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Underdogs tag no concern for Daley

The odds looked stacked against NSW winning a first series since 2005, but coach Laurie Daley is confident his side can finally end Queensland's State of Origin stranglehold on Wednesday.
Underdogs tag no concern for Daley
by AAP

By Ian McCullough

SYDNEY, July 15 AAP - The odds looked stacked against NSW winning a first series since 2005, but coach Laurie Daley is confident his side can finally end Queensland's State of Origin stranglehold on Wednesday.

Daley enjoyed a dream start to his Blues coaching career with victory in game one but life has been far from plain sailing ever since for the 43-year-old.

The lead-up to game two saw the coach lose his fullback Jarryd Hayne to a hamstring injury in addition to star prop James Tamou and in-form winger Blake Ferguson due to suspension for off-field incidents.

Tamou is back for game three following his drink-driving conviction but Ferguson is suspended indefinitely and will stand trial at Waverley Court on Tuesday after being charged with indecent assault.

Hayne is still sidelined but last Friday Daley received the news he was dreading when inspirational skipper Paul Gallen was forced to admit defeat in his race to recover from a foot injury sustained in game two.

Daley admits his side face a mammoth task in halting the Queensland juggernaut, but with home advantage at a sold out ANZ Stadium and the confidence gained from success in the series opener, they can give their long-suffering fans something to cheer about.

"Queensland are a champion side, they have future Immortals and for us it's about just trying to get a good performance in," Daley said on Monday.

"It's been a long time and the players have been aware of that.

"But if you would have told me at the start of the year it was 1-1 and we're back in Sydney for the decider, I would have taken it."

The withdrawal of Gallen immediately saw Queensland become overwhelming favourites to make it eight in a row and Daley is comfortable going into the game as underdogs.

"It's a massive game and we know we are underdogs and no-one gives us a chance," Daley said.

"But we represent seven-and-a-half million people in this state and they've been hurting for a long time.

"We are going to be going out there and doing the best we can. That is all I can ask.

"We have a strong side, and home advantage so it is up to us to go out and win the game and we ask everyone to jump on board and we'll do them proud."

Boyd Cordner, 21, is named on the interchange bench for his first game following the injury to Gallen.

The Sydney Roosters back-rower is rated as the best young forward in the NRL and was labelled by many as a future Origin player when he was just 16.

Daley said after seeing the former Blues U20s skipper first hand in training last week he had no doubt Cordner would fit right in.

"He has a maturity like no-one I have seen," he said.

"He has been willing in all of our training sessions, he's a respectful young man, he's tough and a guy all of our boys will enjoy playing with."


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