GAME OF TWO HALVES: Mitchell Pearce was outstanding for the Blues in the first half, but where was he in the second?
GAME OF TWO HALVES: Mitchell Pearce was outstanding for the Blues in the first half, but where was he in the second? DAVID MOIR

How the NSW players rated

HERE'S our Blues player ratings.

1. James Tedesco (7.5)

Strong on the kick return and broke the Maroons up the middle when they tired. A constant threat, but his HIA robbed NSW of his counter-attack just when they needed it most.

2. Brett Morris (6)

Nabbed a 24th minute try and showed his class throughout, particularly in defence. Still, he doesn't pose the same threat as younger wing contenders Josh Mansour and Tom Trbojevic.

3. Josh Dugan (7.5)

Answered every question asked of him, first when he stopped Morgan where he stood as the halftime siren sounded. Started asking a few of his own in the second half, but produced his best with critical defensive plays when he moved to fullback.

4. Jarryd Hayne (6)

Got the better of Will Chambers early and got the first try as just reward. Impressive with his commitment in defence, but came up with telling lapses in attack right when the Blues could ill afford them. His last 20 undid all the good work of his first 60.

5. Blake Ferguson (6)

Good at the back. Came up with the wrong decision on the Holmes try but came off his flank for plenty of work.

6. James Maloney (6.5)

Conceded a couple of early penalties - par for his course - but redeemed those with the show and go for Morris' first four-pointer. Typical junkyard dog performance, but went missing late when NSW needed his guiding hand.

7. Mitchell Pearce (6)

Exactly where every No.7 should be in support play and sound in defence. But once more his kicking game only had its moments, especially in the big ones, and was shown up once more at the death by opposite Cooper Cronk.

8. Aaron Woods (7)

Best big man on the park in the first 20-odd minutes, but exposed in his second stint by the smaller, fleet-footed players.

9. Nathan Peats (7)

The exact Energizer Bunny effort that was his briefing. Still yet to see his running game at this level, and could've used it late. Can't argue with a game-high 52 tackles though.

10. Andrew Fifita (5.5)

Swamped whenever he went near the play and guilty of overplaying his hand at times. Shut down superbly by the Maroons mob.

11. Boyd Cordner (7.5)

Tireless, and went looking for work when it didn't come his way. Particularly when Queensland rallied, it was Cordner leading the resistance.

12. Josh Jackson (8)

Renowned for doing the dirty deeds no-one but his teammates see, but impossible to miss in the first 40. Couldn't quite match it after the break, but still strong.

13. Tyson Frizell (7)

Stuck to Thurston, rattling the champion into the rarest of errors in a strong first half. His absence was most telling as Queensland surged.

14. David Klemmer (8)

Man possessed. Racked up 163 run metres either side of halftime, bending the Maroons line with every carry. NSW sure could've used him at the clutch.

15. Wade Graham (6)

Coupled some intelligent ball-playing with real physicality, but exposed at crucial junctures. Overdid it more than once, most notably with the ill-timed shot on Josh McGuire that led to the Gagai try.

16. Jake Trbojevic (9)

Superb. Couldn't have scripted his intro to the game better - laid on a try within two minutes of being out there, saved one with seconds remaining before the break. With all Queensland's focus on Fifita, Trbojevic would not have garnered too much attention during the Maroons video sessions. He so nearly proved their ultimate destroyer.

17. Jack Bird (4)

Got out there at the hour mark and popped up frequently, but couldn't do much amid the Maroon tide.

News Corp Australia

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