Four Pointer: City 20 Country 10
The City side walked away from Glen Willow Oval in style in the last ever City v Country match to be played as part of the annual NRL agenda, winning by ten points over the Country team. It was a strong match to watch and was competitive all the way through. A fantastic send off for the game as a whole.
City Defended Well
Whether it was on their own line or chasing down the opposition, the defence from the City side was well done and is to be commended. The Country team had a handful of attacking opportunities, however they were pushed back by the City, scrambling well and making a solid defensive effort on their line to prevent all but two tries for their opposition. The defence was one of the defining factors of the match, and if it hadn’t have been so strong, the outcome of the match could have been quite different. The Country side weren’t afraid to pounce on intercept opportunities that were handed to them while they were on the defence, either. There were a few intercepts that could have resulted in tries, however the defence of the City was too strong to give them much of a chance. It was very clean and clear, and was a key element in their victory in the final City v Country match.
It Was Tough
Both sides showed a lot of heart and put a lot of effort into the match, and it was evident throughout the game as well as in the end score line. Both sides played with intensity and were present for the entire eighty minutes, making it a great game to watch. It has always been a game of interest, and Sunday night was no different. The Country side was better as far as completion is concerned, completing at eight per cent more than their opposition. However the City had more of edge over Country as far as attack and a lesser amount of missed tackles. Both sides were fairly equal in errors, City making 14, and Country making 12. Both coaches managed to piece together strong teams to take the field, and each player knew their role and played it well. It was a strong game of football to watch, and was the perfect send off for the match.
Hands Were Raised for Origin
Without a doubt, there were a number of players who were putting their hands up to be selected by New South Wales coach Laurie Daley for the 2017 State of Origin series that is to commence at the end of the month, with the first of the three matches to be played on Wednesday, May 31st. Penrith players James Tamou and Bryce Cartwright were especially putting themselves out there to capture the attention of Daley who was at the ground on Sunday afternoon. Cartwright’s performance wasn’t consistent, however he had moments of sheer brilliance throughout the match, including the match-sealing game with just minutes remaining in the match. James Tamou had a great game himself, also crossing the chalk for the City side early in the second half. There were plenty of others in both sides who played with Origin in the back of their minds, hopefully to wear the sky blue again in a few weeks time.
A Piece of History is Gone
After 106 years, the City v Country game has been played for the last time. The first match was played in 1911 (with the City side taking home the shield), however it took until 1928 for it to be decided that the match would be an annual fixture. It has often been referred to as a selection trial for the Blues side for the Origin series weeks after the match was played – as was displayed in the match on Sunday afternoon. After a long history, the game has come to a close, with City holding the most amount of titles throughout the years of the match. It has always been a pleasure to watch, and will be missed. The question now is, will the NRL play more matches in the country areas in order to keep the game alive where it isn’t central?