The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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On the way up to Birmingham, the Cents did not have had much to worry about being almost top of the league compared to the Bulldogs who were struggling near the bottom. They were not complacent though and made sure that they completed their job convincingly and came home with two more points.
St. Albans went ahead when a neat chip and gather from Smith saw him feed left wing Andy Long who went in at the corner. This spurred the Cents and soon after a break by scrum half Jason Baihn resulted in a try for full back Kristian Warner, Baihn adding the goal.
Birmingham responded in the form of their front row setting up Bulldog centre Eral Anderson to score the home sides only points of the day. Skipper and prop Sean Dunne converted the goal.
The Centurions were frustrated to have conceded points and replied with two more tries before half time. The first try was from stand off Shane Rampling coupled with a successful conversion from Baihn. Rampling then went on to make a break and feed substitute Geoff Huson to go in at the left corner. The half time score stood at 6 points to 20.
The second half was an onslaught. The try that the Centurions scored early in the second half had a measure of controversy as the ball appeared to have been thrown forward in the tackle but, playing to the whistle, Kristian Warner picked up and went to the right hand corner. Soon after second row Jon Warner burst through to go between the posts, Baihn adding the goal.
The Cents new arrivals, the Fijian reinforcements, were introduced at half time and made an impressive impact on the game. First prop Latu Makita crashed through following a short range counter attack then wing Richard Dafa pounded over, Baihn converting both scores.
To add to Birmingham?s woes, bulldog Anderson whose defence had been impressive, was sidelined with a knee injury. A torrid period for Brum followed with two tries from centre Mike Okwusogu, a hat-trick score for Kris Warner and another for the impressive Makifa. Two goals from Baihn and one from centre Jack Malin, brought up the 70-point tally.
Man of the Match was Richard Louw with an impressive and determined display of aggressive tackling and ball carrying. The Cents now sit second in the table and eagerly await the rest of the season.