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Bondi-bred Bryan Fletcher on Wednesday insisted there's as much pride in the City jumper as the maroon and gold of Country heading into Friday night's opening match of the rugby league representative season.
Brian Smith's Country Origin team has hogged the limelight this week as his players recount their early years growing up on farms and speak fondly of tight-knit communities supposedly found only in the bush.
But City slicker Fletcher said Graham Murray's team of underdogs were also proud of their roots.
"There's nothing wrong with going to the beach," he said.
The classy second rower was sick and tired of hearing about Country's passion.
"It happens every year. It's just a bit of a beat-up. The Country players play on it a little bit as well," Fletcher said
from City's Central Coast camp.
"There's just as much passion in our team, of course there is. There always is.
"It's always the same - whether it State of Origin rivalry or Newcastle v Brisbane, they always seem to say the passion is greater in (one of) those teams.
"But there's plenty here as well. We've had a good preparation. Everyone's got along well - we had a bit of a beer on the first night."
He said sessions of team bonding certainly weren't confined to the Country camp and trying to match the opposition for passion hadn't been - and wouldn't be - discussed before taking to Gosford's Express Advocate Stadium.
Fletcher said the heavy rain this week wouldn't have a bearing on City's game plan - because Murray's men "don't really have one".
They'll be playing ad-lib football and merely backing each other's ability to get the job done, as they did at Wagga Wagga.
"Muz talked about last year when (City) won. It was more of an attitude of quick play-the-balls and playing what you see," Fletcher said.
"And I think in these games it's probably the best plan because you've only got four days with each other.
"So there's no use coming up with any miraculous plays or anything because they don't usually work."