Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Daley Backs His Rookie Skipper; NSW Coach Says New Captain Boyd Cordner Won't Be Bullied by Maroons' Cameron Smith

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

Daley Backs His Rookie Skipper; NSW Coach Says New Captain Boyd Cordner Won't Be Bullied by Maroons' Cameron Smith

Article excerpt

Byline: EMMA GREENWOOD

BLUES coach Laurie Daley says he has no concerns about his rookie captain Boyd Cordner being able to stand up to the referees if Queensland's master tactician Cameron Smith tries to exert his influence on the State of Origin series-opener.

Wily Maroons captain Smith will run out in his 40th Origin game and while some south of the border have concerns he exerts an influence through his running dialogue with officials, Daley said he had faith Cordner would step in if necessary.

Cordner's predecessor, Paul Gallen, was quick to let officials know if he thought Smith was overstepping his mark but Daley said he had not asked Cordner to be a policeman.

"You can't manipulate captains. He'll learn as he goes and I'm sure he'll do a good job," Daley said.

"With Boyd, I don't want him to be like Gal. I want him to be his own man, his own style. If he doesn't feel comfortable doing that type of thing, don't do it.

"The best thing we can have Boyd Cordner do is play well and play to his ability and if he does that, that'll be good enough. I think Boydo, if he needs to, can go and approach the refs.

"But you'd like to think that the refs are pretty smart and they know that some players push the boundaries and some get away with it.

"Cameron's a great player and he's a great leader and he's someone that pushes those boundaries and gets away with it, at times."

Daley said he had not met with officials ahead of tonight's game but admitted he was expecting the Maroons to try to slow down the game and dominate the ruck.

"They tried to slow it down last year and we're expecting the same this year," Daley said. "They certainly try and dominate the ruck, we didn't have much room to move last year. I thought the games were slow last year compared to usual Origin games and I hope that's different this year.

"You just want them to referee the same they do in the NRL, that's all we've asked."

Daley does not want his players to dwell on negatives though, saying they need the mental strength to be able to roll with the punches tonight.

"We've got to make sure that we're disciplined and make sure that if things go against us, then we're mentally strong enough to cope with them," he said. …

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