NSW State of Origin legend Steve Roach is adamant Laurie Daley’s grip on the Blues coaching job isn’t under threat going into Wednesday’s series-opener in Sydney.
Former Blues hitman Mark Geyer last week predicted Daley would be given the flick should the Blues concede a third series defeat under his watch.
However Daley found some support on Monday in Roach.
“The last game obviously was disappointing for every New South Welshman, Roach said.
“But if you look back at the first game (last year) here they lost by one point, then they smashed Queensland in the second game with virtually the same side. I think he’s doing a great job.”
For Roach, the situation is simple.
“One thing about coaches, you’ve got to want to play for the coach. Laurie’s got that respect from all the players from what he did when he played Origin,” he said.
Should NSW lose on Wednesday, they will head to Suncorp Stadium for game two – where the Blues have yet to win a non-dead-rubber game since the Maroons’ domination began in 2006.
Daley, in his fourth series since taking over from Ricky Stuart in 2013, said it was important his team made amends for their no-show in last year’s decider in Brisbane when they were walloped by a record margin of 46 points.
“For us, we just want to give a better performance than what we did last year. We were all disappointed with it, we’re all embarrassed by it,” he said.
“But it’s a new series, a new team.”
With two home games this year, Daley, who led the Blues to a breakthrough series win in 2014, has the perfect opportunity to bring an end to Queensland’s reign at Origin level.
“We just want to focus on playing well. If we play well, get a result, that’d be great,” he said.
“I know we’ll be better as the series goes on, but winning your home games is very important. Seventy to eighty-thousand people will turn up expecting us to play well and we’ve got to do that.”