The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks v Newcastle Knights
Toyota Stadium, Saturday 24 April 2010 - 7:30pm kickoff
Cronulla, for the first time this season, have named the same line-up in consecutive weeks. Perhaps coach Ricky Stuart has settled on his best possible combinations with limited options (Limited, only according to Stuart). This will help their struggling attack but the Sharks pack must raise their aggression and enthusiasm to stop a potent Knights team. This is their best chance against a Newcastle side with a poor defensive record and question marks over their ability to win away from the Hunter.
However, they have a backline boasting a number of supremely talented footballers and if Jarrod Mullen turns up, the Knights will find the try line often enough to scrape home. We predict he does... and they do. Cronulla will try to push their opponents around to win this one which may cause some niggle, which we love, but will not get the home side a victory. Knights win with a more dangerous three-quarter line and a superior interchange bench.
Man of the Match Prediction: Kurt Gidley
Tip: Newcastle 23-16
Sharks: 1. Nathan Stapleton 2. Blake Ferguson 3. Ben Pomeroy 4. Taulima Tautai 5. Isaac Gordon 6. Trent Barrett (c) 7. Tim Smith 8. Kade Snowden 9. John Morris 10. Luke Douglas 11. Grant Millington 12. Anthony Tupou 13. Paul Gallen
Interchange: 14. Luke Harlen 15. Broderick Wright 16. Paul Aiton 17. Siosaia Vave
Knights: 1. Kurt Gidley (c) 2. Akuila Uate 3. Junior Sa'u 4. Keith Lulia 5. Cooper Vuna 6. Ben Rogers 7. Jarrod Mullen 8. Ben Cross 9. Isaac De Gois 10. Evarn Tuimavave 11. Cameron Ciraldo, 12. Cory Paterson, 13. Steve Simpson.
Interchange: 14. Matt Hilder 15. Daniel Tolar 16. Richie Fa'aoso 17. Mark Taufua
Reserves: 18. Con Mika
Referees: Ashley Klein & Phil Haines; Sideline Officials: Jeff Younis & Luke Potter; Video Referee: Russell Smith