Here’s how the NSW Blues rated in game one of the 2024 State of Origin series.

1. James Tedesco: Defended well. Ran hard for big metres. Scored a try. Saved a try. I never thought he should have been dropped. 6.5/10

2. Brian To’o: Acquitted himself like the honest workman he is. Made big kick return metres, chased well, tackled well – including a great try saver. 6.5/10

3. Stephen Crichton: Cricton had a real go. He was thrown all over the park to cover holes and made a good fist of it. He was strong in defence and threatening in attack. 6.5/10

4. Joseph Suaali’i: Destroyed his team’s chances with his dreadful high shot. Sure, it was careless, not malicious. Yes, Walsh was falling. Absolutely, its not his go. But that was a send-off every day of the week. Well done Ash Klein for not placing the event over good officiating. 0/10

5. Zac Lomax: He was part of the NSW right-hand side that got ripped apart. His try at the beginning of the second half was really great and he was a key part of the NSW rearguard action. The Dragons star showed he is up to this level with a superb first Origin. 8/10

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Zac Lomax of the Blues celebrates scoring a try during game one of the 2024 Men's State of Origin Series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 05, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Zac Lomax celebrates scoring a try. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

6. Jarome Luai: Had a real dip in attack, laying on the try for Tedesco and kicking and passing well. However, he was execrable in defence, missing nine tackles. 5/10

7. Nicho Hynes: I’m a Hynes fan but that was a bad night at the office by any measure. He got destroyed in defence and his kicking and passing game in attack was sub-par. He offered nothing in attack and that was his job. I’ll be very surprised if he plays in game two. 2/10.

8. Jake Trbojevic (c): I thought picking Jurbo in the front row was strange. He played very small minutes for the bloke with the ‘C’ next to his name. He tackled well but made little impact in a tick under half an hour of game time. 4.5/10

9. Reece Robson: This bloke would tackle his grandmother onto the concourse concrete. He is tackling crazy. He performed a great try saver on Cowboys comrade Jeremiah Nanai. However he didn’t offer too much in attack, unlike his opposite number. 7/10

10. Payne Haas: The big unit had an honest game without setting the world on fire. Made a lot of tackles and missed only one. He needed to bend the line a lot more though. 5.5/10

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 05: Joseph-Aukuso Sua'ali'i of the Blues is sent off by referee Ashley Klein during game one of the 2024 Men's State of Origin Series between New South Wales Blues and Queensland Maroons at Accor Stadium on June 05, 2024 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

Joseph Suaalii is sent off by referee Ashley Klein. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

11. Liam Martin: The lad from the Riff had a huge go. His defence was everything you’d expect to see at Origin level. What chance NSW had was largely provided by the impetus Martin provided. 7.5/10

12. Angus Crichton: Played the full 80 minutes, making good metres and a fair few tackles. He missed eight tackles though. 5/10

13. Cameron McInnes: I can barely remember seeing him although he was on the field for 50 minutes of the 80. The stats say he made 41 tackles, plus 94 running metres and four tackle breaks. They are good stats for a person I can’t recall watching. 5/10

14. Isaah Yeo: He came on after 25 minutes and assumed the captaincy. He played like a captain, making good metres, defending well and guiding the side around well. His effort was dented by throwing an intercept to DCE that led to a try. 6/10

15. Haumole Olakau’atu: Played 24 minutes as an impact player off the bench, but he didn’t really make one. He did make two errors though. 4/10

16. Spencer Leniu: Just awesome. Made for Origin. Great debut. Struck fear into Maroon hearts and wrested back the initiative with some awesome running and terrifying defence. His head injury assessment was a godsend for Queensland. He’ll be in the starting 13 in Melbourne. 8/10

17. Hudson Young: Got a 23-minute cameo when the game was all but gone. Did nothing wrong but had little opportunity to make an impact. 5/10





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