New South Wales Blues player ratings: State of Origin Game 3

Scott Pryde Roar Guru

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    The New South Wales Blues couldn’t pick up the victory in Game 3 of the 2018 State of Origin series, but they did lift the shield for the first time since 2014 last night. Here are my player ratings for the Blues.

    More Origin 3
    » Dead rubber? Game 3 proved there’s no such thing in Origin
    » Seven talking points from Origin 3
    » Queensland Maroons player ratings: Game 3
    » WATCH: All the highlights as Queensland send Billy Slater out a winner

    1. James Tedesco – 7.5
    Not the fullback’s best game in the sky blue, but he still came up with some huge plays. Despite throwing the pass which led to Valentine Holmes’ 90-metre effort, he scored a try, had a hand in others and ran the ball well all night. His defence on the goalline, particularly during the first half, was also outstanding.

    Click here to re-live The Roar’s live blog.

    2. Tom Trbojevic – 8
    Trbojevic put in one of the best winger’s performances you are likely to see at this level. He scored the Blues first try on an intercept, but ended up with more than 230 metres, line breaks and a number of positive plays to his name.

    Trbojevic has well and truly shown he belongs at his level.

    3. Latrell Mitchell – 5
    Mitchell will develop into a fantastic Origin player, but I’m still not sold on him after last night. To be fair, the Blues spent most of the first half in defence and his attacking opportunities were limited. Mitchell made some big tackles on Will Chambers, but also let the first try in during the first half.

    He still has the odd brain snap as well. A dumb penalty early in the game almost led to an early try for Queensland.

    4. James Roberts – 5.5
    As the story will be for so many of the Blues, he defended really well during the first half of the game. Like Mitchell though, I’m no convinced about his Origin credentials. For Roberts to be a high-quality player, he must have space to work with the ball. That’s rare at Origin level and stunted his attack during Game 3.

    5. Josh Addo-Carr – 6
    Addo-Carr struggled for opportunities throughout the game, but did have a couple of dangerous-looking runs. To go with that, his defensive effort was first-class for most of the match. He ended up with 150 metres and almost could have been the hero after a break in the dying minutes of the contest.

    6. James Maloney – 5.5
    This was Maloney’s worst game of the series by a considerable distance really. He ended up in the sin bin, wasn’t able to control the New South Wales attack with his attack and struggled to play consistently. He made some bad errors in attack as well, leaving the ball behind on a pass at one point during the late second half.

    He had some good plays as well, but it’s not enough to justify a high rating.

    James Maloney

    James Maloney of the Blues (Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

    7. Nathan Cleary – 6.5
    Cleary proved exactly how good he is during the ten-minute period when Maloney was in the sin bin. He stood up and led the Blues team around the park, slotting a couple of high-pressured conversions during that period as well.

    While he could have done more in the last 20, especially with the struggles of Maloney, it’s hard to be too criticial on the young half.

    8. David Klemmer – 6.5
    Klemmer had a really solid first stint of the game. He was one of the Blues best, but when he came back for his second, he ruined what would have been a higher rating with a poor second half.

    The big Bulldogs prop was pulled up for a trip and and missed a crucial tackle against Ben Hunt who took Queensland to victory.

    9. Damien Cook – 7.5
    This is the first time Cook hasn’t led the tackle count for the series. He still finished second with 37 though, putting in another big performance. His attack hasn’t been at the same level as it was in Game 1 across the rest of the series, but the hooker has barely put a foot wrong in his debut series.

    10. Paul Vaughan – 4
    The way Brad Fittler has used his front rowers throughout this series has been somewhat confusing. They all seem to have spent far too much time on the bench and Vaughan’s effort in Game 3 was no different.

    Moved into a starting role, he had just one run in his first 20-minute burst, and while he tackled strongly, it’s hard to say he impacted the game greatly.

    11. Boyd Cordner – 7
    It was a captain’s knock to say the least from Cordner. He was effective with the ball and hit hard in defence. Interestingly, he only ended up with 91 metres and 21 tackles, but everyone of them were done at a hundred miles an hour as he tried to inspire his side back into the game.

    His defensive plays during the first half when the Blues were under so much pressure with only 30 per cent possession were superb as well.

    Boyd Cordner

    Boyd Cordner of the Blues (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

    12. Tyson Frizell – 6
    Hard to get a read on the game Frizell played. He didn’t really put a foot wrong, defending well and doing everything right when he got the opportunties. The problem for the second rower was the lack of opportunities with the ball. By the end of the match he had just 68 metres from seven runs to go with a swathe of tackles.

    It screams maybe he didn’t go searching for it enough, but Frizell did something close to his job.

    15. Jake Trbojevic – 8
    Given his first start this series, Trbojevic made a huge impact on the Blues. He never stopped trying, ending the game with 43 tackles and plenty of handy touches on the ball. It’s hard to see him not being in the Blues – and indeed Australian – number 13 jersey for most of the next decade.

    13. Jack de Belin – 5.5
    De Belin was the man put onto the bench so Trbojevic could start and unfortunately he didn’t really have the required impact from the pine. He ended up with 53 metres and 18 tackles, which, given his minutes is hardly terrible, but there is a nagging feeling he could have done more.

    14. Tariq Sims – 6
    Sims came off the bench at a million miles per hour and got the Blues off to a great start in the second half. His aggression is a key reason I had him in my 17 before Game 1 and he showed what he can do during Game 3. Unfortunately, his rating is dragged down by the one the craziest penalties you’ll ever seen on a rugby league field.

    I mean, fancy tackling the marker after you played the ball. You can’t make that stuff up.

    16. Angus Crichton – 5.5
    Let the pressure get to him when he threw an offload over the sideline instead of hitting James Roberts who likely would have gone on to score in the corner. Still, the rest of his was pretty solid.

    17. Tyrone Peachey – 5
    Again, it’s hard to work out what Fittler’s plan is with the utility in the Blues side. He got 18 minutes in Game 3, which is more than he got in either of the first two and looked dangerous when he did enter the fold, but it’s hard to rate Peachey as anything more than average when he came on as late as he did against very tired bodies.

    Being dangerous is exactly what was expected and anticipated of him at that point.

    Total: 105.5/170

    Scott Pryde
    Scott Pryde

    One of the mainstays of The Roar, Scott Pryde has written over 2000 articles covering everything from rugby league to basketball, from tennis to cricket. You can follow him on Twitter @sk_pryde.

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    The Crowd Says (41)

    • July 12th 2018 @ 5:42am
      Forty Twenty said | July 12th 2018 @ 5:42am | ! Report

      It’s a strange thing that in a year when Manly are out of contention in the NRL they lead the Roar ratings for NSW and QLD in SOO. Manly players in general haven’t starred so much in this arena for much of its history but the Turbo brothers look very much at home.

      Tariq Sims was good I thought and always looked like a SOO player bar injuries. Ben Hunt could have been penalised for three separate acts in the so called crazy Sims incident. Holding Sims down , not square at marker and interfering with Sims playing the ball Sims was very hard done by.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 6:57am
        Graham said | July 12th 2018 @ 6:57am | ! Report

        The salary cap turns the league into money ball doesn’t it?
        I reckon most of the top 20 players in the game play for the bottom 6 sides whereas the top sides are full of above average players

      • July 12th 2018 @ 7:47am
        Brendon said | July 12th 2018 @ 7:47am | ! Report

        Have to disagree with Sims. Granted Hunt could have worked harder to get up, however Sims did have his head trapped under the ball trying to milk the penalty, effectively having him in a headlock. No penalty was given, get up, play the ball, move on. Dont get up, play the ball, grab the marker, driver him back, interfere with the next play. Silly move.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 8:13am
          Forty Twenty said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:13am | ! Report

          Hunt is not close to being square as Sims puts the ball on the ground and then grabs Sims by the head, clear penalty to NSW , have a look it’s all on replay to the right.

          • July 12th 2018 @ 11:43am
            Paul said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:43am | ! Report

            The most amazing part of this sequence was listening to the ref explain the penalty to Cordner.

            He said “Tariq” was hit with a “strong tackle” by Hunt, which he “didn’t like” and so he “retaliated”. No mention of tackling a player without the ball, or markers not being square…no actual mention of the rule which was broken.

            In no other sport would a Ref assume they know what that player is thinking, and actually provide that as a reason for the penalty. NRL refs are the worst…

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2018 @ 12:27pm
            Matt H said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:27pm | ! Report

            Yes, but there would have been 60 other tackles on the night from both sides, where the defenders held and attacker down and could have been penalised but weren’t . Particularly when NSW were defending grimly in the first half and when QLD were doing the same in the second. And yet only one player thought it was a good idea to drive-tackle the marker 10 metres backwards.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 4:43pm
        Tom said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:43pm | ! Report

        I’ve said it before and will say it again – Manly’s problem is the second tier, not top tier talent. The Trbojevics, Taupau, DCE, Dylan Walker, and Api Koroisau are at least as good as their equivalents in the 07-13 squad. The problem is the lack of guys like Joe Galuvao, Glenn Hall, Jason King, Mark Bryant etc who came in and provided solid performances to complement the superstars.

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2018 @ 6:50am
      Dutski said | July 12th 2018 @ 6:50am | ! Report

      I disagree with your rating for Vaughan. Tackled his guts out and led the defensive effort with some mammoth hits. One run in his first 20 minute stint? Hello… NSW hardly had the ball! Put away the stats sheet and consider the game. Stupidity by Fittler to leave him on the pine while Crichton was blowing like a steam train for the last 20 minutes.
      Klemmer is a dumb footballer. Surely the Blues have a better front row option. Prior or anyone else please.
      Mitchell needs to look for the ball.
      Teddy had a great game. My biggest criticism was the intercept pass- not that he threw it but that he was trying to cut out Mitchell at pace 5m out. That close to the line give it to Mitchell!!!
      Maloney tried his guts out and deserved a better rating. Honestly apart from throwing that long ball he didn’t do much wrong. He played better than Cleary in my books.
      Great game of footy nonetheless with Teddy my man of the series, with Cook a close second.

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2018 @ 8:51am
        The Barry said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:51am | ! Report

        That was a horribly dumb play by Klemmer but he’s still NSW best front rower by some distance.

        • Roar Guru

          July 12th 2018 @ 9:15am
          Dutski said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:15am | ! Report

          Unfortunately Barry I agree that nobody is putting their hand up to replace him. But surely, surely someone will emerge. Not just the penalty but his lateral movement in defence was horribly exposed by Munster more than once. If fit is play Finucaine out of position at prop.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 9:23am
          jimmmy said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:23am | ! Report

          Klemmer has always had a big mistake in him ever since he started. He is a truly dominant forward but I don’t think the big mistake will ever go from his game. Accept him for what he is . He is the first NSW forward picked on my reckoning.

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2018 @ 10:48am
            Dutski said | July 12th 2018 @ 10:48am | ! Report

            Nope jimmmy, not for mine. Jake T, Vaughan, JDB, Frizell and Cordner all picked first, and all but Cordner can play in the middle. Even Sims. Ryan James. Throw Vaughan more responsibility – the man thrives on it. Generational change needs one more step.

        • Roar Rookie

          July 12th 2018 @ 11:05am
          steveng said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:05am | ! Report

          TB, I don’t know if Klemmer tripped Hunt? He came in as a decoy while Hunt was coming out of the defensive line and they collided (Klemmer looked sloppy and tired) and I don’t think that Klemmer intentionally tripped Hunt! It was a fair enough penalty but, it was at a very crucial part of the game as NSW were a big chance of scoring there. Hunt, was a bit theatrical with his antics, from when he came on, his aggressive tackle on Sims (that resulted in a penalty0 and a change in posetion on our 20m, was a bit questionable and as usual Sutton and Klein took the bait. All in all it was a great game and series and all us Blues fans should be proud of our boys and their performances in SOO 2018. Go the Blues and the Bunnies, Cookie and Gags were outstanding in these series and its looking great for the Bunnies in 2018!!!

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2018 @ 12:29pm
            Matt H said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

            He stuck his foot out. It was a classic trip and the second dumbest play on the night.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 12th 2018 @ 1:13pm
              parkhacker said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:13pm | ! Report

              No, Hunt ran into Klemmer and fell over just like a Neymar soccer dive.That gave the crap ref an excuse to deny our great try.What was the penalty count 8-3 Maroons way I think I heard just to give King Slater a good send off.We did make a few errors at critical times like pressing their line and making a stupid pass gave them 6 points like in previous game.Maloneys worst game ever, Klemmer as usual our best forward always going forward and good in defence.Cordner had average game leading from the front .Tedesco tried hard all night but without the ball what could he do.
              Just heard on radio that Slater made Man of the Match and Man of the Series.What a joke he missed Game 1 and on LOSING side.When you hear that Lockyer,Meninga and Daley make the award what else would you expect.Good on you Blues we won series and I hope I never see Slater in the series again.
              To Matt H if you are Maroons supporter stay off this site.

              • Roar Guru

                July 12th 2018 @ 1:36pm
                Emcie said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

                Yeah, Matt H! This site is only for New South Wailers!

              • Roar Guru

                July 12th 2018 @ 4:35pm
                Matt H said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:35pm | ! Report

                It’s a trip every day of the week. In the old days it was a send off offence. Hunt wasn’t even looking at Klemmer so how he took a dive I’m not sure.

                And of those 8 penalties we have a blatant trip, Sims crash tackling the marker, Maloney taking our a kick chaser and copping 10 minutes and Mitchell engaging in a blatant shoulder charge in the first set of six. Add to that the fact that the team with most possession always get more penalties because they have the ball and the 8-3 penalty count suddenly looks just fine.

                And yes I support QLD, so I’ve had a pretty good decade. How about you? Given where you’re from I’d imagine you have had a great decade supporting the Blues, the Wests Tigers and GWS. Maybe you need a lie down.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 1:36pm
        Albo said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:36pm | ! Report

        Well I thought Tedesco had a shocker last night along with Turbo and Maloney. Our three best players from games 1 & 2 had shockers, not because of their general play , but because of the crucial errors all three of them made that ensured NSW missed the clean sweep. And their ratings here are way too high. Take Tedesco, he threw a ridiculous pass that turned what should have been a try to Mitchell into a try for Holmes to start the rot. Then he was nowhere in the picture for some cover defence on Holmes for his second try. Jurbo was left to try to do that. Then Teddy rarely appeared in any backline sorties that NSW tried to put on in that 2nd half. Cleary was left with no one to pass to on the right but Crichton who was completely lost most of the series, or a cut out pass to Roberts who was well marshalled by QLD last night. Then Turbo made some great breaks in the 2nd half but died with the ball on every occasion with players in support outside him. I make it three tries he butchered which undid all the good work of his line breaks. Then Maloney was off his game all night, with dropped balls , poor passes and the 10 minute sin binning. He did pull off a couple of great try saving tackles however. I think these three players along with Fittler’s questionable interchange tactics , were the chief cause of NSW not taking this series 3-0. Hopefully plenty is learned for next year. For me, I thought Jake T was the top NSW player last night and probably vying for the man of the series with Damian Cook. Of the other forwards most did their job , but without creating any domination , perhaps because of the way the players were interchanged by Freddy ? I can’t help but feel NSW generally had the right players to have completely dominated this series, but I think tactics in general and some really poor execution last night , ruined that plan.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 1:55pm
          kk said | July 12th 2018 @ 1:55pm | ! Report

          Well done Albo. Post of the series.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 4:49pm
          Tom said | July 12th 2018 @ 4:49pm | ! Report

          Agreed on Turbo Albo, and I’m a Manly supporter – I thought for a bit I was the only one who noticed the missed support runners? Everyone else seems to be giving him pretty solid ratings for the game.

          Crichton was in over his head. I really don’t see why he is there over Josh Jackson or Wade Graham, both of whom didn’t deserve to get dropped.

    • July 12th 2018 @ 8:04am
      jimmmy said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:04am | ! Report

      You are are hard marker Scottie. Glad you weren’t grading my high school papers. Overall the Blues were excellent,
      The fact they didn’t have the footy for the whole first half might affect the stats,
      I would find it hard to give any of them lower than a seven. They were great, the Maroons were great , the game was great,

      • July 12th 2018 @ 8:15am
        Paul said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:15am | ! Report

        I must be the only bloke who didn’t think the Maroons were great. They had SO much ball and territory in the first half, yet could only score an intercept try. At one stage late in the first half, with Munster dancing around close to the line, I thought these guys have run out of ideas.

        Kudos to the Maroons win but calling them great…… I think that’s a stretch.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 9:20am
          jimmmy said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:20am | ! Report

          NSW were defensively superb. QLD threw everything but the kitchen sink at them in that first half but they kept making that last desperate tackle. DCE kept rolling the ball in, QLD maintained the pressure but NSW would not crack.
          You think this is cause QLD weren’t good enough to score. I think it’s because NSW were sensational.

          QLD came out in the second half played more direct , won the forward battle (as thy should have ) and scored two very classy tries. Yep they were great as well.

        • Roar Guru

          July 12th 2018 @ 12:31pm
          Matt H said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:31pm | ! Report

          You have a point Paul. DCE managed the game very well in the first half and QLD dominated the forward battle. But both DCE and Munster on their respective sides were just running sideways towards the touch lines, hoping for something to happen. And Gagai had no idea how to set up his winger to go in the corner. And even though the Blues were out on their feet QLD failed to hammer the Blues with balls back on the inside to Slater.

          So yes, the Blues were defensively great during that period, but QLD didn’t throw as much at them as they could have.

          • Roar Guru

            July 12th 2018 @ 12:49pm
            Emcie said | July 12th 2018 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

            Yeah, Slater was constantly putting himself through holes around the ball. A bit more awareness from the outside backs and QLD could’ve racked up a decent buffer

    • July 12th 2018 @ 8:19am
      Paul said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:19am | ! Report

      It might seem strange but I thought Addo-Carr had a great game last night, Scott, certainly a 7 if Tommy Turbo scored an 8.He tried his guts out all night, made a heap of telling tackles and never once shirked his role in bringing back the ball on first or second tackle

      The rest of the ratings seem close to the mark. The big concern has to be the numbers for Cleary & Maloney. Sure they had little useful posession in the first half, but they needed to drive their forwards more and really talk it up. Didn’t happen a lot and in Cleary’s case, didn’t happen much across 3 games

    • Roar Guru

      July 12th 2018 @ 8:56am
      The Barry said | July 12th 2018 @ 8:56am | ! Report

      What exactly did Cleary do to show his class while Maloney was off the field?

      NSW’s points were from a 90 metre intercept and Cook putting Tedesco through the middle.

      Cleary didn’t do much in that ten minutes.

      I think he’s a fine young player but he’s in danger of becoming the most over rated player in the game with the way people fawn over him.

      He was an ok 6 across all three games. Didn’t challenge the line once, no line breaks, LBAs, try assists. Kicked ok. Made some important tackles but actually had a pretty low effective tackle %.

      • July 12th 2018 @ 11:45am
        Paul said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:45am | ! Report

    • Roar Rookie

      July 12th 2018 @ 9:30am
      souvalis said | July 12th 2018 @ 9:30am | ! Report

      Right now,he’s still the Blues best option at 7 …if only for his service,coolness and reliability..

      • Roar Guru

        July 12th 2018 @ 10:15am
        The Barry said | July 12th 2018 @ 10:15am | ! Report

        Yeah I agree completely souvalis for the reasons you’ve put plus his ceiling to develop and improve.

        There’s just a difference between recognising that someone is the best option and being developed for the future as opposed to some of the smoke being blown Cleary’s way.

        He was solid. Made very few mistakes and after the decade we’ve had of 7s we’ll take that every day.

        But I think we can be comfortable saying he’s made a solid start and looks good rather than done of the “born for origin, showed us what he’s capable of, superstar” hype that’s around.

        • July 12th 2018 @ 11:53am
          Lord Erebus said | July 12th 2018 @ 11:53am | ! Report

          Totally agree TB, and I’m a one-eyed Panther Fan (and Queenslander). Cleary was solid, but unspectacular. Reliable, but not special. He’s played that way since he came back from injury, and I don’t know whether that’s because Maloney controls the show for Penny and New South, or whether he is being coached that way, or whether he isn’t quiet 100% back (mentally) yet.

          How Maloney, Teddy, Cook or Cordner don’t win the Wally Lewis medal is still a bit beyond me, too. NSW lost game 3, but fought to the death, and won the series. Looking forward to next year!

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