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Blues Player Ratings: Origin II

Every NSW player rated from the Blues' State of Origin drought-ending Game Two victory.

1. Jarryd Hayne: Assured, mistake-free performance, but was never afforded a chance to attack by smothering Queensland defence. Gained momentum with some quick play-the-balls. His try-saver on Sam Thaiday kept NSW in the game. However, was kept quiet in attack in second 40. Was a close second to Farah for man of the match. 8

2. Will Hopoate: Bit player who needed a more open game to showcase his wares. Looked light on energy and of frame. Lost feeling in his arm midway through first half. Did not let anyone down with errors but for ours, not really up to this level at this stage of his comeback. 6

3. Josh Dugan: Great first tackle on Greg Inglis announced his presence. Had few carries in the first 40 and wasn't greatly effective, getting pummelled within seconds of grasping the ball, but gradually worked into the game. Made a whopping 23 tackles. 7

4. Michael Jennings: Made a few scurries and tried to get the jet boots happening but didn't have the room to move to create any great opportunities. Defended stoutly. 7

5. Daniel Tupou: Seemingly struggled to make the impact expected of him for the second game in a row for NSW. A threat in the air at club level, his playmakers couldn't land a kick to his liking. Did make a great try-saving wrap-up of Brent Tate. 7

6. Josh Reynolds: Certainly a passionate effort but was a weak link at times. Earned the wrath of his skipper when he took a quick tap without permission. Pulled off a try-saving effort to deny Daly Cherry-Evans a try in the closing stages of the first half. Lost a ball to Greg Inglis when on the attack in the 50th minute, and Sam Thaiday nearly scored in the resulting set. Then threw three other turnover balls to keep Blues on back foot. 6

7. Trent Hodkinson: Average kicking game early before sizing up an opportunity in first 10 minutes of the second half with an enterprising grubber for winger Tupou for a rare breakout play. Was on the spot to score the try that levelled the scores then booted the conversion from 10m in from touch to nudge the Blues towards the series. 6

8. Paul Gallen: Ran like a train, galloping 183 metres with 37 tackles. Threw a bad intercept offload with his back turned when in attacking position to Thurston in the 27th minute that nearly backfired. Tried hard but was contained by the Maroons who applied every trick in the wrestling book to negate his impact in the first half. 8

9. Robbie Farah: The NRL.com Man of the Match. Had a massive 115 touches of the Steeden. Hounded Cherry-Evans all night with brutal attention. Some great tactical kicks for the sideline and deep into the corners. Directed traffic with calm and showed all his experience to keep the team grounded. Was the difference. 9

10. Aaron Woods: Gave away a silly penalty in the second minute and had a relatively quiet game before being injected for a second spurt midway through the second 40. Lucky to escape scrutiny when appearing to come into contact with the football when attempting to let it go dead on the restart with the Blues up 6-4 and plenty of time on the clock. 6

11. Beau Scott: Was selected to put Maroons on their backside and that's precisely what he did, 27 times. Refused to be intimidated by the Queenslanders and can hold his head high. 7

12. Ryan Hoffman: Was one of the Blues' strongest performers. Made inroads (134 metres) others couldn't. In particular, ran a straight line when others crabbed or propped at the line. Was tireless in defence too, making 34 tackles. 8

13. Greg Bird: Quiet in attack in the first half but enjoyed more of the open spaces during the second 40. Along with Jarryd Hayne was responsible for upping the tempo in the second 40. 7

14. James Tamou: Failed to shut the gate to allow a threatening break by Hodges late in first half. Made a couple of solid charges but was limited to just 42 metres. 6

15. Trent Merrin: Touched the ball just five times and didn't get much game time. Coach Daley realised the play wasn't suited to his offloading game. May be more effective in Game Three. 5

16. Anthony Watmough: Injected late in the first half but wasn't suited by the slow pace of the play-the-ball. His lifting tackle on Myles took the steam out of NSW's attack in the early stages of the second half. Made 20 tackles. 6

17. Luke Lewis: Was full of energy when he came on and made 11 receives for 75 metres, with 15 tackles. 6

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