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State of Origin: Laurie Daley borrows Chelsea's secret weapon to prepare his special ones

The Special Ones: Jose Mourinho and Laurie Daley.

The Special Ones: Jose Mourinho and Laurie Daley. Photo: Simon Bosch

NSW have turned to a cutting-edge technology employed by English football powerhouse Chelsea in their quest to break Queensland's stranglehold on State Of Origin.

The shift to Coffs Harbour isn't the only change to the Blues' campaign after powerbrokers opted for a new data-management product from British-based company QlikView.

NSW coach Laurie Daley now has access to the same analytics tool as Chelsea counterpart Jose Mourinho, allowing him to bring together game statistics, training data, medical information and GPS data into one resource.

While other statistical models provide measures such as the "Contribution Value Rating"  to rate player performance, Daley and his staff can use the new system to judge players against his own benchmarks. Not only does this give the Blues the most detailed analysis instrument on their players, it can also be used to highlight weaknesses in the Maroons' armour.

"Initially we started with Chelsea Football Club, one of the world's richest clubs," said QlikView executive Derek Hufton from York, England.

"As you can imagine, they can have anything they wish but they went for this. They use it particularly on their sports-science side and bringing players through.

"They also use it for scouting. They get data from leagues all around the world and then if they are looking for a striker with certain characteristics, this technology can spit out they they need to look at these five guys, for instance. It helps them find these people before they become too expensive."

Chelsea, one of the powerhouses of world sport, started using the technology three years ago. Their former manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was so impressed he introduced it to Paris St Germain when he shifted there. The national English rugby league side also utilise it and the English Rugby Football Union is in negotiations with the provider.

Former England dual international Barrie-Jon Mather, now the NSWRL's general manager of football, introduced the Blues to the revolutionary technology.

"It's a program which brings in all the data, not just on player performance but also camp data," Mather said.

"We can do wellness scores on hydration all the way up to GPS. We use it predominantly on game and player analysis.

"Depending on how Laurie wants to code it and play the game, we can pick players on their performance every week to fit in with his system, not an individual team's systems.

"If the Bulldogs think that the first hit-up is really important, they might score it higher than Laurie. In the past we would have to go on how the Bulldogs rate it. Now we have our own [rating].

"It's our version of the CVR, if you like, made specifically for us and for the players we've got."

While Mather said the gut feel of a coach could never be replaced – "at the end of the day coaching isn't a science, it's an art" – he said the QlickitSport product was a useful tool in selecting teams and breaking down the opposition.

"The final decision is still Bozo's [chief adviser Bob Fulton] and Laurie's, but it just helps. All I try to do is give them some evidence to base their decisions on," he said.

"Everybody is in there. We highlight NSW-qualified players and Queensland-qualified players and can get a report on how our guys our doing and how their guys are doing, have comparisons against the two."

Asked if the Blues rated more highly on their performance indexes than the Maroons leading into the series opener at Suncorp Stadium, Mather smiled: "There's a few more Maroons there than Blues at the minute, but we'll hopefully we'll turn it around."

15 comments so far

  • Yeah, Great idea Laurie. Follow the tactics of a losing team

    Commenter
    judahf
    Date and time
    May 23, 2014, 1:54AM
    • So the NSWRL general manager of football says the decision to use Quicklit sports program is up to Bozo ( Bob Fulton ) and Laurie Daley. as I have pointed out previously in blogs, the only constant feature in 8 consecutive losses in Origin has been Bob Fulton. Players have been dropped, Coaches have been dropped, support staf have been dropped, but not Bob Fulton the chief advisor. Why? Some chief advisor whose advice has resulted in the worst series results in Origin history. Is that why his nick name is Bozo, just the meaning of Bozo and you will know

      Commenter
      Gillies
      Location
      Tuross head NSW
      Date and time
      May 23, 2014, 5:35AM
      • Chelsea didn't win anything this year

        Commenter
        Astro
        Date and time
        May 23, 2014, 6:58AM
        • Eh, Chelsea came third on the 2013/2014 EPL table.

          Commenter
          lucylastik
          Date and time
          May 23, 2014, 7:20AM
          • What a lot of rubbish. Its Rugby League. All you have to do is properly tackle the player with the ball and run when you have the ball. You don't need a computer for that. If you screw these up then you will lose. Simple. The coach can't play the game for you. The trouble is League players have forgotten how to tackle around the legs and instead its become a wrestling match.

            Commenter
            Stephen
            Location
            Sydney
            Date and time
            May 23, 2014, 7:43AM
            • Does this device measure the ticker of a player. At origin level, all players tanks are empty after 60 minutes and it's the drive and hearts of the players that gets the team over the line. That's what you need to measure in an origin player!

              Commenter
              Matt
              Date and time
              May 23, 2014, 7:44AM
              • No system will stop NSW from choking though.

                Commenter
                Barnacle
                Date and time
                May 23, 2014, 7:59AM
                • Anything that does the job Laurie, anything that does the job.

                  Commenter
                  Canberra Sea Eagle
                  Date and time
                  May 23, 2014, 8:31AM
                  • I can see how this technology would be extremely beneficial as one manages a team through a 26 week regular season, but I think it provides relatively little edge over existing metrics when it comes to a three game series. It's not as if Laurie will make wholesale changes in the team from one game to the next, hopefully, as that would be madness.

                    At the end of the day the players know what they need to do, and they have to actually do it.

                    It's far more likely that a game will be determined by unfavourable penalties than it will be by deciding player X is the best to take the first hit up, for example.

                    Commenter
                    Roger
                    Location
                    Surry Hills
                    Date and time
                    May 23, 2014, 8:31AM
                    • This is wonderful! Please remind me; when was the last time Chelsea won anything?

                      Commenter
                      Wardy(Qld)
                      Date and time
                      May 23, 2014, 9:09AM

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                      CBR vs NZW 15:00GIO
                      GCT vs PAR 17:30Cbus
                      MEL vs SYD 19:30AAMI
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                      STG vs WST 16:00ANZ
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                      Thu, 28 JulTimes shown AEST
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                      PEN vs SYD 00:00Pepp
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                      Round 23
                      Wed, 10 AugTimes shown AEST
                      NZW vs SOU 22:00MSS
                      Thu, 11 AugTimes shown AEST
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                      WST vs GCT 00:00CSS
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                      SYD vs NQL 00:00AS
                      CBR vs MEL 00:00GIO
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                      Round 24
                      Thu, 18 AugTimes shown AEST
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                      SYD vs STG 00:00AS
                      NEW vs GCT 00:00HS
                      NQL vs NZW 00:001300
                      MAN vs MEL 00:00BO
                      CBR vs PAR 00:00GIO
                      PEN vs WST 00:00Pepp
                      SOU vs CRO 00:00ANZ
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                      Round 25
                      Wed, 24 AugTimes shown AEST
                      NZW vs WST 22:00MSS
                      Thu, 25 AugTimes shown AEST
                      CBY vs NQL 00:00Belmore Sports Ground
                      MEL vs BRI 00:00AAMI
                      GCT vs PEN 00:00Cbus
                      MAN vs CBR 00:00BO
                      CRO vs SYD 00:00Shark Park
                      NEW vs SOU 00:00HS
                      PAR vs STG 00:00Pirtek
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                      Round 26
                      Wed, 31 AugTimes shown AEST
                      NZW vs PAR 22:00MSS
                      Thu, 01 SepTimes shown AEST
                      BRI vs SYD 00:00SUN
                      CBY vs SOU 00:00ANZ
                      STG vs NEW 00:00Jubilee Oval
                      NQL vs GCT 00:001300
                      MEL vs CRO 00:00AAMI
                      WST vs CBR 00:00VAS
                      PEN vs MAN 00:00Pepp
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