The NSW Blues have been named for the first game of the 2017 #Origin series.
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Auckland Vulcans Vs Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs
Mt Smart Stadium, Saturday, April 30
Kick-off: 11.00am (NZST) 1.00pm (EST)
Referee: Leon Williamson
Summary: One meets two in a top of the table clash at Mt Smart Stadium to kick off proceedings in Round Eight of the NSW Cup. And with just the one loss between the two sides thus far in 2011 there is little doubt that this looks to be the match of the round. The competitions best attack in the Vulcans will face off against the best defence in the Bulldogs, and when you throw in a plethora of stars you have the makings of a real classic. Godinet Vs Reynolds, Johnson Vs Roberts and Robinson Vs Foster are just a few of the mouth watering match ups that awaits the Auckland faithful that will be in attendance on Saturday. The Bulldogs will be without the services of the competitions leading tryscorer in Michael Lett yet find themselves in the enviable position of being able to bring in a player like Heka Nanai in his place. No interruptions to the Warriors side means the Vulcans have the luxury of fielding a similar team to the one that dispatched of the Magpies at Campbelltown last weekend.
Game Breaker: Joel Moon - A player of wonderful ability, Moon is one of those players who has found it difficult to solidify his place in the NRL yet regularly dominates opposition when playing in the NSW Cup. A great ball runner with the ability to kick and pass, Moon must be watched closely by his opposite number and his clash here against Jonathan Wright promises to be a match defining one.
Prediction: Find it hard to tip against the Bulldogs in this competition, so will stick with them here but a home victory would certainly not shock.