Telstra Tracker: Blues blitz effort areas as Wighton stars

Telstra Tracker data from NSW's big win in Holden State of Origin II reveals the scoreboard was not the only area dominated by the Blues.

Overall, players averaged a higher intensity for ball-in-play time but with lower match totals for distance – in large part from the repeated stoppages as the Blues romped in six tries and kicked two penalty goals.

The hardest-working positions on the field for intensity (metres per minute) are typically the halves and fullbacks, plus bench players who are able to expend a lot of energy in a short period due to playing limited minutes.

However, the Blues supposedly out-of-position centres blew this theory open by finishing first and equal second for total distance covered, and up among the halves and bench forwards for time-on-field intensity rates.

Best on ground in these areas was Raiders five-eighth Jack Wighton, lining up at left centre for Fittler.

Wighton's 7.8km covered was the best of all players, his intensity of 107 metres per minute was the best of any of the 80-minute players, his 34 high-speed efforts (number of sprints of over 20 km/hr) was also best on ground and his top speed of 32.7 km/hr trailed only flying wingers Josh Addo-Carr (34.2 km/hr) and Corey Oates (33.3).

Wighton's phenomenal game-topping efforts appear to justify his coach's controversial decision to overlook Latrell Mitchell.

While the data for the halves in Origin II was skewed by the fact Nathan Cleary was injured in the first half, that and fullback (where Ponga's non-stop clean-up at the back forced him to work slightly harder than James Tedesco did in attack) were the only areas where the Maroons held any advantage in intensity areas.

The centre-wing battery for NSW far outpointed their Maroon counterparts while the forwards and benches also maintained a much higher work-rate through the 80 minutes, with higher numbers in terms of distance and intensity across the board. Centre and middle forward produced the biggest disparities in favour of the Blues.