Queensland player ratings for State of Origin II
KALYN Ponga has proven once again why he is so highly rated in the game, showing he's more than up to Origin standard with a huge involvement in an unfamiliar position.
At the other end of the spectrum, Ben Hunt had a nightmare of an evening, making poor decisions and executing badly as the Maroons went down 18-14 to lose the series.
Here are our QLD Maroons player ratings for State of Origin II.
BILLY SLATER 8
What a return! Slater laid on both the Maroons' first two tries and was a constant threat when sweeping behind the left edge. The defence in the middle third was also vastly improved on Game I and Slater's communication from the back would be a major reason. Queensland are a different team when the champion fullback is on the park.
VAL HOLMES 7
Did everything asked of him. Holmes was strong in the air, took plenty of scoots in his own half to ease the workload on his forwards, and scored the opening try.
GREG INGLIS 8
Made almost 100 metres in the first half alone in another superb performance from the Maroons skipper. Every time Slater got the ball out the back with Inglis outside him the Blues looked vulnerable.
WILL CHAMBERS 5.5
Timed his pass to Gagai well for the second try and scored a good try in the second half. Came rushing in and was badly caught out by Maloney's long cut-out pass to Addo-Carr. And he should've done better in his attempt to stop Mitchell from scoring.
DANE GAGAI 6
Gagai found plenty of involvement. He scored one try and had another disallowed that he probably should've scored. He failed to stop Addo-Carr close to the line and was beaten badly by his opposite number again before he was saved by Chambers into touch when he was racing down the sideline and defused some dangerous attacking kicks.
CAMERON MUNSTER 7
Aside from Slater, Munster was the Maroons best attacking weapon. His kicking game left a little to be desired but he was constantly scheming and taking on the line. He didn't have a lot of freedom because Hunt wasn't taking pressure off him on the other side of the ruck.
BEN HUNT 4
The Maroons coaching staff wanted to see their No. 7 take on the line and when he did he looked dangerous, but sadly that was just twice. He also made a costly error just after half-time inside his own 20, which led to the Latrell Mitchell try, and miscued a cross-field chip, allowing the Blues to comfortably take it on the full in-goal.
DYLAN NAPA 7
The big fella clearly took exception to the criticism of his forward pack after Game One, because he came out swinging. His hit on Roosters teammate Cordner was special.
ANDREW MCCULLOUGH 6
Plugged up the middle of the park, and marshalled his forwards well.
JARROD WALLACE 5
Played plenty of minutes in the first stint but there was little improvement on his involvement.
GAVIN COOPER 6
Another workman like performance and huge tackle count, but didn't threaten in attack.
FELISE KAUFUSI 5
Limited impact, like Cooper worked hard in defence but not enough impact with the ball in hand.
JOSH MCGUIRE 6.5
One of Queensland's best forwards as always. Didn't do anything spectacular but did the kind of job you expect Josh McGuire to do. Tough and reliable.
KALYN PONGA 8
If that's Ponga playing out of position, it's scary to think how good he will be for the Maroons at fullback next year. He more than handled his defensive duties in the middle of the park and almost broke the game open with one of his trademark busts, only run down late by the fastest man in the game Addo-Carr.
JOSH PAPALII 4
A shadow of his Game I performance. Gone were the booming runs and big hits; the Raiders big man compiled just 32 metres from three carries and made a handful of tackles.
COEN HESS 5
Aimed up with an admirable display off the bench with 50 metres from four runs but didn't particularly make his mark. He'll play Origin again but this wasn't the game where he made a name for himself.
JAI ARROW 7
Picked up where Napa left off, stringing together a couple of huge hits. Coupled that with strong runs, in a really good Origin effort.
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