Lone Scout: Why the Blues won Origin I

Forget what you saw last night - NSW won Origin I.<br><br>Sure, the scoreline might suggest otherwise, but in the cold, hard world of Dream Team... the Blues were the real stars of the night.<br><br>Last week I wrote about <a href="http://www.nrl.com/news/news/newsarticle/tabid/10874/newsid/58735/lone-scout-the-real-origin-teams/default.aspx">my NSW and Queensland squads based purely on Dream Team scoring</a>, and while watching the game last night I couldn’t help but wonder how the players where going statistically, thinking… ‘who would be winning a Dream Team face-off?’… <br><br>Well, let’s examine it, shall we? <br><br>It’s interesting to see how real form and Dream Team form correlate. For example, as you will see, Kurt Gidley easily outpointed Billy Slater in Dream Team points – but even the most ardent Knights or Blues fan would say Slater’s impact on the actual game was far more telling. I guess you just can't quantify touches of brilliance.<br><br>When all is added up, the Blues come away victorious by 513 to 464 – but as we all saw, the actual result was a fairly comfortable Queensland victory (yes I know, NSW lost by just four on the scoreboard and there were a few dusty calls that fell the Blues’ way but in reality the Maroons always looked the better side).<br><br>The scoring categories and point for Dream Team are: TRIES, (4) GOALS (2), FIELD GOALS (1), TRY ASSISTS (2), METRES GAINED (Total divided by 10), LINE-BREAKS (2), LINE-BREAK ASSISTS (2), TACKLES (1), MISSED TACKLES (-1), OFFLOADS (2), ERRORS (-2), KICK METRES (Total divided by 20), PENALTIES (-2)<br><br>So let’s see the breakdown from last night…<br><br><b>Fullbacks</b><br>Kurt Gidley (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 2, 20, 2, 0, 6, -3, 0, -2, 5, 0 = 30<br>Billy Slater (Qld): 4, 0, 0, 0, 10, 2, 0, 2, 0, 0, -2, 0, 0 = 16<br><br>Gidley easily outpoints Slater, thanks to his run metres mainly. But Slater was pure class in reality, scoring a great try and looking dangerous throughout.<br><br><b>Left Wing</b><br>Brett Morris (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 0, 0, 6, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 12<br>Darius Boyd (Qld): 4, 0, 0, 2, 12, 4, 0, 0, 0, 2, -2, 0, 0 = 22<br><br>Boyd gets one over his club team-mate with a try and some good metres. Maybe the choice of Morris in last week’s Blues side was a poor call… but in my defence, the rain killed him off and the halves barely shifted the ball left!<br><br><b>Left Centre</b><br>Matt Cooper (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0, 6, -1, 0, -2, 0, 0 = 5<br>Greg Inglis (Qld): 4, 0, 0, 0, 7, 0, 2, 14, -4, 0, -4, 0, 0 = 19<br><br>Cooper was fairly listless in the first half before going off injured, which is reflected in his measly five points. Inglis was quiet but was class when he needed to be, setting up and scoring a try.<br><br><b>Right Centre</b><br>Timana Tahu (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 0, 0, 17, -1, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 22<br>Willie Tonga (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 8, 0, 0, 14, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 22<br><br>A tie! Probably fair actually, as each failed to have an attacking thrust in the game, but defended stoutly.<br><br><b>Right Wing</b><br>Jarryd Hayne (NSW): 4, 0, 0, 0, 11, 0, 0, 7, -2, 0, -4, 0, 0 = 16<br>Israel Folau (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 10, 0, 0, 7, 0, 0, -4, 0, 0 = 13<br><br>Hayne had the chance to be a hero when he regathered that chip kick but instead looked like a fool and knocked off some points by throwing the ball into the crowd! Neither player was as involved as they would like.<br><br><b>Five-Eighth</b><br>Jamie Lyon (NSW): 0, 8, 0, 4, 4, 0, 4, 22, -1, 2, 0, 7, 0 = 50<br>Darren Lockyer (Qld): 4, 0, 0, 0, 4, 2, 0, 17, -3, 0, -2, 29, -2 = 49<br><br>Lyon pips out Lockyer as the Queensland skipper had seven deducted points for various reasons – but the mercurial Locky kicked like a champion and was certainly more influential on the actual result then the Blues’ pivot. Credit to Lyon though – he tried hard all night out of position.<br><br><b>Halfback</b><br>Brett Kimmorley (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 0, 0, 26, -4, 2, 0, 17, 0 = 47<br>Johnathan Thurston (Qld): 0, 8, 0, 4, 4, 0, 2, 15, -8, 4, -2, 13, -2 = 38<br><br>His numbers might be higher but if Kimmorley outplayed Thurston, then I’m Kevin Rudd (maybe I am Kevin Rudd... don't rule it out)! Thurston killed the Blues with great kicks and scything passes and runs, plus he controlled the tempo of the match. Kimmorley tried valiantly but was as elusive as a sloth!<br><br><b>Prop</b><br>Josh Perry (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 4, 0, 0, 18, -2, 0, 0, 0, -2&nbsp; = 18<br>Petero Civoniceva (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 12, 0, 0, 28, -3, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 37<br><br>Josh Perry better have a few blinders for the Sea Eagles in coming weeks… 18 points for a prop? Come on! And just 38 metres gained? On the other side, the old-stager and professional Petero did what he had to do and posted a handy 37.<br><br><b>Hooker</b><br>Michael Ennis (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 0, 0, 46, -1, 0, 0, 11, -2 = 57<br>Matt Ballin (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 0, 0, 30, -2, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 31<br><br>Excuse me Michael, but where have these numbers been in club football? Well, he did have to make 46 tackles, which isn’t usual for him, enabling him to beat out debutant Matt Ballin who was a great replacement for Cameron Smith (but not quite at the Storm skipper’s class in fantasy or reality).<br><br><b>Prop</b><br>Michael Weyman (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 9, 0, 0, 26, 0, 4, 0, 0, -2 = 37<br>Matt Scott (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 9, 0, 0, 28, -3, 0, -2, 0, 0 = 32<br><br>A closely fought battle between two no-nonsense props, with Weyman prevailing. A few missed tackles and some offloads proved the difference.<br><br><b>Left Second Row</b><br>Ben Creagh (NSW): 4, 0, 0, 0, 8, 0, 0, 39, -1, 2, -2, 1, 0 = 51<br>Sam Thaiday (Qld): 4, 0, 0, 0, 11, 0, 2, 31, -7, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 41<br><br>Two of the best forwards on the night; Creagh gets the Dream Team edge although Thaiday probably outpointed him in reality. Only worrying sign for the Queenslander was seven missed tackles. Again, where are these numbers for the Dragons, Ben?! <br><br><b>Right Second Row</b><br>Trent Waterhouse (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 0, 0, 20, -1, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 25<br>Nate Myles (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 8, 0, 0, 37, -8, 2, -2, 0, -2 = 35<br><br>Nate Myles, a Dream Team pro, took care of business here even though it’s not a big number. His eight missed tackles is an aberration but he still belted the quiet Waterhouse, who will have some anxious moments before the Game Two side is announced considering the Blues’ depth of back-row stocks.<br><br><b>Lock </b><br>Anthony Watmough (NSW): 4, 0, 0, 2, 16, 0, 0, 40, -4, 4, -4, 1, -2 = 57<br>Ashley Harrison (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 5, 0, 0, 28, -1, 0, -2, 0, -2 = 28<br><br>The Sea Eagles forward was super busy all night and takes the honour of equal best Dream Team score on the night with Ennis. His scorecard has barely any zeroes, with points even coming from kick metres thanks to his early bomb which set up a try! 40 tackles also helps. Harrison did the job asked of him, but nothing more. <br><b><br>Reserve Back</b><br>Jamal Idris (NSW): 4, 0, 0, 0, 4, 2, 0, 1, -2, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 9<br>Cooper Cronk (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 2, 0, 0, 12, 0, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 14<br><br>The big Blues bopper made somewhat of an impact playing the second half. He looked great in attack but not so great in defence and was exploited. Cronk had limited opportunity to shine but made enough tackles to edge Idris.<br><br><b>Reserve Forward</b><br>Luke Lewis (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 6, 0, 0, 21, -2, 4, 0, 0, 0 = 29<br>Neville Costigan (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 4, 0, 0, 19, -4, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 19<br><br>Neither player let their side down when on the field, but perhaps Lewis should have been in the Dream Team Origin side after all… his 29 dwarfed Cooper and Morris.<br><br><b>Reserve Forward</b><br>Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 11, 0, 0, 15, -2, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 24<br>David Shillington (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 2, 9, 0, 2, 20, -3, 4, -2, 0, 0 = 32<br><br>Shillington was brilliant from the bench and played a great role in Lockyer’s try. That play itself was enough to get the nod over his Canberra team-mate, who tried to be aggressive but was nullified.<br><br><b>Reserve Forward</b><br>Brett White (NSW): 0, 0, 0, 0, 7, 0, 0, 20, -3, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 24<br>Dave Taylor (Qld): 0, 0, 0, 0, 3, 0, 0, 14, -1, 0, 0, 0, 0 = 16<br><br>While not great, White still might have booked himself a starting berth after totally outplaying Perry, while Taylor’s effectiveness was low due to lack of minutes and the weather. If picked for Game Two, both are likely to do better statistically.<br><br><b>Totals:</b> New South Wales 513 def. Queensland 464.<br><br>Blues fans must be wishing this was the real result, but not to be…<br><br>Good luck to all of you still in the Eliminator competition. I know plenty of favourites were knocked out last week due to lack of planning for the bye week, and some unfortunate injuries like that of Dan Hunt’s in the Dragons’ warm-up. <br><br>But it doesn’t get any easier; those of you left will have a tougher task this week as we whittle away the numbers.<br>