The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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BULLDOGS: 1. Luke Patten 2. Hazem El Masri 3. Josh Morris 4. Jamal Idris 5. Bryson Goodwin 6. Ben Roberts 7. Brett Kimmorley 8. Chris Armit 9. Mick Ennis 10. Michael Hodgson 11. Gary Warburton 12. Andrew Ryan 13. David Stagg Interchange: 14. Brad Morrin 15. Greg Eastwood 16. Yileen Gordon 17. Daniel Holdsworth PANTHERS: 1. Jarrod Sammut 2. Brad Tighe 3. Gavin Cooper 4. Maurice Blair 5. Shane Elford 6. Wade Graham 7. Luke Walsh 8. Frank Puletua 9. Paul Aiton 10. Tim Grant 11. Trent Waterhouse (c) 12. Frank Pritchard 13. Nathan Smith Interchange: 14. Matthew Bell 15. Joseph Paulo 16. Masada Iosefa 17. Andrew Emelio; Reserves: 18. Junior Tia-Kilifi
Cast your mind back to round two of this season. That was the day that both sides played their guts out, yet no competition points were awarded. The Bulldogs won that game in the final moments but were docked the competition points after fielding a fourteenth player on the field. This time around, the Bulldogs can certainly feel more confident of coming out of the game with something to show for it. The Panthers struggled last week against the Sea Eagles, and their cause will not be helped by being without forward leader Petero Civoniceva due to Origin. They are also missing Luke Lewis to a lengthy toe injury as well as go-to back Michael Jennings who has since been ruled out of Origin. Adding to their woe, youngster Lachlan Coote is out for the season requiring a shoulder re-construction. Stand in skipper Trent Waterhouse with his high work-rate and line-breaking potential and organising half back Luke Walsh hold the key for the Panthers. Walsh