Laurie Daley provides passion for the Blues

Coach Laurie Daley celebrates with his Blues players after New South Wales’ victory in game two at  ANZ Stadium in Sydney. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Coach Laurie Daley celebrates with his Blues players after New South Wales’ victory in game two at ANZ Stadium in Sydney. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Now the dust has settled after NSW's State of Origin triumph, Blues officials should move heaven and earth to keep Laurie Daley in the job long-term.

He's already contracted until the end of the next series but why not keep him in the role for years after that?

His name was mentioned briefly in relation to the vacant Dragons coaching job and it will pop up again if another NRL gig arises.

But watching him closely the past couple of years, I'm convinced, more than ever, that he's the perfect candidate to lead the Blues well into the future.

I suppose what a lot of people see or will remember about Laurie is the celebrations seen on TV last Wednesday - the coach running madly across the field to bear hug his skipper.

You would forgive a normal person for thinking he's worked his backside off to topple the greatest Origin side in history just for these couple of games. He has. But it's all the work he's done behind the scenes which should really be recognised.

It's been well documented that he spent a week in New Zealand observing the All Blacks. No NRL coach would have the capacity to do something similar.

And how about all the work he's done in helping establish the pathways for the next generation of Blues? The Blues-in-waiting squads and the connection between the NSW nursery and Origin side has never been better.

He's so passionate about the state and I still haven't heard anyone say a bad word about him.

But those who know Laurie closely know how ruthless he is in the pursuit of getting what he wants.

He's got the rugby league fraternity to unite behind him in just a couple of years in the job.

Granted, he might loosen the handbrake a little bit and let the boys enjoy camp a bit more heading into the "dead rubber" back in Brisbane.

That's probably fair enough.

Only Laurie will really know if he harbours any ambition of going into the day-to-day coaching business but I reckon he's a perfect fit for Origin.

NSW would be blessed to have him in charge for many more years to come.

Life will go on for Fulton

I'M obviously close to Liam Fulton and his concussion situation at the Tigers but like all players he needs to realise there's life after footy.

In any walk of life there comes a time when you eventually get tapped on the shoulder. I'm not telling him he should retire, far from it, just that like any rugby league player he needs to realise there are other people involved with.

How's he coping? Not great, to be honest. He's struggling a bit and, like all players, just wants to play.

He's been a little removed from the normal fun-loving, jovial bloke he usually is around the group.

Obviously the doctors have told him something is not quite right and he needs to think about it seriously. I think, in a perfect world, he would like to play again next year.

What he and a lot of other players do is get caught up in the moment. They're in the middle of their career and that's all that matters.

After you retire at 30 though, you still have to work for another 40 years. That's always worth remembering.

The backchat from Parramatta’s Chris Sandow  wasn’t the worst but still needs to be stamped out. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

The backchat from Parramatta’s Chris Sandow wasn’t the worst but still needs to be stamped out. Picture: GETTY IMAGES

Time to put foot down

I'M not in any way condoning what Chris Sandow said to the referees last week but believe me when I say there much worse things which were said back in the day.

In this era you just can't get away with it, though.

This is where our whistleblowers have to take a stand and start clamping down on the niggle which has well and truly blighted the game over the past few weeks.

I don't encourage fighting but players are getting away with so many dirty little tactics it's starting to ruin the spectacle a little.

To be honest, I still liked Origin game two. Maybe it's just me. At times it looked like a wrestling match and a game of footy broke out.

But it's clear referees need to start asserting more authority over games if we're to stop turning fans off.

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