Honours shared in Country-City rep clash

City have rallied late in Dubbo today to score an exciting 26-all draw with Country in the latest installment of the annual fixture, played in front of 9,627 fans at Caltex Park.

A cagey opening ten minutes eventually gave way to a bunch of tries - David Mead opening proceedings for the "hosts" Country before Josh Reynolds struck back for City off a superb break & kick ahead by Matt Moylan. A bounding leap above the pack by Daniel Tupou then put City ahead after 24 minutes.

Country went on to dominate the rest of the half - tries to Kevin Gordon and then Mead's second off the back of an outstanding Jarrod Mullen 40/20 had them in front 16-10 going into the break.

Mullen's man-of-the-match performance continued into the second half as well, playing an important role in several tries including a Jamal Idris special. Country had absorbed plenty in defence up until Idris's 63rd minute try, before going up the other end and seeing the big lumbering centre pluck the ball out of the air from a cross-field kick.

Idris was at the fore again just minutes later, palming off countless opposition defenders before handing it off to a crafty James McManus to score in the corner. This had Country sixteen points clear with ten to go and seemingly they had the game won. Instead, City turned the tables in a dramatic final ten minutes.

Andrew Fifita was on the end of a panicked-but-effective final tackle throw-about, surging toward the line on the right edge to score what appeared a consolation try. Daniel Tupou doubled his own tryscoring tally with two minutes to fulltime by tiptoeing along the left edge, before a Dylan Walker break inside the final sixty seconds gave City a chance to unbelievably level the contest. Eventually Will Hopoate found himself with the ball and dodged several tired defenders to score to the right of the posts. Adam Reynolds then converted to level the scores at 26-all after the siren.

The result sees Country Origin retain the shield after their victory last April in Coffs Harbour - and throws up countless questions for NSW Coach Laurie Daley ahead of the Origin series which kicks off at Suncorp Stadium on Wednesday May 28. Jarrod Mullen comfortably won the battle of the five-eighths over Josh Reynolds as our man of the match, while David Mead (fullback), Daniel Tupou (wing), Jamal Idris (centre), and Josh Jackson (second-row) were all outstanding. The 2014 NRL season resumes regular transmission next Friday with games in Sydney and Townsville.


Match Details
Country Origin 26 City Origin 26
Venue: Dubbo Apex Club Caltex Park
Crowd: 9627
Halftime Score: Country Origin 16 City Origin 10

LeagueUnlimited.com Players of the Match:
3 points - Jarrod Mullen
2 points - Daniel Tupou
1 point - David Mead

COUNTRY ORIGIN (26)
Tries: David Mead (2), Kevin Gordon, Jamal Idris, James McManus
Conversions: Tyrone Roberts (3/5)

CITY ORIGIN (26)
Tries: Josh Reynolds, Daniel Tupou (2), Andrew Fifita, William Hopoate
Conversions: Adam Reynolds (3/5)


LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary

The yearly debates about it's relevance will rage as long as this fixture is played - but we've arrived at the Country v City Origin annual event. Welcome to Caltex Park in Dubbo where the old foes go toe to toe once more. Kickoff is at 3pm - we'll have team changes for you shortly.

Teams go in as per the most recent alterations on Wednesday. 18th men Shaun Fensom (Country) and Tyrone Peachey (City) drop off the respective benches.

The City and Country teams have made their way onto Caltex Park - great crowd packed in here. Kickoff moments away.

The two sides and the fans in Dubbo now hold a moment's silence in recognition of the passing back in February of Wayne 'Jock' Colley, former CRL chairman.

1: Early on and we already have an error from City via Andrew Fifita. Country get the ball via a scrum.

3: Penalty City - they'll get their first chance inside Country territory.

5: Now a penalty to Country but they lose it and City's Aaron Woods comes away with the ball.

9: End to end stuff so far nine minutes in - Country with arguably the better of the play but nothing threatening from either team yet.

11: TRY COUNTRY ORIGIN
Scored by David Mead. Kick to come.

First try goes to Mead for Country, scoring next to the posts off a handy Beau Scott offload.

13: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION COUNTRY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Two points added onto the tally with Tyrone Roberts converting.

17: TRY CITY ORIGIN
Scored by Josh Reynolds. Kick to come.

Moylan makes a line break... kicks inside and Josh Reynolds is there to collect!

18: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CITY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

The other Reynolds (Adam, that is), converts the Josh Reynolds try.

23: City force a line drop-out here. Pressure time for Country.

24: VIDEO REFEREE possible try for Daniel Tupou - CITY. High cross-field kick & aerial contest under review.

24: TRY CITY ORIGIN
Scored by Daniel Tupou. Kick to come.

Tupou has indeed leapt highest and was offside. Outstanding athleticism!

24: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CITY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds unsuccessful.

Reynolds' attempt goes away to the right.

27: Country looking to slow things down a little with a kick into touch forcing a City scrum on their own 10m.

29: UNFORCED ERROR CITY ORIGIN
Daniel Tupou makes an unforced error.

Hero to villain... Tupou can't field a high ball and it's knocked on. Great chance for Country...

30: VIDEO REFEREE possible Country TRY to Kevin Gordon.

30: TRY COUNTRY ORIGIN
Scored by Kevin Gordon. Kick to come.

Gordon gets the ball in the wide position and gets it down by edging his body just inside the touchline.

31: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION COUNTRY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts unsuccessful.

Roberts' effort from out wide, like his City counterpart, isn't as accurate as the first. Scores remain level.

33: 40/20 COUNTRY ORIGIN
Jarrod Mullen kicks a 40/20.

A Blue jersey moment perhaps? Mullo has smashed a long kick and it's a 40/20! Country tap and go!!!

33: VIDEO REFEREE another possible Country TRY - David Mead the scorer.

33: TRY COUNTRY ORIGIN
Scored by David Mead. Kick to come.

Mead gets his second with quick play by Country on the back of Mullen's 40/20. A hint of obstruction but nothing to worry the men upstairs.

34: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION COUNTRY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Conversion is good, Country now lead 16-10.

40: Nearly hitting halftime here in Dubbo, chilly conditions and both sides just running it end to end. City penalty late on here.

40: A late error from Josh Reynolds results in a Country scrum on their own 10m line but it fails to pack. That's it, HALFTIME.

43: Second half is underway in Dubbo. Country with the ascendency, will that change?

46: City with a long drive for touch and a scrum 10m now for Country. Steady opening to the second stanza so far.

48: Hoffman (City) penalised for tackling David Mead in the air on the Country 10m.

51: Country with a valuable attacking chance here - a try would make things difficult for City... but Moylan cleans up a last tackle grubber.

53: Country lose it and suddenly City are perched on the opposition line - David Klemmer held up on tackle 3. They threaten still...

53: Six again for City here... Country defenders having real trouble containing David Klemmer. Now we have a penalty to the men in gold.

56: Country withstand all the pressure, and now have possession coming off their own line.

59: UNFORCED ERROR COUNTRY ORIGIN
Mitch Rein makes an unforced error.

Rein spills his lollies just short of halfway, providing another City chance.

60: From the scrum, Josh Reynolds kicks it long for Dylan Walker! David Mead runs it close and pushes it dead though. Line drop-out now. More ball for City.

63: TRY COUNTRY ORIGIN
Scored by Jamal Idris. Kick to come.

Ball goes up - the tall timber of JAMAL comes down with it! All that pressure and Country go up the other end and score.

65: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION COUNTRY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts successful.

Roberts pushes the margin out to twelve.

69: TRY COUNTRY ORIGIN
Scored by James McManus. Kick to come.

Idris lays it on after pushing away a few defenders, and McManus is the man who scores in the corner!

71: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION COUNTRY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Tyrone Roberts unsuccessful.

Roberts doesn't convert but the margin is 16 now - Country almost home with under ten to go.

75: TRY CITY ORIGIN
Scored by Andrew Fifita. Kick to come.

A consolation try for the City boys with Fifita powering over off the end of a hot-potato style fifth tackle pass-around.

76: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CITY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Reynolds converts from out wide to reduce the margin to ten points.

79: VIDEO REFEREE possible City TRY to Daniel Tupou in the corner.

79: TRY CITY ORIGIN
Scored by Daniel Tupou. Kick to come.

Tupou secures a double for the City boys in the dying minutes. Wonderful work to tiptoe inside the touchline and just get it down. We could see a final minute grandstand finish!

79: UNSUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CITY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds unsuccessful.

Reynolds misses - six the difference with a minute left.

80: Here we go City with it in the dying moments! Country scrambling!

80: TRY CITY ORIGIN
Scored by William Hopoate. Kick to come.

HOPOATE SCORES ON THE SIREN! They threw it around and eventually Hopoate finds a passage through! Now Reynolds will kick for a draw!

80: SUCCESSFUL CONVERSION CITY ORIGIN
Conversion attempt by Adam Reynolds successful.

Reynolds converts and it finishes a DRAW!

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