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Country Origin have defeated City Origin 18 points to 12 at BCU International Stadium in Coffs Harbour today (Sunday) in front of 4,635 Rugby League supporters.

Despite going down in the annual clash, Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds was regarded as one of the best players on the field, taking control of the game in the second half and almost propelling City to what seemed like an unlikely victory after the first 40 minutes.

Reynolds kicked off the match and it was City Origin that seemed to have the better of the running in the opening exchanges.

Nathan Merritt diffused a bomb for a try saver, and Reynolds kicked a booming 40/20 to put City in great field position in the eighth minute of the game.

Both Reynolds and Nathan Peats were heavily involved in the opening ten minutes but it would be Country Origin that would register first points.

The first try was scored by Country halfback Josh McCrone who ran to the line, dummied to support and slipped past Ryan Hoffman to score. James Maloney converted to give the Country side a six-nil lead after 19 minutes.

Nine minutes later the Country side scored again through winger Akuila Uate. Some hot potato footy found the ball in the hands of McCrone who threw a pass over the top to Uate. Uate used his power to push his way over fullback James Tedesco to score. Maloney was successful with the difficult conversion attempt to give Country the half time lead of 12-0.

The Country team were the more dangerous in the opening 40 minutes, and the City boys would need a much more energetic and improved performance in the second half to peg back the 12-point deficit.

Both Reynolds and Peats had done a mountain of defence in the opening 40 minutes, making 14 and 15 tackles respectively, with Reynolds kicking for over 300 metres in general play.

The City side was the first to strike in the second half when a half break from Nathan Merritt got the City boys on the front foot. The ensuing play led to a try to Andrew Fifita, and Adam Reynolds' conversion reduced the deficit to six points.

Reynolds then took the game by the scruff of the neck, almost single-handedly turning around the fortunes of the City side.

In the 46th minute, with no play presenting itself, Reynolds stabbed a kick in behind the Country defensive line, chasing the ball through himself to score under the posts. He converted his own try to level the scores at 12-all.

Four minutes later he would put the City team in good position with his second 40/20 kick of the match, and he continued to dominate the play for the next ten minutes.

The Country side started to wrestle back the advantage and in the 66th minute James McManus scored for Country being set up by fellow winger Akuila Uate. Maloney converted from the touch line to re-establish the six-point advantage.

The City side started to play some catch up footy with Nathan Peats going close to scoring in the 73rd minute of play, but he was cut down by Maloney, pulling off a magnificent try saving tackle to keep his side in front.

The video referee was called upon to rule on a possible try to City's Jorge Taufua, but he was ruled to have gone into touch and no try was awarded.

The City boys could not register any more points, and the Country side would run out victors on home soil, 18 points to 12.

Adam Reynolds really sparked the City side in the second 40 minutes, and got through plenty of work kicking for over 600 metres in general play and making 22 tackles throughout the 80 minutes.

Nathan Peats was also busy making 39 tackles and missing zero for City.

Nathan Merritt was restricted in the number of chances he got with the ball, running the ball 11 times for 90 metres.

None of the Rabbitohs' players made an error throughout the 80 minutes of the match.

Reynolds told 2GB's Continuous Call Team after the match: "That was tough. The Country boys showed up today and played some good footy.

"We got to play a bit footy there in the second half but it wasn't good enough.

"We went searching for a try in the closing stages but our execution just wasn't there."

All three players will now return to the Rabbitohs to prepare for Friday night's clash with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles at Brookvale Oval.

Country Origin 18 (Josh McCrone, Akuila Uate, James McManus tries; James Maloney 3 goals)


City Origin 12 (Andrew Fifita, Adam Reynolds tries; Adam Reynolds 2 goals)
Acknowledgement of Country

South Sydney Rabbitohs respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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