State of Origin Game 1: QLD Maroons player ratings

Queensland have defeated NSW in the State of Origin opener, holding on 16-10 in front of a packed house at Accor Stadium. 

Jack Wighton opened proceedings with a try on the left-side, but it would be some Selwyn Cobbo magic that allowed the Maroons to take a narrow lead into the break. 

Daly Cherry-Evans and Valentine Holmes helped take the lead out to 12 points after the break, and despite a late NSW surge, the visitors held on for a gritty win. 

Here’s who shined for the Maroons in their upset victory. 

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1. Kalyn Ponga – 7

Looked lively with ball in hand throughout the night.

Threw a scrappy pass that ended up leading to a try just before half-time, but his footwork and face ball for Valentine Holmes to score in the 53rd minute. 

2. Selwyn Cobbo – 7

Made some strong carries, didn’t lose his nerve under the high-ball. Set up a try for Dane Gagai with a lovely grubber kick under pressure as he was about to get tackled into touch. 

3. Valentine Holmes – 8

Struggled with his hands early doors but worked his way into a fantastic performance, scoring a vital try in the second-half and popping up everywhere throughout the 80 minutes. 

Holmes carried the ball well out of trouble all night, running for over xxx metres, and was extremely aggressive in defence, continually putting the NSW halves and edges under pressure. Cleaned up and saved a try with just over 10 minutes remaining – a trademark Origin play. 

4. Dane Gagai – 6

Looked dangerous with limited opportunities.

Picked up a try in the first-half off the back of some Selwyn Cobbo magic, but didn’t feature much in the second-half. 

5. Xavier Coates – 4

Was busy in the early stages, but copped an ankle injury and had to leave the field before the half-hour mark. 

6. Cameron Munster – 8.5

Was full of nervous energy and continued to fly out of the line in defence during the first-half, but really set the game alight with a linebreak from nothing, making the opposition middle defence look silly. From there, Munster was simply unstoppable and had spiders on him like only he can. 

Came up with a huge one-on-one strip when NSW were on the attack and surging towards levelling the scores – such a smart player and continued to turn up for the full 80 minutes at crucial moments. 

7. Daly Cherry-Evans – 6

Looked a little bit lost at times, but came up with a crucial second-half solo try off a scrum.

Kicked well in general play once QLD found the lead, and also ran the football plenty with 115 metres. 

8. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui – 6.5

Laid the platform early and had a fantastic all-round performance, finishing with 131 run metres and 38 tackles. 

9. Ben Hunt – 5.5

Was subbed off after 23 minutes but returned for the final stanza and made an impact with two big plays. 

First it was a deep kick to turn NSW around, before splitting the Blues defence with a linebreak with just a few minutes remaining and getting his side back in some good field position. 

10. Josh Papalii – 4.5

Ran over the top of Isaah Yeo off the kick-off but went off rather early and didn’t return. 

11. Kurt Capewell – 7

Solid as a rock all night, despite having to move to the centres before half-time due to the injury to Xavier Coates.

Finished with 145 run metres and made three tackle breaks. 

12. Felise Kaufusi – 5

Little impact with the ball but worked hard in defence, finishing with 40 tackles and just two missed. 

13. Reuben Cotter – 8

Brilliant Origin debut, playing the entire game and doing exactly what he does for the Cowboys – tireless work in the middle and never stopping in attack or defence.

Came up with an uncharacteristic error prior to half-time but besides that, he was flawless. Finished with 119 run metres and 51 tackles. 

14. Harry Grant – 6.5

Immediately made an impact when he came on the field just after the 20-minute mark. 

Probably overplayed his hand a little bit at different stages but certainly brought plenty of spark. 

15. Lindsay Collins – 6.5

Strong carries off the bench, finishing with 133 run metres.

Brought plenty of aggression in defence as well and along with Pat Carrigan, really turned the game in Queensland’s favour before half-time. 

16. Patrick Carrigan – 8.5

Added plenty of energy off the bench and was arguably Queensland’s best player, Carrigan was the only forward to surpass 100 running metres by half-time and finished with 183 metres, more than any other forward. 

Has been in terrific form for the Broncos and brought that into the Origin arena in a great debut. 

17. Jeremiah Nanai – 3.5

Came on before half-time but didn’t have any real impact, before being taken from the field with a lower leg injury.

Miraculously came back onto the field with 20 minutes remaining, but only managed two carries during an interrupted debut. 

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