Blues and Maroons players fight during game one of the State of Origin series at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne last night.
Blues and Maroons players fight during game one of the State of Origin series at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne last night. Quinn Rooney / Getty Images

Origin player ratings

QUEENSLAND took out the first game of the 2012 Origin series in controversial circumstances last night.

Daily sports writer Steve Zemek ran his eye over the sides and rated both line ups.

 

Queensland
1. Billy Slater: Can be equal parts rocks and diamonds. Had a few hiccups early, produced a magic ball for first Boyd's try, coughed up a ball for Jennings' try. 5

2. Darius Boyd: Was picked on reputation and came up with the mistake that led to the first NSW try.  Somewhat made ammends with a first half double. 5

3. Greg Inglis: A great performance from an in-form player. Queensland often went to the left in a deliberate ploy to get him involved. 7.5

4. Justin Hodges: Was quiet. Rarely got into dummyhalf for some of his patented runs. 6

5. Brent Tate: Some queried whether he was ready for Origin after four years out but handled the occasion like a spritely debutant. Solid under the high ball despite others having trouble with it. Unlucky not to get Man of the match. 8.5

6. Johnathan Thurston: Took the line on, did his job as he always does. Worthy of wearing the famous No.6 jersey. 7

7. Cooper Cronk: Let Thurston do most of the playmaking. 6

8. Matt Scott: Was lacking in attack. Only made seven runs for 54 metres but made 31 tackles. 6

9. Cameron Smith: Was tested in defence (44 tackles) but still provided great go-forward. Kicking game got his team out of trouble on more than one occasion. 8

10. Petero Civoniceva: Didn't get a lot of minutes. Will have to lift his work rate. 6

11. Nate Myles: A typically gutsy effort from one of the roughest heads in the game. 80 metres and 32 tackles. Got Man of the Match. 8

12. Sam Thaiday: Was quiet by his standards. But did well to deny Brett Stewart a try when he had no right to be there. 6.5

13. Ashley Harrison: Made quality metres (99 metres from 15 runs) and never stopped trying. But he never does. 8

14. Matt Gillett: Only got his hands on the ball five times, never really got into the contest. 4

15. Dave Taylor: The Coal Train never really hit top speed. 5

16. Ben Hannant: Provided great impact off the bench. 99 metres from 10 runs. Arguably Queensland's best forward. 8

17. David Shillington: Did his job off the bench. 70 metres from 10 runs for a valuable contribution. 7

 

NSW
1. Brett Stewart: Solid at the back, never really got a chance in attack. 6.5

2. Jarryd Hayne: NSW would have loved to have seen him get into space but never really had a chance. Still made great metres and created plenty of chances. 7

3. Michael Jennings: Should have been hand-delivering Ricky Stuart a baked ham after he was plucked from NSW Cup. Instead he rewarded his coach by being sin-binned in the first half. Sure he scored a try and made another good break but far from atoned. 4

4. Josh Morris: While the right side was badly exposed at times he was solid. 6.5

5. Akuila Uate: Scored the first try but produced two defensive blunders that let in Boyd's four-pointers. 4

6. Todd Carney: Had a fairly unhappy night and never really got his running game going. 6

7. Mitchell Pearce: Overshadowed by Carney. No real impact. 5

8. Paul Gallen: As was to be expected worked his ass off for 80 minutes. 201 metres, 20 runs, 29 tackles - his stats say it all. 8.5

9. Robbie Farah: Was one of NSW's best - was great out of dummy half. His side was poorer when he was inexplicably hooked in the second half. 7.5

10. James Tamou: Was great in his opening 20 minute burst and really bent back the defence. Made 95m from 11 runs. 8

11. Glenn Stewart: A good effort with 78 metres and 28 tackles. Deserves to keep his spot. 7

12. Luke Lewis: A competent yet quiet performance from a noted Origin performer. 6.5

13. Greg Bird: Provided NSW with plenty of mongrel. Did give away a costly penalty just before halftime. Made 122m in a great effort. 7.5

14. Trent Merrin: I'll be honest with you, I don't know what Trent Merrin looks like. A bit of a quiet achiever but made 78 metres off the bench. 7

15. Jamie Buhrer: Came on midway through the second half and was shovelled into hooker, not his naturual position. Played just a handful of minutes. Why was he even picked? 4

16. Ben Creagh: Hardly noticed in attack. Just three runs but made 20 tackles.  5

17. Tony Williams: Came on late in his first game in nine weeks. Didn't provide impact Ricky Stuart would have wanted. 5



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