The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Only three games this weekend, as Round 5 of the NZRL Bartercard Cup is split over two weekends.
The North Harbour Tigers will be licking their wounds, following their defeat at the hands of the Hibiscus Coast Raiders last week, as they head to North Harbour Stadium to match up against the Glenora Bears on Saturday.
The Bears are yet to find any real form and have a solitary point beside their name on the table, coming from their draw with Wellington. Tigers / Bears games are always terrific games to watch though, as the Bears always lift in intensity when they play their old rivals. The North Harbour side should win this one, but they need to put more effort into their discipline. Too many times recently they have been, justifiably, on the wrong side of a lop sided penalty count. Fix this, and they are a real chance of being in the five at the end. Neglect it, and they are ?also rans?.
Fitzherbert Park in Palmerston North sees what should be the game of the weekend, when the Central Falcons play host to the Mt Albert Lions.
One versus three, with the Lions having a two point advantage, courtesy of their victory over Waicoa Bay last week. The Falcons have enjoyed a fantastic start to the 2005 season, losing only one game to the Bulls in Round 3. Mt Albert look like world beaters at the moment, but this one will be tough. The Lions in a close one.
Early birds to the Warriors v Roosters clash at Ericsson Stadium on Sunday will be able to witness the Hibiscus Coast Raiders up against Marist Richmond Brothers in the curtain raiser.
The Raiders are fresh off their heart stopping victory over the Tigers last week, while the Brothers are coming into form, despite their drawn game against Wellington last week. Marist Richmond should have Misi Taulapapa and Evarn Tuimavave back, after travelling with the Warriors last week. Hibiscus Coast would be a little concerned at the way they allowed the Tigers back into the game last Sunday and this game will be a hard one for them. Too close to call for this cowardly writer.
Saturday 14 May 2005