Cross-code conversation: Jarryd Hayne meets NFL star Reggie Bush at ANZ Stadium in the lead-up to Origin II.

Cross-code conversation: Jarryd Hayne meets NFL star Reggie Bush at ANZ Stadium in the lead-up to Origin II. Photo: NSWRL

Laurie Daley is poised to be the big winner from the Blues’ drought-ending win – a $1 million windfall is set to come his way.

Daley’s effort to guide the Blues has suddenly made him a man in demand for companies which want to be associated with the triumph. Daley has one corporate commitment with brewers CUB – and he is already rich in media deals because News Ltd, Foxtel and Channel Seven already pay him for his views. But now the chance has come for some real dollars to be made.

‘‘Laurie has never sought out corporate support,’’ his agent Steve Gillis said. ‘‘But yes, there have been inquiries and we will go through everything after his Origin commitments are over.’’ What he won’t be considering is a coaching deal – Gillis said it was not on the radar, despite obvious links with the Dragons. Daley has another year to go on his NSWRL contract, and now that it is a full-time position there is no real reason to get involved in the brutal club scene.

The money he is on to coach the Blues is substantial but it is not in the same stratosphere as the likes of Wayne Bennett, Craig Bellamy and Des Hasler. Daley has come a long way with the game’s establishment. He is their top dog – and a coach who has the genuine respect and friendship of the players he works with. It was interesting to be there when Daley sat the players down in the dressing room and addressed them. It wasn’t a speech full of bluster or boasting. It was humble and from the heart.

He stood in front of the players and said: ‘‘First and foremost I want to thank every one of you. We weren’t at our best, but it was one of the most courageous efforts I’ve been associated with. We stuck to our trademarks and we did it. It was a great moment in history and a great moment in Origin football and you boys deserve to give yourselves credit for that. I spoke about us going on a new journey and I don’t want us getting off a stop early – but I’ll speak about that in camp three. I know you’ve got loved ones here tonight, but make sure you just take 10 minutes to be with each other. I also want to pay special tribute to Alex McKinnon. He came through the grades and thanks for being here tonight. Tonight is about the 17 boys who played here tonight, ‘T-Rex’ you, too, and the Morris brothers for setting the standard in courage. I want you to enjoy this. I couldn’t be more prouder, and celebrate because this will be a moment that lives long in your lives. Well done boys.’’

The moment he stepped into his role this year he made it clear he was the boss. He showed that in the strongest way when he took a strong and public stand against Ray Hadley, who wanted his assistant coach Matt Parish removed. It sent a message he was not a pushover. By his side in the planning has been one of the game’s Immortals, Bob Fulton. His role has been hands on – it was interesting to see Fulton at the team hotel pouring over Daley’s laptop on the day before the game. And when it comes to team selection, the word is strong that it was Fulton’s influence that ensured Trent Merrin was in the side ahead of Tony Williams.  

Hayne beats pain with a little help

In game one Jarryd Hayne went to another world in this year’s Origin series – and he says help from a good friend got him on the field after a horrible bout of food poisoning the day before the second match.
Hayne said he went to a special place in game one to produce his heroics when he had nothing more to give. In the second match his heroics took place even before he got on the field.
‘‘I was on my deathbed the night before the game,’’ he said. ‘‘I had some crazy thoughts going through my head. When that was going on I saw a friend ... the same friend I thought about at a crossroads in game one. He had no sympathy for me. He looked me straight in eye. He said the greatest have been there. They have been crook. It’s not an excuse. That shook me up. It straightened me out. I’d been spewing, I had diarrhoea ... no one cares about that on the footy field – that’s what he said to me. I just had to get out there and put that to one side and do my job. I did.’’
Like Paul Gallen, Hayne is already a great of Origin and he is in the perfect position to judge where the Blues are at. ‘‘We have been turning the corner for the past couple of years – but we turned it now.’’ Hayne did get the chance to hang out with Reggie Bush – the NFL star and former beau of Kim Kardashian. Bush came and watched the back end of the captain’s run and was taken on a tour through the Blues shed, then joined the team for lunch back at the Pullman Hotel. There was a computer-game FIFA challenge which Hayne took out 4-3. Also Reggie tweeted Hayne after the win – which just put him out to his millions of international followers. A chuffed Robbie Farah also got a shout out from his beloved Liverpool FC.
 

Flanagan fires up

With Cronulla Sharks players expected to soon receive their show-cause notices, suspended Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has come out in strong support of the club’s skipper Paul Gallen. Gallen lashed out this week at the lack of support the players have received from the NRL. This column has previously documented that players have needed medication to get through dark days. Gallen said the uncertainty had resulted in him and his wife, Anne, delaying having another child.

It’s also my understanding that Wade Graham has put off a house purchase. Flanagan concurred with Gallen’s view. ‘‘The impact on the players has been immense and unfair,’’ he said. ‘‘None of these kids has knowingly done anything wrong. Their lives have been turned upside down. We are lucky to have a leader like Paul who has been so strong. I know that this has affected him and his family. I know it has affected me too.

‘‘My personality has changed as a result ... my trust in people. The way that people look at me as I walk down the street ... the way my family is treated. It’s all changed. I know that my reputation has been damaged, but I am confident I can win that back.

‘‘I know I don’t have to win my players back. I’ve always had a duty of care to them. I think of them like my own. They are like my kids and anyone who questions me on that does not know me.

‘‘The whole thing has been handled terribly and that starts with the way that my club had dealt with it at the start ... the old board are not there any more and there is a reason for that.

‘‘I still question why I’m in this position and I feel for everything that the players have been through.’’

Lost for words

In a room full of sponsors, family and fans the Blues couldn’t blast out the team song. An impromptu war cry from Jarryd Hayne did the job instead. ‘‘We didn’t know what Jarryd was going to do when he got up,’’ Anthony Watmough said. ‘‘He just said follow my lead – so we didn’t.’’ Laurie Daley’s mum penned a beautiful team song for the players – but they didn’t get time to learn the words before the win.

Patient Pearce

Mitchell Pearce is said to be coping well with the Blues’ series win – and the fact one night out has cost him $110,000 so far. He has re-established his relationship with his girlfriend, Phoebe – the couple have used the Roosters’ lighter schedule to spend time together. There are many who say Pearce’s Origin career is over – and after scoring the try which set up the win, Trent Hodkinson is officially an Origin hero for life. His worth in contract negotiations just jumped as well. Pearce knows the fickle nature of football – his chance may come again one day – but it appears a way off.

Dad lends hand
Spare a thought for Boyd Cordner – he was a certainty for Blues selection before his ankle injury. He is pushing hard to be fit for selection for game three – his dad, Chris, came down from Forster in the early days of his injury to help Boyd with his day-to-day living. The Roosters star lives alone in Clovelly.

Inu weighs Eels

Krisnan Inu is considering re-igniting his career at his old club the Eels. An offer from French rugby is his other option.

Benny believes

Benny Elias stuck his neck out at the start of the Origin series at the Blues launch. First he gave an impassioned speech which prompted James Tamou to ask Benny to join the team in camp. Then afterwards I interviewed him and he said: ‘‘Not only will the Blues win the series, but they will win it 3-0 – I’m convinced of that.’’  He’s on his way towards recording one of the better predictions in recent times.

Blues party hardy

The Blues’ hard-heads stayed in the team hotel and drank through the night as they celebrated their series win. There were sightings of several players at the Star – including James Tamou and Michael Jennings, who were well-behaved – but clearly too drunk to be there. The celebrations continued on Thursday night at the Northbridge Hotel and then at the Ivy.