The New South Wales Blues have cruised past a lacklustre Queensland Maroons outfit in Game 2 of the 2019 State of Origin series, planting three tries in each half to run away 38-6 victors.
Here are the player rating for New South Wales.
1. James Tedesco – 9.5/10
Tedesco was the star of the show, a man that Queensland simply had no answer for. He was the catalyst for multiple tries throughout the game with his lightning footwork and slippery offence, opening up the Maroons defence like a can of tuna.
He continued to create something out of nothing at every turn, feeding Tom Trbojevic his first meat pie from the most innocuous of dummy-half runs.
Don’t even try and figure out his ridiculous flick pass try-assist for Tommy Turbo’s hat-trick.
He racked up the most runs (12) and running metres (104) in the first half, but the fun didn’t stop in the second stanza, somehow more than doubling those numbers by the end of the game in one of the most dominant fullback performances in State of Origin history.
2. Blake Ferguson – 7.5/10
The Eels winger put in a very strong performance on return to the Origin arena, surprisingly taking a lot of workload through the middle in the early stages of each half, racking up the hit ups at the start of sets to keep the Blues moving forward.
Playing the full 80 minutes, Ferguson ran for the third-most metres for the entire game and the second-highest post-contact metres. He was a machine with ball in hand without needing to be flashy.
While he didn’t rack up the tries or line breaks of his teammates in the backline, he played the powerhouse, churning through the hit-ups to take the pressure off the forwards, as well as picking up big metres out wide to push the Blues into the opposition half.
A dropped ball in the first half was made up for with a bruising tackle to take Corey Oates over the sideline in the ensuing set to save his own bacon.
3. Tom Trbojevic – 8.5
The first New South Wales hat-trick since Matt King in 2005, Tom Trbojevic was the beneficiary of some outstanding play from the Blues, twice picking off a final pass to cruise over the line for a four-pointer.
While credit should be given to those two tries for his ability to keep up with James Tedesco and Josh Addo-Carr, his first try was all his, leaping into the clouds to reel in a James Maloney high ball ahead of Kalyn Ponga.
Not really touched on throughout the game, but he was also very strong defensively, missing just one of 18 tackle attempts to keep the Maroons wide ball contained.
4. Jack Wighton – 6
Wighton was the man to give away the first half penalty try after taking out Will Chambers.
Other than that, he ran well on the edges when he could get his mitts on the ball, averaging over ten metres a run and threatening the break the line, even score a try in the first half, more than once.
Solid performance without being spectacular.
5. Josh Addo-Carr – 8.5
Addo-Carr may have been denied by a James Maloney forward pass in the first half, but The Fox wouldn’t be held down for long, scoring a brace in the second half as the Blues ran riot.
He was one of only two players to run for a double hundred in metres, topping the charts for the game with 215. He picked off three intercepts as well.
He terrorised the Maroons out wide, breaking the line almost at will.
6. James Maloney – 9
Maloney had a ripper on his Origin return, feeding a firing backline throughout the game, setting up a handful of tries and taking charge of the New South Wales side after an injury to halves partner Nathan Cleary ruled him out at halftime.
The man from Orange stood up and thrived under the added pressure with a strong kicking game, hitting a 40/20 and an assist of a high ball in the first half, keeping the Maroons on the back foot in their own half with intelligent placement off the boot.
He led the team beautifully from his post and locked down his position for Game 3.
7. Nathan Cleary – 4
Unfortunately ruled out of the game at halftime with an ankle injury, Cleary didn’t do anything wrong, just didn’t have the chance to anything period.
He was relatively quiet in the first half with Maloney firing on all cylinders, taking a backseat to his Panthers teammate and rightly so.
An awkward landing near the tryline was enough to keep him sidelined once he hit the sheds at halftime. If still fit, it would be harsh to drop him for Game 3 based off this performance.
8. Daniel Saifiti – 6
Only played 34 minutes, but stayed busy throughout, putting pressure on the Maroons defensive line up the middle of the park with some strong post-contact metres.
He landed 100 metres from his eight runs, looking strong with ball in hand, just lacking the opportunity and time on the park to expand on it.
9. Damien Cook – 8
A tough night for the hooker in very slippery conditions. The wet weather was a nightmare for handling but Cook was able to give consistently good delivery to his halves even when the heavens opened up.
A handful of really good darts out of dummy half, not overstaying his welcome in that regard, but picking his moments well on quicker play-the-balls and slow markers.
A defensive rock as ever with 20 first-half tackles, finishing the 80 minutes with a game-high 38 to his name, the most for either side.
13. Jake Trbojevic – 8
A surprising man of the match for some considering the performances of his teammates, but the older Trbojevic brother played the workhorse role perfectly.
He racked up 20 runs (second highest) for 168 metres, a fifth of those being post-contact. He was also dense in the middle with 30 tackles, including 21 in the first half to keep the Maroons off their line.
11. Boyd Cordner – 7
It was a relatively easy-going first half for the skipper, playing 25 of the 40 minutes due to a concussion assessment, with some strong runs under the belt, but nothing to set the world on fire.
A strong second half brought him right back into the game with a gritty captain’s knock in tricky conditions.
12. Tyson Frizell – 6
A barnstorming charge over the line from the big unit in the 18th-minute gave the Blues the lead once again, a lead they wouldn’t drop for the remainder of the game.
Frizell’s game was more of a defensive one for the most part, making the most tackles (25) of the first half in powerful display of contact tackling, keeping the Queenslander’s down when they had ball in hand.
14. Dale Finucane – 6
Not a terrible game by any means for his 42 minutes on the field.
He made the most of a short first half, making 13 tackles in 17 minutes in the defensive line and taking the fight to the Queensland forward pack early on in the contest, ending up with over 80 metres at the end of the game.
10. Paul Vaughan – 7
Brought on later in the second half and put the pressure on the opposition players as a hard-hitter in attack and defence.
Vaughan would make 20 tackles without a single missed, and well over 100 running metres in a very strong impact performance off the bench. It’s hard to see him losing his place for Game 3 after this one.
15. Tariq Sims – 5
Sims didn’t get a whole lot of game time at the end of the day which hurts his rating a touch, but still put in a solid performance when given the chance, making big metres early in the second half as the Blues wrestled any momentum away from their rivals.
He’ll be hoping to be a little busier next time around if he gets the chance.
16. Cameron Murray – 5
Didn’t get any game time in the first half, but was allowed to play the rest of the game after coming on in the 48th minute.
He was just shy of hitting double-figure run metres per carry. A quiet achiever in a second half dominated by New South Wales’ outside backs.
17. Wade Graham – 7.5
A beneficiary of two injuries to teammates throughout the game, Wade Graham came on off the bench in the first half in place of Boyd Cordner, who was off for a concussion test, then was allowed to play the entire second half in place of Nathan Cleary, who was ruled out at halftime.
It was an eclectic performance from Graham who was juggling different positions each time he came on, but he handled the pressure well.
He set up Josh Addo-Carr’s first try with a peach of a grubber into the in-goal area, also playing an integral role in The Fox’s second pie as well.