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."