Blues halfback Nathan Cleary's work rate in Origin I showed a massive lift on what the young playmaker is regularly required to put himself through at club level, according to Telstra Tracker data.
Measuring Cleary's match intensity in terms of metres covered per minute, the GPS and tracking technology showed Cleary covered 7.8 kilometres in the 80 minutes – more than any other player.
Incredibly, his match-time intensity – his metres per minute while he was on the field – was also the highest in the match, registering 96.0 metres per minute ahead of interchange players like Angus Crichton (second at 94.1 metres per minute) and Paul Vaughan (fifth at 93.3 metres per minute).
Tom Trbojevic (third at 93.7) and James Maloney (fourth at 93.7) ensured all the top five players for match intensity were from the victorious NSW team.
Cleary's match-time intensity was greater than the 2017 averages of Blues halves Mitch Pearce and James Maloney (94.5) and the Maroons halves – Cooper Cronk, Johnathan Thurston, Anthony Milford and Cameron Munster (87.5 combined across three games).
The average match intensity of all NRL halves this year is 76.6, well below Cleary's Origin I mark of 96.0.
Statistically, Cleary was impressive for a debutant 20-year-old halfback too, getting through 25 tackles at over 80% effectiveness despite being heavily targeted, clearing 377 metres from 11 kicks and running 48 metres with the ball.
Cleary told NRL.com that while he could feel the fatigue afterwards, he didn't specifically notice the increase in his workload during the game.
"The fact that Origin is so much faster, you do have to do a lot more running and covering," Cleary said.
"I didn't really feel it too much. I obviously felt buggered but that was just how the game was going, it's never so much the running but all the tackling. [The data] pretty interesting.
"You definitely feel rooted after the game, everyone kind of feels like that. I think it's the physical aspect as well, it's so fast but so physical at the same time, it's pretty hard to combat."
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