Whitewash record wasn't on NSW's agenda: Laurie Daley

Blues coach Laurie Daley wonders if his crew will have the necessary motivation to get up and win again. Picture: GETTY IMAGES
Blues coach Laurie Daley wonders if his crew will have the necessary motivation to get up and win again. Picture: GETTY IMAGES


Of all the contingency plans made prior to this year's State of Origin series, being 2-0 up heading into a Brisbane dead-rubber was not one Blues coach Laurie Daley had entertained.

It's not one he let his side contemplate either as they bunkered down in Coffs Harbour in the lead up to games one and two and while he's tried to stick diligently to the same formula, Daley admits he won't know how well his third camp has been managed until Wednesday night.

NSW players have made no secret of their prolonged celebrations after their series-winning effort in Game II and questions remain as to whether the Blues can summon the necessary desire - so prevalent in games one and two - to complete their first series sweep in 14 years.

It's new territory for the Blues and for Daley, and the coach was frank in admitting he's not sure how it will unfold.

"I haven't been in this position. I won't know until the night I suppose but all the indications are we're ready to go and I'd be disappointed if we weren't," Daley said.

"Every time you pull on a NSW jersey your fans want you to play with plenty of pride and plenty of passion so that's what we'll be aiming to do.

"I don't know how you can tell but I haven't seen a difference between camp one, camp two to camp three, so I'm assuming everything's ready to go."

While he always had faith he had the side that could end Queensland's dominance, a 3-0 sweep of one of the modern era's greatest sides - with two matches at Suncorp Stadium - was not something Daley had imagined when he took on the job last year.

"I didn't know where we'd be and it's something I wasn't scared of but I just wanted to make sure that when we played we gave ourselves every chance," Daley said.

"To be two-nil up ... it hasn't surprised me but it's something you never sort of dreamed about or thought about.

"I think you're happy at the start of the year to be going into the third game with a chance to win it, and a chance to win the series.

"We've done that and now we're in this position of having it wrapped up but, as I said to the boys early in the week, if we want to be the team we want to be and want to be like Queensland - and that's to be consistently good - then this is another test for us."

It's a situation that's also left Daley in the bizarre situation of selling the dead rubber to Queenslanders urging them to get out to Suncorp Stadium and support their team after Maroons counterpart Mal Meninga snubbed the media on Monday.

While there may be doubts over whether the fans will show up, Daley is certain the Maroons, stinging from recent criticism, will, and while acknowledging that the build up has been slightly different his instructions come kickoff will remain the same.

"It'll be the same that I've done in games one and two which is really enjoy it and embrace it but do what you need to do for the team," Daley said.

"It's all about the team and it's all about working hard for one another.

"We'll need to work a lot harder than what we did in games one and two.

"They'll be ready to go and I hope we'll be ready to go. All indications are that we will, so it should prove to be a good contest."


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