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With an enthralling 2018 Holden State of Origin series now decided 2-1 in favour of NSW, has tallied our player ratings from all three games to come up with a combined team and player of the series.

A controversial 4-3-2-1 system employed by Mal Meninga, Darren Lockyer and Laurie Daley was used to award Billy Slater the Wally Lewis Medal as the official player of the series.

For the methodology, we tallied each player's scores across the three games and multiplied that by their average over the three games.

This ensured players were rewarded for consistency across the entire series while also weighting for average to allow players who did not play all three games to stake a claim.

Props and locks have also been grouped together as middle forwards given players like Jake Trbojevic, Jack De Belin, Josh Papalii and Jai Arrow spent time in the front-row rotation despite largely playing as 13s at club level.

The only player to have started at centre and wing through the series, Dane Gagai, was deemed eligible in both positions.

The bench is made up of the four best scores for players not in the starting team (rather than being adjusted for positional balance).

The result was eight of the 13 starting players and 10 of 17 players overall were from NSW.

In the wake of conjecture over the process that led to Slater receiving the Wally Lewis Medal, our significantly different process still led to Slater polling well enough in two games to find a bench spot.

However, across the breadth of the three-game series, NSW star James Tedesco's contribution was deemed to be the better contribution of the fullbacks.

If the team was picked purely on averages from player ratings Slater would have come out on top of all other players. 

A surprise overall winner from the new methodology however is Maroons winger Valentine Holmes, whose average-times-total figure of 192 was the best of any player following his consistently excellent series.

He just edged out Blues hooker Damien Cook (184), who was sensational in the series opener but better handled in game two before being one of the Blues best in the game three loss.

Tedesco (176) rounded out the top three after a superb series individually.

Taking the starting 13 team as a whole, it certainly passes the 'eye test' and we predict will be very similar to the merit team Meninga will nominate in his best of Origin team, which will be announced this weekend. Unsurprisingly the pack is dominated by Blues despite Felise Kaufusi just edging out Tyson Frizell for a starting spot.

Gagai's consistent series and Inglis missing game three injured meant the younger of the two Rabbitohs centres edge out his club and state captain in the three-quarter line. 

Maroons back Slater


The views in this article do not necessarily express the opinions of the NRL, ARLC, NRL clubs or state associations.

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