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Thursday, 26 May 2011

Origin 2011: QLD 16 NSW 12 Game 1 State of Origin Game Review, Player Ratings, Highlights, Video

2011 STATE OF ORIGIN SERIES
May 25th, 2011 at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane. Crowd: 52,144. GAME STATS
QUEENSLAND 16
Tries: Johnathan Thurston 5th Minute, Jharal Yow Yeh 46th Minute, Billy Slater 74rd Minute.
Goals: Johnathan Thurston 2/4 Attempts.
NEW SOUTH WALES 12
Tries: Mitchell Pearce 65th Minute, Michael Jennings 69th Minute.
Goals: Jamie Soward 2/2 Attempts.
Official Man of the Match: Cameron Smith, QLD.
Queensland lead the 3 Match Series 1-0 heading to Sydney for Game 2 on June 15.
GAME ONE QUICK HIT REVIEW VIDEO BELOW
STATE OF ORIGIN FOOTBALL
16 v 12
8:05pm (Local) 25 May @ Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane.
NRLTweet Game Summary: QLD 16 def. NSW 12 to win Game 1 of 2011 State of Origin Series. Late Blues fightback burst by a Lockyer to Slater special in final minutes.
Injuries: Willie Tonga (Shoulder), Ashley Harrison (Shoulder), Kade Snowden (Arm/Shoulder)
2011 @NRLTweet Player of the Year Votes 
Judge: Warrick Nicolson
4 - Cameron Smith, QLD
The master controlled the rucks (superbly in the 1st half and well in the 2nd) and picked his times to run and when to pass with great skill. Defended his butt off yet still never looked gassed. Set up the first try with a deft little kick when NSW thought the ball was going to the right. Quality.
2 - Matthew Scott, QLD
He was sensational up the middle in both of his stints on the field. He is clearly the best prop in the game right now and only just missed out on Man of the Match to Cameron Smith.
1 - Michael Jennings, NSW
NSW's best player along with second rower Greg Bird. Jennings exploited his opposite centre Dane Nielsen with his speed and footwork and threatened to break QLD open on a number of occasions. Proved to be the right call at left centre.
Judge: Matthew Duncan
4 - Matthew Scott, QLD
Took another step towards matching the efforts of Shane Webcke at Origin level for QLD with a best on ground display. A beast up the middle.
2 - Cameron Smith, QLD
Was a genius around the rucks and just plays what is in front of him so well. Set up the opening try and made a heap of tackles.
1 - Michael Jennings, NSW
Was the Blues best player and gave Dane Nielsen a work-over on the left edge all night.
GAME ONE FINAL TEAMS
QLD: Slater, Boyd, Nielsen, Tonga, Yow Yeh, Lockyer (c), Thurston, Scott, Smith, Civoniceva, Myles, Thaiday, Harrison. Bench: Cronk, Parker, Lillyman, Hannant, Taylor (18th Man).
[Team Changes - No changes to the starting lineup for Queensland. Dave Taylor was 18th man. ]
NSW: Dugan, B Morris, Jennings, Gasnier, Uate, Soward, Pearce, King, Young, Snowden, Scott, Bird, Gallen (c), Bench: Ennis, Creagh, Merrin, Mannah, Idris (18th Man).
[Team Changes - Dean Young started for Michael Ennis. Jamal Idris was 18th man. ]

The NRL Tweet's Tip...
Queensland Maroons by 10 Points.
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GAME ONE PLAYER RATINGS
QLD Maroons State of Origin Game 1 Player Ratings
FULLBACK: Billy SLATER (Storm) 7.5
- Took the metres offered to him by the slow NSW kick-chase and got QLD on the front foot. Wasn't a huge threat in attack until the 73rd minute when he sat inside Darren Lockyer's shoulder and split the Blues to win the game.
WINGER: Darius BOYD (Dragons) 7.5
- Like his fullback - Boyd gobbled up the metres on offer on kick-returns. His defence pinching in on Mark Gasnier every time he got the ball on a wide shift was superb.
CENTRE: Dane NIELSEN (Storm) 6.0
- A solid debut but rarely saw any quality ball playing on the right. Defensively was exposed at times by his opposite Michael Jennings when the NSW centre got clean ball.
CENTRE: Willie TONGA (Cowboys) 5.5 
- Relatively unsighted for most of the night and battled a shoulder injury suffered in the 1st half.
WINGER: Jharal YOW YEH (Broncos) 7.0
- Johnny on the spot for his début Origin try when he took full advantage of a Brett Morris brain melt to score just after halftime and extend the QLD lead to 10-0. Also ran the ball strongly.
FIVE-EIGHTH: Darren LOCKYER (Broncos) 7.0
- Wasn't a huge factor in the game until he delivered the pass that sunk NSW in the 73rd minute. Had plenty of touches before then but he saved his best for last when he put Slater over for the match-winning try.
HALFBACK: Johnathan THURSTON (Cowboys) 7.5
- Kept running to each side of the ruck to present his hooker Cameron Smith with plenty of options throughout the night and capitalised on some poor NSW positional play to score the opening try. Off night with the boot.
PROP: Matthew SCOTT (Cowboys) 9.0
- He was sensational up the middle in both of his stints on the field. He is clearly the best prop in the game right now and only just missed out on Man of the Match to Cameron Smith.
HOOKER: Cameron SMITH (Storm) 9.0
- The master controlled the rucks (superbly in the 1st half and well in the 2nd) and picked his times to run and when to pass with great skill. Defended his butt off yet still never looked gassed. Set up the first try with a deft little kick when NSW thought the ball was going to the right. Quality.
PROP: Petero CIVONICEVA (Panthers) 7.5
- His runs early in the game backed up the great work by his front row partner Matthew Scott and gave Queensland the momentum to open the game. Not past it by any stretch.
SECOND ROW: Nate MYLES (Roosters) 6.0
- Missed Greg Bird with a bad attempted tackle to open up the NSW fightback and didn't find much of the ball.
SECOND ROW: Sam THAIDAY (Broncos) 6.5
- Got plenty of the pill on the right edge but could never find a way to turn his dominance of his target defender in Mitchell Pearce into points.
LOCK: Ashley HARRISON (Titans) 6.5
- Solid on both sides of the ball but when he needed to pass the ball wide on the left he chose the wrong option a few too many times and held the ball.
BENCH: Cooper CRONK (Storm) 7.0
- Added something from the bench for the Maroons and at one stage his contributions were made alongside Lockyer, Slater, Smith AND Thurston. Set up Yow Yeh's try with a pin point grubber.
BENCH: Corey PARKER (Broncos) 7.0
- Didn't get a run until midway through the 2nd half but gave QLD some valuable 2nd phase play and provided a key off-load in the set of six that led to the Slater match winning try.
BENCH: Jacob LILLYMAN (Warriors) 4.5
- Forgettable return to the Origin arena. Knocked on cold with two of his first few touches and wasn't a factor. Hard to see him holding his spot for Game 2.
BENCH: Ben HANNANT (Broncos) 6.0
- Wasn't a real presence off the bench like he was for the Kangaroos in the ANZAC Test in a similar role last month.
18th MAN: Dave TAYLOR (Rabbitohs) - Did not play.
COACH: Mal MENINGA
QLD TEAM TOTAL: 117.0
NSW Blues State of Origin Game 1 Player Ratings
FULLBACK: Josh DUGAN (Raiders) 6.5
- Made just one noticeable error at the back in a solid Origin début and had a nice contribution to the Michael Jennings try - but never really found his way into the game when NSW had any decent ball.
WINGER: Brett MORRIS (Dragons) 4.5
- Lacked involvement and had a brain fade not attacking the ball to allow Yow Yeh to put QLD 10-0 in front just after halftime when NSW had to be the more desperate team after the break. Had just the one quality touch that put Michael Jennings into space in the 1st half. Needs a huge two weeks of NRL form to keep Jarryd Hayne out as his brain fade was crucial in the context of the match.
CENTRE: Michael JENNINGS (Panthers) 8.5
- NSW's best player along with second rower Greg Bird. Jennings exploited his opposite centre Dane Nielsen with his speed and footwork and threatened to break QLD open on a number of occasions. Proved to be the right call at left centre.
CENTRE: Mark GASNIER (Dragons) 5.5
- Needed to be a big play exponent for NSW but offered very little. The ball he did get was shut down by Darius Boyd and Gasnier wasn't a factor in the match.
WINGER: Akuila UATE (Knights) 6.5
- Good on the kick-returns but saw very little ball outside Gasnier on the right. Had one hiccup in the 2nd half when he tried to run the ball up-field when he had earned his team a 20m tap and failed to exploit a disorganised QLD defence.
FIVE-EIGHTH: Jamie SOWARD (Dragons) 5.5 
- The Over/Under for Soward taking on the line was set at 3.5 genuine attempts to break the line and he barely registered one. Made two darts from dummy half in the first half but was otherwise just catching and passing and occasionally kicking to little effect. Not a difference maker and didn't look like one either.
HALFBACK: Mitchell PEARCE (Roosters) 5.5 
- Had his defence targeted all night by the Maroons and was exposed badly in the opening half. Started tackling low in the 2nd half and unsurprisingly the rest of his game improved along with his defence. Still too robotic in attack but showed glimpses of skill when he just let the ball zing out wide. Scored a try but a halfback's best asset can't just be support play - needed to offer much more with ball in hand.
PROP: Jason KING (Sea Eagles) 5.5
- Was too focused on wrestling and jamming his head into the QLD forwards when defending than actually hitting hard. Not much of a presence with the ball and it looked fairly obvious he hadn't played football for a month. Disappointing from the front row leader.
HOOKER: Dean YOUNG (Dragons) 6.0
- Started for Michael Ennis and just looked a step slow for the speed of the opening 20 minutes of an Origin game - that is the speed of service that a dummy half needs at this level. Was ok in defence but offered nothing in the way of creativity.
PROP: Kade SNOWDEN (Sharks) 6.0
- Started very well and looked likely until fatigue kicked in after 15 minutes... problem is Ricky Stuart left him on for another ten minutes after that and he was stuffed for the rest of the game. Looked to pick up an arm injury in the 2nd half but battled on. Will get another go.
SECOND ROW: Beau SCOTT (Dragons) 6.0
- Looked out of energy towards the end of the 1st half and was finally replaced early in the 2nd half. He's a good defender but when he went for the big hit on Lockyer late in the game he exposed his inside defender Paul Gallen and Slater scored the match winner. With the ball he just looked to be making up the numbers and sadly got chippy in the final minutes of the game... where's Nathan Hindmarsh?
SECOND ROW: Greg BIRD (Titans) 8.0
- Was the one NSW forward who kept striving to break the QLD line all night. Really had a crack with the ball in hand and despite missing a few tackles with some arm grabs - he really had a go. Set up NSW's opening try for Mitchell Pearce with some fantastic footwork to beat Petero Civoniceva and Nate Myles.
LOCK: Paul GALLEN (c) (Sharks) 7.0
- The NSW Captain tried hard but really lacked impact for most of the night. No one can question his effort but QLD held him well and then Lockyer exposed his tired legs late to send Slater running by him for the match winner.
BENCH: Ben CREAGH (Dragons) 6.5
- Used as a front rower off the bench in his initial minutes then shifted wider as NSW went with an all backrow pack after they took the lead. Ran a great decoy to open up space for the Jennings try but he's either a starter or not in the team.
BENCH: Trent MERRIN (Dragons) 6.0
- Found Origin the level up that it truly is and was dominated in tackles far more often than he does at NRL level.
BENCH: Tim MANNAH (Eels) 5.5
- Just not an impact player at this level. He's a good front rower but NSW needed some drive off the bench and although both he and Merrin were solid they didn't drive the NSW bus to the extent that the current halves pairing obviously need to create try-scoring opportunities.
BENCH: Michael ENNIS (Bulldogs) 5.5 - Took him all of three or four minutes to make his first clanger of the night - a terrible knock on under no pressure when the Blues were on the attack inside the QLD 20m zone in 25 minutes into the first half. The effort is there (as it always is with Ennis) but the class is sadly lacking and he just can't give NSW with the brilliance that QLD get from Cameron Smith. If only NSW had a player like Robbie Farah eligible for Origin... especially if Stuart planned to bring Ennis off the bench the whole time.
18th MAN: Jamal IDRIS (Bulldogs) - Did not play.
COACH: Ricky STUART
NSW TEAM TOTAL: 104.0

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This website - www.wdnicolson.com - will produce a large amount of Origin centric content throughout the 2011 Series. So Bookmark this site if you haven't already.
2011 STATE OF ORIGIN 
GAME 1 PREVIEW
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download this week's Podcast as an MP3
VIDEO PREVIEW filmed Friday May 20 for Wednesday's Game on May 25, 2011
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C'MON NEW SOUTH WALES - HOW ABOUT WE WIN GAME 2?

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