The New South Wales Blues have fallen to a disastrous loss against the Queensland Maroons in Game 1 of the 2023 State of Origin series.

Leading the game and holding a one-man advantage with ten minutes to go, the Blues dropped the ball to lose the game in a performance that will be critiqued both against the players and the coaching.

Here is how each player rated for the Blues.

1. James Tedesco - 4/10
Tedesco had easily his worst game in a New South Wales jersey.

The captain won't be dropped, but based on his form for the Sydney Roosters over the first half of the season and his performance last night, plenty will try to make the argument that he should be.

He did wind up with 217 metres and seven tackle breaks, but it's hard to come up with any truly good moments in a miserable performance.

More State of Origin

» Zero Tackle's State of Origin HUB
» QLD player ratings
» Origin 1 MVP votes
» Three things the Blues must change in Brisbane
» Blues won't rule out changes for Game 2
» Is the 2023 series already over?
» Fittler explains use of Nicho Hynes

2. Brian To'o - 7
To'o was one of the few Blues who can hold his head high. Made a blunder in defence which led to the first try for Selwyn Cobbo, but other than that, he was fairly strong throughout the contest.

He wound up with 201 metres and six tackle busts and was willing throughout.

3. Stephen Crichton - 5.5
Crichton was rushed into the squad, first as a replacement for Campbell Graham at 18th man and then for Latrell Mitchell in the centres.

Given the limited preparation, it's hard to knock the effort too much, particularly given he probably outplayed Valentine Holmes and scored a try, but felt there was plenty more he could, and should, have been able to do throughout the contest.

4. Tom Trbojevic - 4.5
Trbojevic came into the game with one game where he looked fit and played in Origin 1 like he wasn't fully fit.

Took some strong carries and was involved where he could be, but didn't help the Blues' clunky attack. Certainly, not anywhere near the level he was at the last time he played in Blue during the 2021 series.

5. Josh Addo-Carr - 5
Addo-Carr had a very quiet night by his own standards. Managed to crack 100 metres but was dominated in all areas by Queensland's Murray Taulagi.

He looked underdone, having only come back from injury recently, and certainly didn't have the impact he has become accustomed to at his best.

6. Jarome Luai - 5.5
Luai outplayed his halves partner in a game where he added two try assists and looked threatening on occasion across his ten runs of the football.

He hasn't done anything to end the debate over whether he should be in the Blues' number six going forward.

7. Nathan Cleary - 4
Like fullback and captain Tedesco, this was Cleary's worst performance in a blue jumper throughout his Origin career to date.

His kicking game was bog average - 421 metres might look shiny on paper, but it barely caused a problem for the Maroons, while his passing game was well off. The ball hit the ground far too often for the Blues, and that can't be all put down to Cleary, but ultimately, he is the halfback.

8. Tevita Pangai Junior - 4
Tevita Pangai Junior was an odd selection when it happened, and his performance didn't justify the enormous risk Brad Fittler took in picking the Bulldogs prop.

In what was a strange middle-third rotation, Pangai Junior played just 27 minutes and failed to crack 100 metres, with his second stint seeing a couple of errors on both sides of the ball.

9. Apisai Koroisau - 6
Koroisau was the best of the Blues spine in an 80-minute performance. Scored a try out of nothing early in the second half but was clearly under heavy fatigue at the game's back end.

Not his fault - Origin in the modern era is not an 80-minute game for a dummy half. It will be interesting to see if Damien Cook is back on the bench in Brisbane.

10. Payne Haas - 6.5
Haas was the best in the middle third for the Blues, contributing heavily across two stints which ultimately got him to 50 minutes on the park.

He wound up with 133 metres and strong defensive numbers in a performance where it could be argued he was one of only a handful of Blues to do his job.

11. Tyson Frizell - 7
Frizell's selection and recall to the Blues team was heavily questioned, and rightly so, but he has knocked the doubters, comfortably putting in one of the best performances for the Blues across 72 minutes.

Making almost 100 metres, he wound up with a couple of tackle breaks and defended strongly. Almost scored a try too, and many will argue he was robbed of that.

12. Hudson Young - 4.5
Hard to work out what role Hudson Young was supposed to be playing. He managed just 30 minutes, ran the ball only five times and was involved in almost as many push and shoves during the opening exchanges.

Made an error, gave away a penalty and will be fortunate if his bench stint to end the game isn't extended to his Canberra loungeroom for Game 2.

13. Isaah Yeo - 5.5
Yeo was supposed to serve as the link man in the Penrith connection, but apart from having his usual strong defensive outing, he didn't provide a lot in attack across the 80 minutes.

Wound up with 120 metres, but the stats don't tell the whole story here.

14. Junior Paulo - 6
Probably deserved more than 30 minutes off the bench, did Paulo. Despite his limited minutes, he was strong when he came on and almost cracked 100 metres.

A strong performance that should have him back in the starting side for Game 2 in an effort to get the Blues on the front foot from the opening minutes.

15. Cameron Murray - 5
Murray is another player who needs to be back in the starting side. Seemed to float between the middle and edge during Game 1 and never got into the contest properly despite cracking 100 metres.

Needs to have his role properly defined for Game 2, and that, in Origin, is probably back on the edge where he has performed so well for the Blues time and time again.

16. Liam Martin - 7
Martin is one of a few Blues who can hold his head high for the game after playing 61 minutes unchanged from the bench.

Only ran the ball seven times, but they were all strong and added something, while he also scored a crucial try.

17. Nicho Hynes - 2
This mark isn't a reflection of Hynes, the footballer. It's a reflection of Brad Fittler, the coach.

Fittler has proven yet again that he doesn't have any idea how to use a bench utility, and Hynes paid the price. He came on with ten minutes to go in an unfamiliar position and missed a one-on-one tackle.

He either starts at six or misses the selection for Game 2. There is - or should be - no in-between here.

Total: 89/170


  1. Other than Api, the spine scored a miserable 13.5 on your ratings. I don’t disagree with your figures. It’s hard to envisage winning a game with a spine going so badly.

    I wonder how much Nathan Cleary’s wisdom tooth pain contributed to his lousy performance. I can imagine he would make light of it to the coach, but constant nagging pain from it would cloud his judgement, and may have been part of the reason why he was ineffective.

  2. Again, pretty on-point numbers. Might have rated Crichton a little higher – he looked dangerous and got the team on the front foot consistently with changes of angle. Martin better than 7 with some bone-crushing hits. Hard to argue with the rest.

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