2023 State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 1
ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - MAY 31: Cameron Murray and Nathan Cleary of the Blues react during game one of the 2023 State of Origin series between the Queensland Maroons and New South Wales Blues at Adelaide Oval on May 31, 2023 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

New South Wales Blues advisor Greg Alexander has claimed James Tedesco and Nathan Cleary both played well in the Origin 1 loss to the Queensland Maroons at the Adelaide Oval on Wednesday evening.

Both players - key members of the Blues spine - have been widely criticised for their performances in the Origin opener, with the Blues attack at times resembling nothing more than a rabble.

The ball often hit the ground throughout the game, with pedestrian plays not threatening a Queensland defensive line who finished the game with 12 players, and had to employ Ben Hunt and David Fifita as their centre pairing.

The Maroons would ultimately come from behind against a poorly managed Blues' side to take the game with Thomas Flegler in the sin bin.

Cleary's kicking game has worn plenty of criticism on Wednesday evening into Thursday morning, but Alexander, speaking to the media as the Blues departed their Adelaide hotel, said the Penrith halfback played "very well."

"I thought Nathan played well. He will probably get some criticism from some corners, but I thought Nathan was very good last night," Alexander said.

Tedesco, who arguably had his worst game in a blue jersey, was also backed by Alexander, who said he thought Tedesco was "good."

The Blues' captain led all running metres, but struggled to have the Blues attack flow consistently.

It comes with coach Brad Fittler refusing to rule out changes during his post-match press conference on Wednesday evening.

"It's a fair way away. Realistically, Turbo [Tom Trbojevic] is out for 11 days. He got a HIA. A few blokes came off injured," Fittler said.

"We will see what happens in a couple of weeks and go from there."

Alexander said there was nothing between the two sides in the series-opener, and also suggested going to Brisbane and winning Game 2 wouldn't be an impossible task.

"There was a struck match between the two sides and the final ten minutes were handled better by Queensland than our side," Alexander said.

Game 2 will be played on June 21 at Suncorp Stadium.


  1. I can see why he wants to support his players, but surely Alexander can see that praising to players who – most commentators agree – had poor games, is damaging his credibility and future employment prospects. ?

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