The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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In Bull's Eye this week, Brian Noble and second row forward Jamie Peacock look ahead to tomorrow night's Teteley's Super League Round 22 game at Headingly when the Bulls travel to meet the Rhinos in the biggest game of all. First and second go head to head!
SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING THIS GAME WILL DECIDE WHO FINISHES AT THE TOP OF THE TABLE.
We are going there to win but if we don?t it will not be a pivotal defeat. There are still a lot of games to play this season and we have to play Leeds again at Odsal again, so this one won?t be crucial. But to win would be good for us after playing three very competitive games last week.
ARE YOU SURPRISED LEEDS HAVE GONE SO WELL THIS SEASON?
Not at all. They are very tough mentally and they are winning games. They have won some games when they haven?t, by their own admission, played very well and that is the hallmark of a good side. They have quality players right across the park and they are very tough and resolute. They have a chance to go back to the top of the table and, after being there for most of the season, that is what they will want to do.
It is a very tough game for us but we will be looking for the victory.
IT?S THE BIGGEST GAME OF THE SEASON THIS WEEK
It is for us because we can go two points clear at the top. We know there are still a lot of games to go but it would be a big boost if we could win there against our closest rivals. It will be a crunch game, just because it is Leeds and Bradford and with the good weather there should be a lot of fans there as well.
We have done well to win the three games last week, particularly in London where we played very well and against Huddersfield, who have been the form team in recent weeks, we did enough to win the game by playing well in the first half and doing it tough in the second.
LEEDS HAVE GONE WELL THIS SEASON
They have and one of the reasons is that is because they recruited well in the off season. They have got a very mentally strong team this season and they have won games when they haven?t played well. That is the sign of a very good team. Playing opposite me will be Dave Furner and Matt Adamson. They have both played State of Origin and had along spells at the highest level. They have been big players for them but if we can get on top of their pack we can claim the win.
For me, being a Leeds lad, it is the biggest game of the year for me. I used to watch them when I was a kid and I love playing at Headingley. The atmosphere for Leeds ? Bradford games is always electric and tomorrow it will be very special.
Brian Noble will not select his side until Friday morning and has not named a squad.
LESLEY VAINIKOLO is the Bulls leading scorer this season with 21 tries.
LEON PRYCE has scored 19 tries for the Bulls this season.
MICHAEL WITHERS has scored 90 tries in just 106 appearances for the club.
PAUL DEACON, has kicked 136 goals from 172 attempts in all games for the Bulls this season for an average of 79.07 % and needs 5 goals for 400 for the Bulls and 1 for career total of 400, not including Drop Goals.
LEE RADFORD has kicked 8 goals from 9 attempts this season for an average of 88.88%
IN OTHER NEWS:
Powergen Challenge Cup holders Bradford Bulls have announced the signing of one of the most highly sought after juniors in their history.
Matthew Cook, who has represented England Schools at both Rugby League and Rugby Union, has signed a three year contract with the Bulls. This season he has been involved with the England Rugby Union Under 19 squad and has just returned from their training camp in South Africa. He has played for Saracens and East Midlands and was in the Saracens side that played in last season?s Middlesex Sevens competition, which was won by the Bulls?
Cook, who is 16 years of age and lives in Buckinghamshire, is highly rated in both codes of rugby and the Bulls have fought off stiff competition to secure his signature.
Bulls Coach Brian Noble is delighted with the signing:
?Matthew is a very talented player and I am really looking forward to working with him in our junior set up here at Odsal. We believe he has a big future in the game and we feel we have taken a player from Rugby Union who will be a big player in Rugby League. Bulls fans should be very excited that we have captured a player of his calibre and with so much talent.?
Matthew Cook is happy to have secured his immediate future:
?I have always wanted to play Rugby League and I am absolutely delighted to be joining Bradford Bulls. I have been very happy with my career so far in Rugby Union but I am very pleased to have signed for what I believe is the best club in the country.?
BULLS EYE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MEDIA DEPARTMENT OF BRADFORD BULLS RUGBY LEAGUE CLUB.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT STUART DUFFY OR SIMON COLLINSON ON 01274 762315