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Match Summary The representative season has kicked off with a nail biting 22-all draw between NSW City and NSW Country at WIN Stadium tonight.
It is only the second time in the history of the Country-City clashes that the scores have been locked up at full time, the last draw between City and Country Firsts being in 1933.
With play going from end to end, and field position and possession flow shifting more than once throughout the evening, both sides got into a field goal shoot out in the final stages.
City struck the first blow after 13 minutes with lock John Sutton scoring off a pass from five eighth Braith Anasta. But Country hit back five minutes later through winger Amos Roberts to make it 6-4 in favour of the City side.
Country were in again through Anthony Laffranchi who shifted to the back row just before kick off, the Gold Coast forward barging over from 10 metres out and stamping his authority on the match.
The Country boys were in again six minutes later through centre Ben Harris to take them to a 16-6 half time lead.
Country looked ready to go on with it early in the second half, but City came back in the 47th minute with Anasta, half back Mitchell Pearce and fullback Brett Hodgson combining to put centre Brett Delaney over in the corner.
Following a failed penalty goal attempt from Country forward Craig Fitzgibbon in the 57th minute, City were in again with winger Jarryd Hayne getting the better of his opposite to pull down a kick and score out wide. After 59 minutes of play, the scores were level at 16-all.
With both sides going up a notch, it was City who struck next with centre Ben Pomeroy snatching a loose ball and running 70 metres to score at the other end of the field.
Leading 22-16, City looked to have the upper hand. But Country came back to score when five eighth Todd Carney took a pass from half back Brett Finch, stepping his way around the defence to score under the posts. Fitzgibbon added the extras and with under eight minutes to go, the scoreboard read 22-all.
With no golden point on offer, a field goal shoot-out followed, including a sensational 50 metre attempt from Carney which sailed just wide of the uprights.
City retain the shield by virtue of their 12-6 victory in 2007.
Match Details Country 22 drew with City 22 City V Country Origin - May 2nd, 2008 8:00pm Venue: WIN Stadium Referee: Jared Maxwell Half time: Country 16-6 Crowd: 11,365
Country 22 Tries: Amos Roberts, Anthony Laffranchi, Ben Harris, Todd Carney Field Goals: Brett Finch (0/2), Todd Carney (0/1) Goals: Craig Fitzgibbon (2/4), Todd Carney (1/1) City 22 Tries: John Sutton, Brett Delaney, Jarryd Hayne, Ben Pomeroy Field Goals: Braith Anasta (0/1), Mitchell Pearce (0/1) Goals: Brett Hodgson (3/4)
LeagueUnlimited.com Player of the Match 3 Points: Anthony Laffranchi (Country) 2 Points: Brett Hodgson (City) 1 Point: Todd Carney (Country)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to WIN Stadium in Wollongong for the annual Country v City representative fixture.
TEAMS: NSW Country: 1. Brett Kearney (Sharks), 2. Amos Roberts (Roosters), 3. Joel Monaghan (Raiders), 4. Ben Harris (Cowboys), 5. Anthony Quinn (Storm), 6. Todd Carney (Raiders), 7. Brett Finch (Eels), 8. Brett White (Storm), 9. Danny Buderus (c) (Knights), 10. Anthony Laffranchi (Titans), 11. Nathan Hindmarsh (Eels), 12. Andrew Ryan (Bulldogs), 13. Craig Fitzgibbon (Roosters). INT: 14. Ben Cross (Knights), 15. Chris Heighington (Tigers), 16. Ben Hornby (Dragons), 17. Glenn Stewart (Sea Eagles), 18th man: Ben Creagh (Dragons). Coach: Laurie Daley. NSW City: 1. Brett Hodgson (c) (Tigers), 2. Jarryd Hayne (Eels), 3. Ben Pomeroy (Sharks), 4. Brett Delaney (Titans), 5. Luke Rooney (Panthers), 6. Braith Anasta (Roosters), 7. Mitchell Pearce (Roosters), 8. Mark O