State Of Origin: Blues coach Laurie Daley says he’s not likely to make wholesale changes to his side for Origin III despite losing the series 2-0.
NSW coach Laurie Daley claims he won’t be bullied into altering his State of Origin plans, declaring: “There’s no point deviating.”
The Blues have come under fire following Wednesday night’s 26-16 game two loss to Queensland that consigned NSW to their 10th series defeat in 11 years.
Daley has so far refused to put the broom through the playing ranks in search of the side that can break the Maroons’ dominance.
The Blues coach has blooded six debutants so far in this series — Matt Moylan, Josh Mansour, Dylan Walker, Aaron Woods, Tyson Frizell and Jack Bird.
Having lost the series 2-0, there are calls for Daley to use the July 13 dead rubber as a game to unearth more talent for the future, rather than provide representative swan songs for captain Paul Gallen and elder statesmen Robbie Farah and Greg Bird.
Daley’s strength as coach has been the loyalty shown to his players, which has been the foundation of his approach to coaching.
He said he wouldn’t let critics change the systems he’s put in place.
“Criticism is fine,” Daley told The Daily Telegraph. “I can cope with that. It’s no issue. If that is the worst thing that happens to me, I’m in pretty good shape.
“I’m seriously not worried, not concerned at all. People can write and say what they want. It’s out of my control. At the end of the day, it’s a game. It’s disappointing we lost but what will be, will be.
“I know what I am doing and I will always be true to myself. That has been the way I have always operated and that’s the way I will continue to operate.
“There’s no point deviating. We have a plan and that’s what we are going to do. I just have to get on with my job and prepare them for game three.”
Daley will search for a replacement halfback with Adam Reynolds unavailable due to a shoulder injury.
The candidates are Jack Bird, Mitchell Pearce, Chad Townsend, Blake Austin, Aidan Sezer, Trent Hodkinson, Josh Reynolds, Walker or maybe even Luke Brooks.
Five-eighth James Maloney could also be moved to halfback to accommodate a new No.6.
Daley will also have to address his back row.
“I haven’t really thought about it just yet to be honest with you,” Daley said. “We will see how things go over the next two rounds. We will have clearer idea by the end of next week about what we will do.”
Origin I second-rower Boyd Cordner is a chance to return from injury, while his original replacement Wade Graham has served the one-match suspension that robbed him of his Origin debut.
The third-choice pick, Tyson Frizell, was one of the Blues’ best on Wednesday night and is certain to be retained.
“Let’s let the dust settle and work it out from there,” Daley said of his back row.
NSW will be desperate to avoid a 3-0 clean sweep back at ANZ Stadium in game three.
Asked would he focus on avoiding the clean sweep or preparing for the future, Daley said: “A bit of both.
“You look forward but you also want to win so it’s one of those things we’ll sit back and have a look at the tape and see where we can improve where we need to improve and we’ll do that.
“The effort was certainly there in game two, we are trying hard but we just can’t nail it in the end. That’s something we have to get right.
“It’s disappointing for everyone but that’s the difference in Origin — millimetres. You’ve got to grab your chances. If you don’t, and the other mob do, you’re going to get beaten. And that’s again what happened.”