The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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FRIDAY NIGHT LIGHTS - Round 26
It's not often that the events of the previous Friday night cast a shadow over the present one, but after the drama that surrounded the clash between Manly and Melbourne, a lot of talk this week has been cast back rather than forward. It's a shame: we could have spent the time discussing how comfortably Manly dismantled the Storm, or how the Roosters are finishing their season off in an impressive fashion with another victory, this time in golden-point over the cellar-dwelling Eels.
Tonight is the final Friday night double-header of the season. It's been 26 entertaining weeks, but it has to come to an end some time. For two of the four teams in action tonight, their season will end at full-time. For the other two, they can finish the chapter of their regular season and start afresh in the finals, where their quest for Grand Final glory begins once more.
NEWCASTLE KNIGHTS VS SOUTH SYDNEY RABBITOHS
This is a classic sudden-death contest for the final spot in the top eight. Both teams lost last week, which means that whoever wins this one goes through in eighth spot to take on the season's eventual minor premiers.
Souths will have felt a little sting in their tail this week with the news that centre Greg Inglis is out for the rest of their season. The Knights on the other hand will be champing at the bit for Friday night. Not only are they playing in front of a potential sell-out home crowd, but it's their traditional