Laurie Daley drags up Cameron Smith and Alex McKinnon saga in State of Origin warning to NSW

Daley has warned the Blues to not poke the Maroons bear like what happened to him in 2015.

Former NSW coach Laurie Daley has warned Michael Maguire and his men to not poke the Maroons bear ahead of their must-win State of Origin tie on Wednesday. Daley says there is nothing more dangerous than a Queensland side that feels one or more of their players have been wronged and believes the Blues just need to focus on preparing for a tough Game 2 instead of further firing up their rival.

His comments come after Maguire hit out at Queensland's coaching staff for living in "glass houses" during a fiery spray on Monday. Maguire's remarks were in response to Maroons greats and assistant coaches Johnathan Thurston and Nate Myles' suggestions that NSW deliberately targeted Reece Walsh in Game I. Joseph Suaalii was sent off after just seven minutes in the Origin opener for a high shot on Walsh. And ahead of Game 2, Maguire and Blues enforcer Liam Martin have made no apologies for the fact they have identified Walsh as a danger man and formulated strategies to limit his effectiveness.

Pictured L-R: Laurie Daley, Cameron Smith, Alex McKinnon
Laurie Daley has warned NSW to not poke the Queensland bear as he recounted how an Alex McKinnon story that implicated Cam Smith led to one of the Maroons' biggest Origin victories. Image: Getty

It was also suggested that Maguire's "glass houses" remark was directed at Slater and his record of illegal acts during a storied career on the field. Later on Monday, Slater said he "doesn't understand the comment".

On Monday's 100% Footy on Nine, the panel were shown several incidents from Game 1 where Maroons players committed borderline illegal and dirty tactics. When asked about his thoughts on the matter on Sky Sports Radio's The Big Sports Breakfast on Wednesday, Daley sidestepped the question and said the last thing the Blues should be doing is firing the Maroons up, detailing an instance where it spectacularly backfired when he was in charge.

"I don't want to add fuel to the fire, because I think this is what Queensland want and love," Daley said. "I've been in that situation before when we do it down here and Queensland just thrive off it."

Daley said days before the 2015 Origin decider, Channel 9's '60 Minutes' program aired a story about Alex McKinnon's tragic on-field injury when playing for Newcastle against Melbourne. Then-Storm and Maroons captain Cameron Smith was painted in a negative light and that episode reportedly enraged the Queensland side.

At the time Daley was the Blues coach and he detailed that heading into the stadium for Game 3 it had an intensity that he had never felt before. The Maroons went on to dominate the Blues 52-6.

"I remember walking into the stadium and it was just different," Daley said. "The Queensland media started to get behind Cameron Smith then. But the NSW media were just absolutely hammering Smith and they (Queensland) just rallied behind him.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - MARCH 24:  Alex McKinnon of the Knights lays on the ground after being tackled as Cameron Smith of the Storm look on during the round three NRL match between the Melbourne Storm and the Newcastle Knights at AAMI Park on March 24, 2014 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)
Daley said days before the 2015 Origin decider Nine's 60 Minutes aired a story about Alex McKinnon's tragic on-field injury when playing for Newcastle against Melbourne which painted Cameron Smith in a negative light.

"Just the intensity - I never thought an Origin game could get any more intense, but it felt like there was genuine ... it was like they thought that NSW had planted the story to come out on that particular day. And I'm telling you, that was different. We got our bum smacked and there wasn't one Queenslander in that team that was going to back down or not give it their best or be committed or whatever word you want to use.

"I'm telling you, that was a game where they just wanted blood. Not only the team but the fans. I remember sitting in the coach's box, and mate, you'd see their eyes, and they were banging on the window ... it was different."


NSW great Paul Gallen says the notion that the Blues deliberately tried to take Walsh out in Game 1 is ridiculous. Gallen said while Thurston and Myles didn't spell it out, he believed it was heavily alluded to.

"I think it’s absolutely ridiculous to think in this day and age anybody would go out on the field and use foul play to take anyone out of the game," Gallen said on Nine's 100% Footy. “I’ve been involved in the game for more than 25 years now and not once in my entire time of NRL have I ever had a coach, manager, trainer or another player say 'let’s go out and get this bloke and do something to him to take him out of the game'.

“Particularly the way the game is refereed and ruled these days, how many cameras there are, (it) is absolutely insane (to think that). So I really hope the Queensland coaching staff wouldn’t be thinking that. I can’t believe in this day and age they think something like this would be going on.”