The Queensland Maroons have taken out the victory in Game 1 despite fighting all the odds during the final ten minutes, and now have the chance to wrap up the series when it heads to Brisbane in three weeks.

From rookies shining to veterans standing strong, here is how the Maroons rated from the series opener.

1. Reece Walsh - 9/10
Reece Walsh was superb for the Maroons. Threw an outrageously good pass for a Selwyn Cobbo try, defended well and handled himself under pressure with the ball in hand.

Ultimately, he had less involvement than his rival number in terms of the number of touches of the football but outplayed him comprehensively.

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2. Selwyn Cobbo - 7.5
Cobbo scored a double and was right up to the mark as he was last year in the Origin arena.

Always willing to do the hard yards when Queensland had their backs to the wall, he ended up bettering the 100-metre barrier, made four tackle busts and was solid in defence.

3. Valentine Holmes - 5
A mixed night for Holmes would be the only way to really describe it.

He had a try assist but also played a hand in some of the Blues' tries, whether directly through a missed tackle or poor attack choices.

That said, still a solid performance and one that will see him retain his spot in the team for Brisbane in three weeks.

4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow - 8
Coach Billy Slater made the huge gamble before the series kicked off to play Tabuai-Fidow ahead of Dane Gagai, and didn't it pay off?

Scored two tries, ran the ball hard, defended well and didn't put a foot wrong in the centres - a position he hasn't spent much time in.

2023 State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 1

5. Murray Taulagi - 8.5
Taulagi's performance may not get the credit it deserves from the wider majority here simply because it wasn't flashy on the football. Coming into the game from an out-of-sorts Queensland team, he reminded everyone exactly how important he was to last year's Cowboys outfit and why he made the Australian squad last year.

Ultimately produced a couple of stunning try-savers, ran the ball hard and, like the rest of the back five, didn't put a foot wrong.

6. Cameron Munster - 7
Munster was a little quiet throughout the game, but after creating the opening try for Tabuai-Fidow, he came to life to set up the last two.

He beat Nicho Hynes in defence to put Tabuai-Fidow away for the try that handed the Maroons the lead and then backed up his own kick to receive a pass from Lindsay Collins and score the match-winner.

7. Daly Cherry-Evans - 8
Cherry-Evans was partly responsible for the Liam Martin try with poor defence, but otherwise was clinical for the Maroons - something he has been time and time again in the Origin arena.

An almost perfect kicking game, capped with a 40/20, was crucial on a night where neither team attacked all that well and on a night where the Maroons often found themselves coming out of trouble and on the back foot with both possession and territory stats favouring the Blues.

15. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui - 8
Fa'asuamaleaui only played 41 minutes, but he made them count, running for 117 metres, making a couple of tackle breaks and locking down the middle third for the Maroons.

Among the best on the field.

9. Ben Hunt - 6
Hunt did his job again for the Maroons as he always tends to do. Missed five tackles, but none of them was of huge consequence.

Took the zing out of the game at dummy half for Harry Grant, then did his part as the utility by shifting out to the centres. The sort of player every successful Origin team needs.

16. Reuben Cotter - 8.5
Cotter was excellent for the Maroons and took out the man of the match honours. I'm not sure he would have if I were picking, but he wasn't far away.

Did his job with the ball in hand, but it's defence where he excelled, making 48 tackles and a number of effort plays to save the day for the Maroons as the Blues peppered the line time and time again without success.

11. David Fifita - 7.5
The Queensland second-rower only spent time on the sideline when he was forced off for a HIA, but otherwise, Fifita was superb in his recall to the side.

Making 113 metres, he was an impact with the ball in hand, a force in defence, and has done more than enough to keep his spot for Game 2 in Brisbane.

12. Tom Gilbert - 5
Gilbert was firey during the opening exchanges and found himself involved in a number of scuffles, but he also ran the ball hard and did his job defensively.

Unfortunately, he dislocated his shoulder inside the opening 20 minutes, curtailing his involvement in the match.

13. Patrick Carrigan - 7
Carrigan does the same job every time he plays, whether on a rainy night at a suburban ground or on the biggest stage in Origin.

He made 140 metres from 16 runs, made 33 tackles with only a single miss and played himself to a standstill across 66 minutes in a game where the Maroons desperately needed it as injuries and concussions struck.

8. Thomas Flegler - 3
Copped a controversial sin bin, but after his late demotion to the bench, he really struggled to get involved, with only four runs of the footy.

That went with two missed tackles.

2023 State of Origin - QLD v NSW: Game 1

10. Lindsay Collins - 5
Collins missed five tackles which stops him from going much higher in these ratings, but his work on the ball off the bench was mightily important for the Maroons.

He finished up with 115 metres and a pair of tackle breaks.

14. Harry Grant - 7
Trademark performance from Grant and what we have become accustomed to at this level.

Came off the bench after the first quarter of the game and injected himself beautifully, looking dangerous with the ball in hand and topping the tackle count for the victors.

17. Jai Arrow - 5.5
Played just shy of half the game and did more than his job, looking dangerous across 12 runs and not missing a tackle in 17 attempts.

Total: 115.5/170


  1. Mostly agree with these, Scott. I didn’t think quite as highly of Walsh (though he played well) and think you’re a bit stiff on Collins, given his match-winning play which surely deserved a little more credit.

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