attack every time the question was asked with conviction and never looked out of his depth in a return to the Origin arena.
More State of Origin Game 1 coverage
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» Five talking points from the Blues’ Game 1 victory
» Match report: Blues’ onslaught stuns Maroons in their own back yard
» WATCH: All the Origin 1 highlights
Jarryd Hayne – 7
The selection of Hayne was critiqued before the game, and for good reason. He quickly silenced his doubters though, reminding everyone exactly how valuable he is. A try in the second half was the headline act, but it’s hard to remember a bad touch or poor defensive decision.
Josh Dugan – 5
The mark isn’t a knock on Dugan’s game – it’s just that he didn’t have a whole lot to do. Made some solid runs, but only just cleared 100 metres and was easily the quietest of the Blues’ backs.
He won’t be losing his spot for the performance, but he does need to fix some of his decision-making. A couple of kicks were interesting to say the lead and he certainly didn’t get as involved as we are probably used to seeing.
Blake Ferguson – 8
All of the outside backs played solidly enough, but it was a lot of running off their own line more than anything else.
Ferguson was the best of the lot for the Blues. He was constantly ducking into dummy half and bending the line to clear the Blues’ red-zone, and while Queensland’s only try was scored over the top of him, it was an impressive performance from the Roosters winger.
James Maloney – 6
Maloney was solid without standing out or doing anything special. His long kicking game was strong and he found the grass more often than not, but he allowed Pearce to dominate much of the play close to the line.
Still, he had some good moments running and passing. His defence his still an issue though – eight missed tackles could have proved costly.
Mitchell Pearce – 7.5
Probably Pearce’s best ever performance in the Origin arena. He still made a couple of errors, but going a full (well, full-ish) without a single blemish isn’t expected. His kicking game was strong for the most part and he made smart decisions, backing up for the try that cracked the game wide open on the stroke of halftime.
Unfortunately, he was injured and couldn’t see the game out, but it was all over by that point.
Aaron Woods – 7
I was sceptical about picking Woods. His form hasn’t been outstanding for the Tigers, and his running style has always been a bit too soft for Origin.
Personal opinions aside, full credit to the Tigers prop. His performance backed up Fifita’s beautifully and got the Blues off to the sort of start they absolutely had to have. He ended up with 136 metres from 15 runs and looked dangerous every now and again. Solid job.
Nathan Peats – 8
Better than solid on debut could be a statement used to describe Peats’ first foray into the Origin arena. He came out firing, not overplaying his hand, providing high-quality service and lasting the full 80 minutes. He took a few solid runs here and there and worked hard on defence, making more than 50 tackles.
The difference between Robbie Farah last year and Nathan Peats this year was astronomical.
Andrew Fifita – 9
The big prop made an incredible start to the match, getting the Blues off to an absolute flier. He bended the line with every run, assisted the opening try for Sharks teammate James Maloney and held his own on defence.
It was no surprise he took out man of the match honours, ending with 183 metres from 18 runs.
Boyd Cordner – 7.5
In his first game as captain, Cordner excelled. He wasn’t the standout – far from it – but he didn’t make an error and was always willing to take the extra hit-up when his side needed it. Cordner really led from the front, broke the line once or twice and had the Maroons defence concerned.
He also defended well, adding 37 tackles in a solid all-round performance.
Josh Jackson – 5
Jackson was strong in defence as he always is at Origin level. It’s what he gets picked for, and there’s no question he lived up to that part of his game. Unfortunately, his ball-running went missing for a large part of the game and he only touched the ball seven times for 31 metres.
He didn’t need to do much more because of the way the rest of the Blues pack played, but he would be disappointed with his personal effort in attack.
Tyson Frizell – 5.5
Frizell didn’t do a stack more than Jackson, but he also defended well and looked menacing with the ball a couple of times, bending the line. Like Jackson, he didn’t need to do much more, but will be looking to get more involved come Game 2.
David Klemmer – 7
Fifita and Woods started the game strongly for the Blues, but it was then down to the bench to keep the momentum going and that was led by Klemmer. The intimidating Bulldogs front-rower came on and made an immediate impact, ending with 172 metres.
Wade Graham – 6
Played plenty of minutes off the bench and his best moment in the match came when he threw a lovely inside ball for James Tedesco at the end of the first half which set up the aforementioned Pearce try.
Was solid in defence, got creative when he needed to and ran the ball with plenty of energy every time he got the chance.
Jake Trbojevic – 6.5
Like Peats, the Manly lock made a solid Origin debut. He joined Klemmer in the original onslaught off the bench, made some impressive carries and held his own in defence.
Jack Bird – 4
Simply didn’t have enough game time to do anything. His five runs all looked dangerous, but he wasn’t able to create much with importance on it.
Given the pace of the game, he could have been well used at the back-end of the first half, but it wasn’t to be for the Blues utility.
Roarers, what did you make of the Blues in Origin 1? Drop a comment below and let us know.