Daley eager to test new rules
Newsflash: Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley plans on keeping George Rose packed in tightly for the new scrum rules.
"He won't be defending in the backline, no way," Daley tipped off reporters on Thursday.
But as for everyone other than the big fella, prepare for anything and everything else.
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The NRL announced this week that they would be trialling a clutch of new rules for Friday night's Indigenous All Stars fixture on the Gold Coast, including rewarding kickers who can pull off a 40 metre touch-finder from anywhere on the paddock.
But that's not what has gotten the Indigenous side all in a hoot on the training paddock this week. Daley's bevy of backline stars – namely Greg Inglis, Justin Hodges, Alex Johnston and Ben Barba – have been scheming all week, experimenting on different ways to take advantage of each scrum being centred in the middle of the park.
"I like the rules. I don't mind the rules. I think the scrums will be a good one in particular for us," Daley said.
"We've got a fairly fast backline and the guys will certainly enjoy that extra space, they've been working on a few plays at training so we'll see how it goes."
The attacking team can feed the ball from either side, and the locks don't have to bind in.
"That means he can be anywhere," Daley pointed out. "If you want he can feed the scrum and you can have the halfback in the attacking line. It opens it up. Because we ran a couple at training, and we've got some blokes, they've been put under pressure on the edge. They'll be put under the pump on both teams."
Daley admitted his side would need every advantage they can muster against a team with more stars than a Hollywood set. Their forward rotation in particular, Daley pointed out, packed some serious punch.
"We know it's going to be a tough game with the forwards that the All Stars have, so it's a big night for some of our guys," he said.
"In particular the guys that haven't played a lot of NRL, they're going to be put under the pump. So we've got to make sure that when they're under a bit of a fatigue, that they can make those tackles."
Daley expects to roll through his interchange cards early and often.
"It's just a matter of our guys being able to withstand that intensity for a long period," he said.
"Unlimited interchange will certainly work in our favour because we'll have to roll through them pretty quickly, because they've got plenty of big forwards on the bench and they'll all be getting plenty of time. So our guys are going to have to work extremely hard in the middle."
Pressed on whether lesser-known big men David Fifita and Tyson Andrews were up to the task, the NSW Origin coach said: "That's the challenge for our guys, and for Kierran Moseley. They don't play a lot of first grade, so go out there and show people what you're capable of doing.
"And who knows, you may get another opportunity at some other club or you may convince your coach at the club you're with, to give you more of a chance. So for those guys it's great. Our guys are really looking forward to it, but it's going to be a huge challenge as well."