Why losing Origin every year is a full-time job

Dane Eldridge Columnist

By Dane Eldridge, Dane Eldridge is a Roar Expert

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24 Have your say

    With Laurie Daley tipped to hide in the forest for a decade, the question must be asked; why can’t a club coach be employed to lead New South Wales to its annual demise?

    Why does it have to be Andrew Johns or Brad Fittler or someone else from Channel Nine with a chequered past?

    It’s because overseeing series losses for New South Wales is a round-the-clock, year-long job equating to an average of one game every four months.

    The role requires one’s undivided focus, as evidenced by its stupendous number of five-minute captain’s runs.

    That’s why the Blues shouldn’t appoint someone already employed like a club coach, administrator or even the postman, despite the latter looking pretty attractive compared to the last decade.

    If you don’t believe me, take a look at Laurie Daley’s packed annual schedule.

    January 1st: No rest for the wicked. Must beat Queensland. Despite kick-off being five months away, I rise at 6am to research the opposition for a fortnight straight. Review video to search for exploitable weaknesses. Formulate methods to counter the 327 found in own team. Must match Queensland’s desire. Pause on Tuesday for laundry. Do it passionately.

    January 15th: Another fortnight of video. This time, reviewing past victories. Not to reinforce positive methods, but to debunk growing theory we have never actually beaten Queensland. Make out Sparkles McGaw scoring a winner in grainy footage. Probably was a dead rubber, but I’ll take it. Mission accomplished after two weeks, time to feed the cat.

    February 1st: Begin booking accommodation for camp. Seems early, but this usually takes a month or two. I can never remember my Stayz.com password.

    February 12th: Search for unique innovations to improve NSW rugby league. Copy Queensland’s blueprint and develop plan for pathways and structures and other fancy shit like that.

    March 1st: Further expand on pathways thing and develop idea for an academy. Toss around names. Come up with ‘Downer Centre’ or ‘NSW Institute of Drops’. Spend a week building scale model of academy. Geez, I love building things. Why can’t Origin love me like Lego does?

    March 8th: Begin strapping-up Josh Dugan.

    Josh Dugan NSW Blues State of Origin 2017

    (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

    March 10th: Preparation for the series proper. Begin formulating excuses and disaster management strategies. Source character references and excavate underground shelter.

    March 17th: Meet with coaching staff to design game plan. Successful meeting, came up with some good ‘shapes’.

    March 18th: Research the meaning of ‘shapes’.

    March 19th: Put final touches on game plan. Confident. Has just the right amount of over-analysis to burden the players in to either fear or complacency.

    April 1st: Public appearance on The Footy Show. Guarantee a Blues series victory this year.

    April 2nd: Meet with players to discuss strategy. Did they like the pillows at Kingscliff, or should we try somewhere different this year? Also address possible distractions. Senior players mention something about a pay dispute, but I didn’t catch much of it.

    I was too busy thinking of negotiating an upgrade on my $300,000 contract for next year. Seems relevant after working almost five hours today.

    May: Game 1.

    June: Game 2, test calling Andrew Fifita to make sure he doesn’t answer the phone.

    July: Game 3, do tax return.

    August – October: Crying, moaning, questioning existence etc.

    November first: Get out of bed for the first time in ten weeks. It’s been tough. Eating cake horizontally is quite challenging, and don’t even ask how I continually made my weekly spot on NRL 360.

    December first: Up at 8am to scouting the endless talent at NSW’s disposal for next year.

    8.02am: Beach.

    Dane Eldridge
    Dane Eldridge

    Dane was named best and fairest in the 2004 Bathurst mixed indoor cricket competition. With nothing in the game left to achieve, he immediately retired at his peak to a reclusive life ensconced in the velvet of organised contests. Catch the man on Twitter @eld2_0.

    If you could choose from any and every NRL player in the competition, who would you pick in your rugby league dream team? Let us know with our team picker right here, and be sure to share it with all your league-loving mates.

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    The Crowd Says (24)

    • Roar Guru

      July 16th 2017 @ 6:56am
      Emcie said | July 16th 2017 @ 6:56am | ! Report

      You missed the last one!
      8:05 announce that Mitchell Pearce is the future and already picked for next year

    • July 16th 2017 @ 7:09am
      Duncan Smith said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:09am | ! Report

      What about Kevin Walters’ schedule? May 1 – pick all the Immortals, then get on the drink for 9 weeks until the series is won. In the meantime, go on NRL 360 once a week pretending to look worried. Then from July to the next May is ‘scheduled down time.’

    • July 16th 2017 @ 8:25am
      Oingo Boingo said | July 16th 2017 @ 8:25am | ! Report

      Poor old Laurie, that picture is gunna haunt him for years.
      On another note……
      Rumour has it that ( Said in a ring announcers voice ) Anthoneeeeeee”The Man” Muuungbeeeeeeeen has thrown his rapper cap into the ring for the NSW top job.
      The fact that he is , and will always be ,the greatest sportsman Australia has produced makes him the perfect candidate to turn the wayward Blues ship around.
      And he could quite easily fit it into his busy routine of praying three time a day and attending anti white people rallies.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 9:22am
        qwetzen said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:22am | ! Report

        Suggestion for NSW coach: How about someone who the players respect and can relate to? There must be a few tattooists who also do silly haircuts somewhere in Sinney.

        • July 16th 2017 @ 10:08am
          Oingo Boingo said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:08am | ! Report

          At least the NRL boys haven’t paraded around with the , “baby palm tree “growing out of the head like their AFL counterparts.

    • July 16th 2017 @ 9:48am
      kk said | July 16th 2017 @ 9:48am | ! Report

      Hello Dane,

      This exposure of the habitual loser, Laurie Daley, will have Kate McClymont knocking on your
      door with a view to lifting the standards of both crime and League reporting at the SMH.
      Some nasty people may say they are inter- connected.

      The thought provoking piece had me wondering if Laurie’s cake had icing and if so, what colour
      and flavour. (Viking green…lime?) Maybe he should try Arnott’s Shapes.

      May I suggest that the only way for NSW to have a chance in the future is for Queensland to be
      limited to 12 men and without a bench.

      The penny finally dropped. You are applying for the job as Dale’s successor. The postman will
      deliver official confirmation to postcode 2250. Coach Eldridge sounds great. Just do it!

    • Roar Guru

      July 16th 2017 @ 10:00am
      ScottWoodward.me said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:00am | ! Report

      Hi Dane,
      The stark reality is that Kevie Walters would be the subject of your taunt had Hayne passed the ball to Morris, or Graham had not run out of the line and missed a crucial tackle.
      The media would have bagged Kevie for making 7 changes.
      NSW did not lose the series because of coaching, the preparation was spot on.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:12am
        Oingo Boingo said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

        One from five Scotty , and if Cronk was uninjured ZIP from five.
        Set plays were limited and plan B was non existent.
        Laurie was out of his depth.

        • Roar Guru

          July 16th 2017 @ 5:05pm
          ScottWoodward.me said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:05pm | ! Report

          The set plays in G1 and 2 were excellent and within 2 mins of winning the series.

          • Roar Guru

            July 16th 2017 @ 5:34pm
            The Barry said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:34pm | ! Report

            G’day Scott

            The NSW set plays in game one and two were ok, they werent excellent. Particularly in game one the short inside balls at the ruck were effective.

            But after game one when the Queensland pack was a bit more mobile NSW had nothing. In game three when the inside balls weren’t working NSW had no plays going wide. They were just shovelling the ball to blokes standing still or going sideways. There were no decoy plays, no second man, nothing at all that put the defence in two minds. The coach has to take some responsibility.

            The NSW attitude in game two and game three was poor as well.

            I think four out of five unsuccessful years is enough at rep level. I think we need an experienced coach if possible. NSW don’t seem to have made any progress under Daley – may not necessarily be all his fault – but it’s time for a change.

      • Roar Rookie

        July 16th 2017 @ 1:40pm
        Bunney said | July 16th 2017 @ 1:40pm | ! Report

        It was a very tight series Scott – far more than most are giving credit for. Both teams dominated one game each, and the other game was as tight as they come.

        So, are you saying that NSW should do nothing? That the prep was excellent; the coach a gun; it was a bit of luck / poor execution of one or two plays that cost the series…?

        Everything you say in your post is true (IMO), but I don’t really understand what it is you’re saying in relation to Dane’s article.

        • Roar Guru

          July 16th 2017 @ 5:04pm
          ScottWoodward.me said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:04pm | ! Report

          I am saying the selections were wrong and it is fanciful to think that someone from Fox or Ch 9 could have prepared the team any better.

          • Roar Guru

            July 16th 2017 @ 5:10pm
            ScottWoodward.me said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:10pm | ! Report

            You dont sack someone just because the media say so and want their mates in, you only ever do it if there is a better alternative, and I do not know one.

            • Roar Rookie

              July 16th 2017 @ 7:45pm
              Bunney said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:45pm | ! Report

              I agree Scott. I dunno if Daley is a good coach, but I certainly know there’s not much better out there at the moment.

              I thought NSW’s tactics in game 1 were pretty close to spot on. In game 2 they went away from it, in game 3 they didn’t look like they remembered what tactics were.

              I wouldn’t have picked that team for NSW either. My problems with the team were largely:

              RW – Fergo. Any surprise lots of tries were scored on his wing? No. No trust in his inside man, gets caught in no-man’s land too much. Stinks it up on the wing.
              RC – Dugan isn’t bad, he’s just not very effective. D.Walker, J.Roberts & Leilua were all more deserving.
              1/2 – Pearce – really?. Back in 2005, Qld could’ve picked reigning Clive Churchill medallist Scotty Prince to partner Lockyer, but they went for another who was arguably in lesser form…but the selectors saw something more suited to origin than Prince. Rest is history. Pearce clearly becomes deer in the headlights in origin. Game two was there for the taking – he (and Maloney) choked. NSW have to identify someone who can do it in origin, irrespective of NRL form. I nominated pre-origin that NSW, in the absence of a standout candidate, should think outside the box, and pick a running 5/8 to partner Maloney in the halves and play to their strengths – the fast, flat and straight power game from their forwards. Lots of short balls and inside balls. They did it in game 1 (aided by Qld’s rubbish fwd pack), and killed it.
              Prop – Woods is decent, but I’d fear R.James, S.Boyd, J.McLean and P.Vaughan more. Esp running hard off short balls.
              Bench – Graham. Took the easy selection route of picking Cordner, Jackson, Frizell & Graham, but for the sake of team balance, really only one of Cordner and Graham should have been picked.

              I’d love to know what selection blunders you identified and would’ve changed.

              • Roar Rookie

                July 16th 2017 @ 7:46pm
                Bunney said | July 16th 2017 @ 7:46pm | ! Report

                Further, Daley is the sole selector isn’t he? Sterlo is his advisor, but Daley gets the team he wants…

    • July 16th 2017 @ 10:12am
      GD66 said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:12am | ! Report

      The physical preparation may have been spot-on, but the belief was lacking. Blues came out in game 3 determined to score first, and when that didn’t happen they had no Plan B. If they were mentally fragile then, Cronk’s crossfield kick onto Holmes’ chest sunk them, and there was meagre resistance thereafter. Can’t blame them in a way, that is the best field kick I’ve ever seen.

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:17am
        kk said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:17am | ! Report

        The great Les Johns introduced the technique in the ’60’s.

        • July 19th 2017 @ 11:57am
          Sava said | July 19th 2017 @ 11:57am | ! Report

          Max. Clive Churchill kicked for Ian Moir every game for Souths in the 50s, And a top try scored in Canterberries Grand Final win years ago. Sava

      • July 16th 2017 @ 10:18am
        Oingo Boingo said | July 16th 2017 @ 10:18am | ! Report

        I dunno , Maloney put one just as good straight onto Alfie’s chest .

        • Roar Guru

          July 16th 2017 @ 5:07pm
          ScottWoodward.me said | July 16th 2017 @ 5:07pm | ! Report

          The thing is, we knew Cronks kick would be spot on and we knew Maloneys would miss. Therein is half the problem.

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