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Preview: Country v City

Country will be striving for their third successive victory over City when these teams meet at the Glen Willow Sporting Complex at Mudgee this Sunday.
Preview: Country v City
by NRL

Country will be striving for their third successive victory over City when these teams meet at the Glen Willow Sporting Complex at Mudgee this Sunday.

Laurie Daley's boys got the better of City 18-12 last year following a try on the bell by winger Akuila Uate while in 2010 it was a far more convincing 36-18 victory to the Country team.

Major interest in this match is likely to centre around the battle of the halves with Jarryd Hayne and Mitchell Pearce (City) lining up against Todd Carney and Jarrod Mullen (Country). A decisive win to either combination could have implications for State of Origin selection.

Country will benefit from the club combination of five St George Illawarra players, a factor which especially applies to the forwards where premiership winners Michael Weyman, Beau Scott, Ben Creagh and Trent Merrin will all combine.

The absence of a regular goalkicker proved costly for City last year but Canterbury's Steve Turner should perform adequately in that area this time around. Carney is expected to handle the kicking duties for Country.

City have six players making their debut at this level, while Country have just four newcomers. The Country team is older and slightly more experienced than Brad Fittler's City team and have an edge in State of Origin experience (11 players with 48 games for Country compared with seven players with 33 games for City).

Look for a Country/City or City/Country outcome in Half/Full Double betting and consider the Overs option in Unders/Overs betting.

First Tryscoring contenders include Brett Morris, James McManus or Blake Ferguson for Country or David Williams, Lachlan Coote or Steve Turner for City.


Country Origin: Brett Morris (St George Illawarra), James McManus (Newcastle), Josh Morris (Canterbury-Bankstown), Matt King (South Sydney), Blake Ferguson (Canberra); Todd Carney (Cronulla), Jarrod Mullen (Newcastle), Luke Douglas (Gold Coast), Ryan Hinchcliffe (Melbourne), Michael Weyman (St George Illawarra); Beau Scott (St George Illawarra), Ben Creagh (St George Illawarra), Greg Bird (Gold Coast). Subs: Josh McCrone (Canberra), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (Canberra), Trent Merrin (St George Illawarra), Tariq Sims (North Queensland). 18th man: Chris Houston (Newcastle).

City Origin: Lachlan Coote (Penrith), David Williams (Manly), Joseph Leilua (Sydney Roosters), Chris Lawrence (Wests Tigers), Steve Turner (Canterbury-Bankstown), Jarryd Hayne (Parramatta), Mitchell Pearce (Sydney Roosters), Aaron Woods (Wests Tigers), Robbie Farah (Wests Tigers), Tim Mannah (Parramatta), Ryan Hoffman (Melbourne), Corey Payne (Canterbury-Bankstown), Feleti Mateo (Warriors). Interchange: Bryce Gibbs (Cronulla), Jason King (Manly), Jamie Buhrer (Manly), Liam Fulton (Wests Tigers). 18th man: Wade Graham (Cronulla).

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