City claim shield despite Country comeback

BRAD Fittler's City team have done enough to hold out Country, taking out the annual City/Country match with a 24-22 victory in front of 8621 at Glen Willow Regional Stadium in Mudgee.

City led 24-0 after 38 minutes before Blake Ferguson led the Country fight back with a 100 metre try moments before the half-time hooter.

It was all Country in the opening 10 minutes, however some disjointed attack ensured they could not capitalise on their posession.

A penalty to City in the 11th minute was enough to get the ball rolling for Brad Fittler's side. Steve Turner scored off the first set to claim the opening points of the match. Turner converted his own try to extend the lead to six after 14 minutes.

Turner was over for his second only three minutes later courtesy of a great attacking kick by incumbent Blues' halfback Mitchell Pearce.Turner added the extras again.

Country were given several opportunities to hit back however, misfired passes and poorly weighted kicks saw them come back empty handed from several trips to the City danger zone.

It went from bad to worse for the Country side, as Todd Carney spilled the ball 40 out from his own line in the 31st minute. Chris Lawrence was able to spot a gap and slid right through for City's third try. Turner's boot was on the mark again.

A BJ Leilua break saw City on the attack again in the 35th minute, he offloaded to Lachlan Coote who scored under the black dot. Turner made no mistakes from right in front.

With a minute left in the half, City were right on the attack again, but an intercept followed by a 100 metre dash by Blake Ferguson saw him claim Country's opening try. Carney added the extras.

Country were right on the attack following the break, with Ferguson scoring his second only three minutes into the second half. Carney missed the conversion. 

Carney proved he was Origin ready three minutes later, the 2010 Dally M winner put on a right foot step to break through the Cite defence and create a try for Tariq Sims. Carney's slotted the ball over to put Country within eight of the lead.

Four repeat sets at City's tryline  were not enough for the City halves to craft another try in the 58th minute. With Jarrod Mullen eventually coughing up possession.  

Sims put his hand up for an Origin jersey with his second try in the 63rd minute, the young Cowboy muscled his way through line to score. Carney added the extras again, reducing City's lead to two. 

Country were given several opportunities to take the lead in the final 15 minutes of play, but poor last tackle options and some desperate defence from City held them out. 

After an exciting eighty minutes of football, Ricky Stuart will have his work cut out for him in picking the NSW side.

Pearce did more than enough to prove he deserves to hold onto the halfback spot, but with both Carney and Hayne producing strong performances today deciding which player will partner him will not be easy.   

Match Details
Country 22 were defeated by City 24
National Rugby League - 2012 Rep Weekend - Sunday April 22, 2012 3:00pm
Venue: Glen Willow Regional Stadium, Mudgee
Referee: Gerard Sutton and Brett Suttor
Video Referee: Bernard Sutton
Touch Judges: Adam Reid and Jason Walsh
Crowd: 8621
Halftime: Country 24 City 6

Leagueunlimited.com players of the match:
3 Points - Lachlan Coote (1 Try)
2 Points - Tariq Sims (2 Tries)
1 Point - Todd Carney (3 Conversions)

COUNTRY (22)
Tries: Blake Ferguson (2), Tariq Sims (2)
Conversions: Todd Carney (3/4)

CITY (24)
Tries: Lachlan Coote, Chris Lawrence, Steve Turner (2)
Conversions: Steve Turner (4/4)

LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Mudgee is abuzz, today's Country v City Origin is set to be another cracker, and Glen Willow is close to capacity for it!

Discuss with thousands of other fans on our forums, or join the conversation on Twitter, using the official hashtag #CvC! Both sides are 1-17 as per the team lists tab above. Kickoff about to take place...
City fullback Lachlan Coote gets us underway at Mudgee, Country with first use of the ball.
1 min: PENALTY Country, the City boys caught inside the ten.
1 min: Brett Morris spills it, City come away with the ball now.
3 min: Another penalty Country, count now 2-0 in Country's favour inside three minutes.
8 min: ON REPORT: BJ Leilua on report for a "Chicken Wing" style tackle. Penalty Country, they're heavy on the attack.
14 min: TRY
TRY City
Scored by Steve Turner. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Country almost away for a try but the ref calls it back and a penalty to City... First play and it finds Steve Turner out wide! TRY! Turner converts his own four-pointer.
City 6-0
18 min: TRY
TRY City
Scored by Steve Turner. Conversion attempt by Steve Turner successful.
Turner's done it again, this time off a Mitchell Pearce grubber! AND he's converted from the sideline again! Blistering start from the City boys!
City 12-0 20 min: Pearce is penalised for a high shot on Greg Bird and Country will get an opportunity to hit back.
21 min: Jarrod Mullen put in a poorly weighted grubber kick and it rolls dead.
23 min: McManus makes a break on half way and Country will go on the attack.
23 min: City counter attack after Country knock on in the in goal.
24 min: Josh Morris wraps Robbie Farrah up in an excellent tackle and the ball comes loose.
27 min: Country are truly on the back foot here, their attack is completely disjointed.
28 min: McManus is in space and Country are right on the attack.
29 min: Ferguson kicks through and the ball just goes dead.
31 min: Morris throws a terrible pass and Carney spills it 40 out from his own line.
33 min: TRY
Chris Lawrence spots a gap and slides right through. Turner adds the extras again.
City 18-0
34 min: BJ Leilua makes a break down the left side.
36 min: TRY
Lacklan Coote scores right under the black dot on the back Leilua's break. Turner converts the try.
City 24-0
37 min: City get a penalty and will get the ball 35 out from City's try line. 40 min: TRY
Blake Ferguson intercepts a Hayne pass and runs 100 metres to score for Country, that's exactly what they needed right before the break. Todd Carney converts the try.
City 24-6
40 min: The City kick off goes out on the full as the half-time siren sounds.
40 min: The City kick off goes out on the full as the half-time siren sounds.
40 min: The City kick off goes out on the full as the half-time siren sounds.
40 min: Jarrod Mullen goes high and the Country players race through but Coote leaps above the pack and diffuses the bomb.
40 min: Carney kicks off to bring the second half under way.
43 min: Possible try to Country here.
45 min: TRY
TRY! Ferguson has his double. Mullen puts up a bomb and Country tap it back and Tom Learoyd-Lars gets the ball and passes to Josh McCrone who puts in a perfectly weighted grubber. Carney misses the conversion.
City 24-10
46 min: Penalty to Country.
48 min: TRY
TRY! Carney puts on a right foot step to break through the City defence, he passes to Tariq Sims who scores under the black dot. Carney adds the extras.
City 24-16
49 min: Carney attempts a 40/20 but Dave Williams is alert enough to take the ball ten out from his on line.
50 min: Hayne loses the ball just short of halfway.
51 min: Mullen loses the ball in a great tackle by Pearce.
52 min: A Farrah grubber forces a line drop out.
52 min: A great drop out by Mullen is batted back my Hayne and he picks it 35 out from his own line.
53 min: Creagh takes the ball ten out from his own line after a Pearce grubber.
55 min: Country get a penalty and will go on the attack 40 out from City's line.
56 min: Mullen grubbers into the in goal on the last but Williams is there to clean it up and burrows back into the field of play.
57 min: Country are back on the attack.
58 min: Carney forces a line drop out.
59 min: City are penalised.
59 min: Another penalty against City.
60 min: City are penalised for a strip.
60 min: Hinchcliffe throws a pass just short of the line, it goes loose and City claim possession.
62 min: Coote knocks on 35 out from his own line.
62 min: Williams knocks a Mullen grubber dead and City will have to kick another line drop out.
64 min: TRY
TRY! Country spread it out wide through Hinchcliffe and Tariq Sims muscles his way through the defensive line and scores for country. Carney adds the extras to make it a two-point ball game.
City 24-22
66 min: Mullen attempts a 40/20 but it goes out 22 metres out from the City line.
69 min: Country get a penalty and will get a piggyback out of their danger zone 71 min: City are pinned for a forward pass and City will get another shot to take the lead.
73 min: Carney puts a grubber through, but it is cleaned up by Mateo
74 min: City are ten out on the last tackle after a break by Morris.
74 min: Mullen decides to run it on the last and he is caught with the ball.
75 min: City receive a relieving penalty.
75 min: City will receive a line drop out after a Peace grubber.
76 min: City will receive another line drop out.
76 min: Mullen's line drop out doesn't go ten metres and City will get a penalty.
77 min: Carney saves the day for Country after he cleans up a Hinchcliffe grubber.
78 min: Greg Bird is caught with the ball on the last on halfway.
80 min: City will get a scrum ten out after Ferguson knocks the ball into touch while attempting an intercept.
80 min: Leilua toes the ball into touch as the full-time siren sounds.

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