Competition - State Of Origin
Round - Game One
Teams – New South Wales v Queensland
Date – 1st of June 2016
Venue – ANZ Stadium, Sydney
Photographer – Mark Nolan
Description –

1. Darius Boyd

Confidence building take of Reynolds bomb early on and excellent positioning on Blues kicks to get his team on the front foot. Sensational pass that led to Gagai try and faultless performance in his first Origin at fullback. 8/10

2. Dane Gagai

Good early charge to get the Maroons going and brought back every kick with plenty of energy. Excellent finish for Queensland's first try and crucial knock-down in 65th minute with Blues on the attack. Smart catch and pass of late Maloney drop out capped off a terrific winger's game. 7.5/10

3. Greg Inglis

Struggled to assert himself early but looked dangerous as game wore on. Absorbing battle with old nemesis Josh Morris. 6/10

4. Justin O'Neill

Kept a dangerous Jennings quiet with committed defence and battled on after copping a heavy knock to deliver a perfect pass for Gagai's try just before half-time. Greasy surface made his speed hard to utilise but looked threatening and combined well with Gillett and Gagai in defence. 6.5/10

5. Corey Oates

Strong early runs but two dropped bombs at either end of the field were a blight on his Origin debut copybook. Some important charges from deep in his own territory eased pressure on Maroons in the second half. 6.5/10

6. Johnathan Thurston

With Cronk in discomfort took on more responsibility in Blues territory and screwed a perfect grubber into the NSW in-goal to swing momentum midway through the second half. Kicking game in the second half kept the Blues on the back foot as they looked for the match-winner and sealed it with a grubber in the final minute. 7.5/10

7. Cooper Cronk

Poor defensive read to open up space for Blues' try but the man whose ankle was a mix of maroon and blue before kick-off was the calming influence as the Blues bashed away. Not his best Origin display but his mere presence may have been the settling influence Queensland needed to hold on. 6.5/10

8. Matt Scott

A dominant force in the middle in the early exchanges and then provided some much-needed thrust in his second stint late in the game. Not big numbers but came up with important runs when his team needed them most. 6.5/10

9. Cameron Smith

Topped the tackle count with 54 tackles but it was his judicious kicking out of dummy-half late in the first half that bought his team territory. Harassed Adam Reynolds all night and again controlled plenty of Blues players with his defence in the middle. 7.5/10

10. Nate Myles

A run-in with old mate Paul Gallen from the kick-off and earned his team the first penalty of the game. Solid early but given only three minutes at the end of the game in his second stint. 5.5/10

11. Matt Gillett

The best forward on the field to further stamp himself as one of the most improved players in the NRL. His runs on the edges were penetrating and not only did he get through plenty of defence with 44 tackles many of them stung the Blues players in attack. Best Origin game of his career. 8.5/10

12. Sam Thaiday

Untimely error with his team on the attack after 19 minutes and another midway through the second half to release pressure on the Blues. Ran powerfully for 94 metres and made 31 tackles on Queensland's left edge. 6.5/10

13. Corey Parker

Outstanding early in defence in the middle of the field restricting the Blues and had 62 hard-earned metres at half-time. Ran with plenty of purpose in his second stint and held the middle of the field together late in the game. 7/10

14. Michael Morgan

Encouraging start brought to a shuddering halt with head knock trying to tackle David Klemmer that forced him from the field 10 minutes into the second half and he was unable to return. 4/10

15. Josh McGuire

Introduced after 25 minutes and had 55 metres and 17 tackles by half-time. Finished with 109 metres and 34 tackles in a purposeful return to the Origin arena. 6/10

16. Aidan Guerra

Well placed leg prevented the Blues from going ahead 15 minutes from full-time but had little chance to do much more than tackle anything moving in blue after waiting until midway through the second half to get on the field. 5/10

17. Josh Papalii

Some strong charges late in the first half to go with some stinging defence gave the Maroons plenty of thrust either side of half-time. Gave the Maroons exactly what they needed off the bench. 7/10

This article first appeared on NRL.com