Wests Tigers v Sea Eagles preview
3 hours ago | Tim Costello
1. Billy Slater 7
Even though the Blues' kicking game in the first half was on point, Slater never looked troubled by the positioning at any point. He floated around the ruck causing the defence to second guess itself, and bobbed up to gift Will Chambers a try in the second half.
2. Darius Boyd 5
Probably a product of Queensland's incumbency policy, Boyd maintained his spot in the Queensland side despite having played only a handful of games so far in 2015. While he was quiet by his own standards in the first half, he found his feet in the second half to become more involved.
3. Greg Inglis 4.5
In one of his worst performances for the Maroons in recent memory, Inglis was practically invisible on the field for much of the game. An interrupted and illness filled preparation probably contributed, but it was definitely a game to forget - despite the win. Every time he looked up, Morris was in his face, and it obviously frustrated GI.
4. Justin Hodges 7
In his last Origin game in Sydney, Hodges once again set himself up to be hated by the crowd after attempting to take Robbie Farah out of the match with a headslam in the first half. As always, he was strong in defence, much like the rest of the Maroon outside backs, and also ran for almost 200 metres.
5. Will Chambers 8.5
One of Queensland's best, Chambers silenced the doubters and cemented a spot in the side for the foreseeable future thanks to a dominant performance. Chambers ran for over 200 metres, and easily accounted for his opposite number Daniel Tupou on a number of occasions.
6. Johnathan Thurston 7
By his own admission, Thurston played well within himself in game 1, although he still did enough to trouble the NSW defence. His night almost took a turn for the worse after opting for a penalty goal and missing with ten minutes left on the clock, but luckily his halves partner Cooper Cronk saved the day.
7. Cooper Cronk 8.5
If there was ever any doubt about the need for a reliable halfback, Cronk's performance last night dispelled it. Almos every scoring play for the Maroons had Cronk's name attributed to it somehow, as he scored a try, set up another, and kicked the match winning field goal, all without putting a hair out of place. NSW would kill for a half with that kind of composure.
8. Matthew Scott 7
Scott is picked for his ability to run for big metres, and make stacks of tackles. He did exactly that. Ever the reliable workhorse, Scott's impact on the game may not be what it once was, but his consistent performance eventually won out over the younger NSW combination of Tamou and Woods.
9. Cameron Smith 8.5
As always, Smith provided composure, direction and passion for his side, effortlessly navigating them around the park, and freeing up his halves to be thinking two plays ahead. He's still playing as well as ever, despite being on the wrong side of 30.
10. Nate Myles 7.5
Myles redeemed himself somewhat from his embarrassing performance in the ANZAC Test only weeks ago, and provided plenty of go forward for the Maroons. The NSW props were all over him in the first half, but, like Scott, he picked himself up in the second half and knocked them out of the way.
11. Aidan Guerra 6.5
While his attack wasn't particularly noteworthy, the NSW boys definitely attempted to run the opposite way when they saw Guerra lining them up for a hit. Several of his tackles shook the Blues, but he definitely didn't have the ball in hand as much as in he does at club level. Having said that, there are 17 blokes all wanting to showcase their skills, so it can be hard to get a look in.
12. Sam Thaiday 7
Thaiday is deadset the hardest worker off the ball that you would see on a field. While other players are sitting back looking to catch their breath when the play moves away from them, the big fella is the opposite. With the ball in hand he was great, setting up Queensland's first try off the back of a fast play-the-ball, something he's become renowned for.
13. Corey Parker 6.5
Parker ran for over 100 metres, and made 30 tackles, but the majority of his work was in the first stanza of the game, before he was rested for a while in the first half. He didn't seem to have the same impact when he came back onto the field, although he was still strong throughout.
14. Michael Morgan 5.5
Morgan's position in the Queensland side was for utility value and experience, moreso than to add an additional attacking option to the side, although when he did get on the park he was busy, and made no mistakes. He'll be a better player for the taste in this arena.
15. Josh McGuire 7
Unlike Morgan and Gillett, McGuire was actual used as an interchange player (as opposed to pure impact). He came onto the field in the 21st minute, and was heavily involved straight away. For a debutant, he looked like he had been playing Origin for years.
16. Matt Gillett 5
Gillett didn't really get much of an opportunity last night, coming onto the field in the 60th minute - but he made the most of the opportunities he was given with a few nice runs.
17. Jacob Lillyman 6
Coming onto the field in the first half, he made a few charges at the line, but was overshadowed by the bench impact of debutant David Klemmer for the Blues. Wasn't as imposing as he could have been, considering his experience.