The Roar
The Roar


Non-stop Cotter collects Wally Lewis Medal while electric Cody rewarded with Origin III honours

Autoplay in... 6 (Cancel)
Up Next No more videos! Playlist is empty -
12th July, 2023

Cody Walker capped a stunning return to the Origin arena by being named the man of the match after NSW salvaged lost pride with a 24-10 win over Queensland at Accor Stadium.

The NSW five-eighth, recalled for the first time in three years, was dynamic down the left edge all game, setting up breaks and tries for Bradman Best and Josh Addo-Carr.

 An honourable mention goes to Best, who scored two tries on Origin debut to vindicate his surprise selection. 

The second half had been evenly matched and scoreless until NSW captain James Tedesco sold a dummy to Valentine Holmes and skipped between he and Daly Cherry-Evans. Criticised for his lukewarm performances in the first two games, the fullback belted down-field and passed inside for Best, whose second try had the Blues closing in on victory up 14 points with 13 minutes to play.

Cody Walker. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

When it came to the player of the series award, Queensland’s Reuben Cotter was a deserving winner of the Wally Lewis Medal after his starring role in the Maroons retaining the Origin shield.

The voting panel of Queensland legends Mal Meninga and Darren Lockyer and Blues great Laurie Daley adjudged Cotter the most influential player in a Maroons-dominated series after NSW won game three on Wednesday night.

Cotter had previously earned man-of-the-match honours after the first game, where he played big minutes following an injury to Tom Gilbert midway through the first half.


Cotter’s versatility came to the fore in his first full series for the Maroons – he started in both the front and second rows across the series but remained one of the side’s most consistent performers.

“He’s an incredible player,” said Maroons coach Billy Slater.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JULY 12: Reuben Cotter of the Maroons is tackled during game three of the State of Origin series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on July 12, 2023 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Reuben Cotter. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

“If every team had a Reuben Cotter they’d be in a much better position.”

The medal came after Cotter excelled on debut in Origin I last year, only to be cut down by injury and miss the remainder of the series.

“It’s been a great series,” Cotter said of his follow-up Origin campaign.

“I just want to say thanks to all the Queensland supporters for coming out tonight and to the five million back home watching thanks for supporting us all the way through.”


It marks the second year in a row that a Queensland forward has won the medal after Patrick Carrigan took it home in his debut series last year.

Cotter’s teammate in the middle of the park Lindsay Collins earned man-of-the-match in the second game in a big win to Queensland at Suncorp Stadium that secured the series.

with AAP