The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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In this week's Bulls Eye, Brian Noble and captain Jamie Peacock look ahead to Thursday's Engage Super League Round 7 game at Odsal when unbeaten Leeds Rhinos are the visitors to take on the Bulls in a repeat of last season's Grand Final. BRIAN NOBLE;
LEEDS ARE PLAYING WELL AS A TEAM.
They are playing really well and come here as favourites. They have had a great start to the season and are unbeaten. They are certainly playing with a lot of confidence and will be very tough opponents.
I thought we played very well against Hull last week but we know this game will provide an even tougher test. There will a lot of noise generated by the supporters of both sides and this game, more than any other is the ones the fans want to win. We will have to try and turn the home advantage we have into a positive for us
They could have Danny McGuire back for them and he is a player you really have to keep an eye. He is a superlative support player but there is much more to his game than that. If you leave him alone for a minute you pay the price.
It is the first game between the sides since the Grand Final but I won?t be putting any revenge issues into my game plan. It?s a different season with different players and our focus is to win the game and continue improving as we have done this season.
THIS IS A VERY BIG GAME. DO THE PLAYERS TAKE NOTICE OF ALL THE HYPE
Well we are aware that this is the biggest game of the regular season. The only way it could be bigger is if it was in a Semi Final or Final and these are the big games you want to play in and as a player you definitely hype yourself up for this game.
IT?S THE FIRST GAME SINCE THE GRAND FINAL. WILL THAT HAVE A PART TO PLAY IN THE BUILD UP?
We obviously want to win bit I won?t be thinking about that when I am playing but I am sure it will be in my mind while I am preparing. They have the trophy and that will be in my mind now and then and sometimes revenge gives you a little extra incentive to win a game but it?s only about 3% in a game as big as this is anyway. I don?t think we particularly see this as unfinished business; we just want the two points and to prove that we can play against the best team in the competition at the moment.
This for me is the biggest game in Super League now. I am from Leeds and I play for Bradford so I know what it means to everyone involved, players, supporters and Coaches. I know a lot of the Leeds players from the Gt. Britain camp but for eighty minutes there won?t be any friends out there on the Leeds side. It?s all about winning and that?s all I will be focused on.
They are playing very well at the moment and haven?t lost game so far and you have to playing well to achieve that because there aren?t really any poor teams in the competition this year. They have beaten Hull away and Saints at home and they are tough games. We beat Hull last week and they are probably the best side we have played so far and the kind of performance we put in was the sort we had been looking for. It wasn?t about individuals it was a good team effort and that is what will be required this week. I think it will be a fast, hard game as we have seen before. Most games between the two sides seem to go down to the last ten minutes and I expect this to be the same
Paul Johnson has injured his shoulder and is out for another five weeks. The Bulls have named the following 19 man squad:
Deacon, Ferres, Fielden, Harris, Cook, Langley, Lynch, Meyers, Parker, Paul, Peacock, Pratt, Pryce K, Pryce L, Radford, Reardon, Smith, Vagana, Vainikolo
Stuart Fielden will make his 200th appearance for the Bulls in this game. He also needs one try for a points total 150 for the club.
Lesley Vainikolo, has now scored 81 tries in 87 appearances for the Bulls
Michael Withers needs two tries for a career century of touchdowns with the club. The Australian?s 98 tries have come in 136 matches
Lee Radford needs 4 points for 100 for the club. He has scored 18 tries and kicked 12 goals.
BULLS EYE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE MEDIA DEPARTMENT OF BRADFORD BULLS RUGBY CLUB.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT STUART DUFFY OR JAMES BRAMMER ON 01274 762315