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NSW vs QLD Game 1 2022 team comparison: Stats and score prediction

Posted: 8 June 2022 8:23 am
NSW vs QLD Game 1 Team Analysis C

Who has the upper hand in Game 1 2022 of the New South Wales vs Queensland State of Origin match?

Who will win Game 1 of the 2022 State of Origin series? It's one of the toughest years ever to pick a winner, let alone a series favourite. New South Wales may have had the run of it in recent years, but injuries to key players and poor club form has resulted in a squad that doesn't look as earth-shatteringly strong as it did in 2021.

Meanwhile, the Queensland 2022 Game 1 team is the strongest we've seen in quite a while. At least, when you look through its star-studded team. As always, this New South Wales vs Queensland contest is going to go down to the wire.

In order to get some further insights into both teams, we crunched the numbers on every single individual performance each player has had in State of Origin history. Here's what we unearthed. Note: This data also refers to Finder's famous State of Origin performance index.

We also have details on how to watch State of Origin live, as well as stacks more history of State of Origin stats.

Data explained

To create the below table, I analysed the data from every individual performance in every past game by the players competing in Game 1 of State of Origin 2022. This included acquiring metrics such as total games, tries, try assists, line breaks, line break assists, run metres, tackles, tackle busts, missed tackles, offloads and errors.

I also then added in our State of Origin performance index data, as well as the Origin (not club) conversion rates of predicted goal kickers Nathan Cleary and Valentine Holmes.

I then looked at the average performance by each player in each metric over the course of their State of Origin career. This gave me an idea of how much of each metric that player would contribute to team performance.

The only exception was missed tackles and performance index. Here it's a relative average to account for some players having played more games than others, and the existence of debutants. I compared missed tackles to tackles and games played to get an indicative overall team missed tackle expectation.

Game 1 2022, NSW vs QLD teams stats compared

Total games – All93127
Total games – Backs4767
Total games – Spine4044
Total games – Forwards4255
Total games – Reserves45
Average tries/game1.83.1
Goal kickers conversion rate88%78%
Average run metres1,2911,187
Average line breaks assist2.53.3
Average tackle busts29.527.6
Average try assists2.51.9
Average line breaks4.95.9
Average offloads7.58.8
Missed tackles %12%17%
Average tackles234235
Expected misses2840
Average errors78.4
Average performance index - All65.260.8
Average performance index - Backs70.161.7
Average performance index - Spine74.560.8
Average performance index - Forwards63.658.8
Average performance index - Reserves2770.6
Anticipated score1819

Analysis of State of Origin team stats

The New South Wales vs Queensland team rivalry is legendary and it's stunning how evenly balanced these new teams are when you compare their stats. But here are the key takeaways:

In Queensland's favour:

  • Surprisingly, the Queenslanders have 37% more experience in the State of Origin arena than New South Wales despite having 1 extra rookie.
  • The Queensland team scores 3 tries between them on average to New South Wales' 2 tries.
  • Queensland makes more line breaks and offloads.
  • The Queensland bench has a much stronger performance index.
  • There is a bit more experience in the Queensland spine.

In New South Wales' favour:

  • Although the current New South Wales team hasn't seen the white line as many times as Queensland, the halves average more try assists. This could close the gap.
  • New South Wales has the superior forward pack, with more metres and tackle busts, and less missed tackles, resulting in a better performance index.
  • There are fewer errors in the New South Wales team.
  • New South Wales has the better goal kicker.
  • Overall, New South Wales has a better performance index, especially in the halves.

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What will be the score, NSW vs QLD?

Going on the stats each of these players has produced in past State of Origin games, it will be a case of Queensland's attack versus New South Wales' defence. New South Wales will have more ball, but Queensland will make more breaks. Yet, New South Wales will recover its defensive structure quicker than Queensland after breaks.

If you were looking purely at the number of tries in each team's State of Origin history, you could anticipate a Queensland victory with a score similar to 16-12. However, there are more try assists in the New South Wales side, which could see the cockroaches jag a third try. With Nathan Cleary's superior kicking percentage, that may suggest a New South Wales victory in the 18-16 realm.

But what about penalties? That's the great unknown. In 2021, Queensland won the penalty count 15 to 8. So, with that in mind, our prediction is that Queensland will level up on penalties, then take it out with a field goal. Which will be the first by any current player.

Queensland to win, 19-18.

State of Origin team lists

NSW State of Origin team game 1

  1. James Tedesco
  2. Brian To'o
  3. Kotoni Staggs
  4. Jack Wighton
  5. Daniel Tupou
  6. Jarome Luai
  7. Nathan Cleary
  8. Payne Haas
  9. Damien Cook
  10. Junior Paulo
  11. Cameron Murray
  12. Tariq Sims
  13. Isaah Yeo


  1. Stephen Crichton
  2. Liam Martin
  3. Reagan Campbell-Gillard
  4. Ryan Matterson


  1. Nicholas Hynes
  2. Tyson Frizell
  3. Jacob Saifiti
  4. Joseph Suaalii
  5. Apisai Koroisau

Queensland State of Origin team game 1

  1. Kalyn Ponga
  2. Selwyn Cobbo
  3. Valentine Holmes
  4. Dane Gagai
  5. Xavier Coates
  6. Cameron Munster
  7. Daly Cherry-Evans
  8. Tino Fa'asuamaleaui
  9. Ben Hunt
  10. Josh Papalii
  11. Kurt Capewell
  12. Felise Kaufusi
  13. Reuben Cotter


  1. Harry Grant
  2. Lindsay Collins
  3. Patrick Carrigan
  4. Jeremiah Nanai


  1. Tom Dearden
  2. Jai Arrow
  3. Thomas Flegler
  4. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow
  5. Murray Taulagi

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