The Five Best Ever City-Country Origin Games

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The Five Best Ever City-Country Origin Games

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This Sunday will be the last game of City - Country Origin, so as we say goodbye, why don't we have a look back at the 5 best City - Country games.

1992: Country 17 bt City 10

Laurie Daley powered Country to their first-ever win over City in the Origin format after five straight losses, and their drought-breaking victory in any format since 1975. After Newcastle forward Paul Harrigan scored either side of half-time, Junee-born Daley gave Country a six-point lead at the Sydney Football Stadium via a powerful run to the line with seven minutes to play. John Simon kicked a late field goal as the rivalry was alive and well.

1996: Country 18 bt City 16

One of the best City-Country matches ever played as the likes of Andrew Ettinghausen, Laurie Daley, Andrew Johns, Geoff Toovey, Brad Fittler and Steve Menzies all combined in Wollongong. City looked set to claim victory when they scored two tries in 10 minutes midway through the second half, but a nine-pass play in the final seconds of the game allowed Adam Muir over to tie the scores. Johns nailed the kick on the siren and Country were victors again.

2003: City 17 bt Country 16

Incumbent NSW Origin halves pairing of Trent Barrett and Andrew Johns combined for Country, and all but three of the Blues players in the 2003 series appeared in the City-Country fixture. That year's thrilling clash befitted the talent that was on show. In pouring rain in Gosford, City jumped out to a 16-6 lead before Country began a resurgence. A Braith Anasta field goal put the City slickers seven points in front, but Country scored late to narrow the margin to one, before the full-time siren blew while they were deep in attack. Fittingly, the match attracted the concept's highest-ever crowd of 17,674, but by the following year Test players weren't considered and the demise had begun.

2008: City 22 drew with Country 22

A rare 80-minute draw was met with confusion and jeers from the crowd following a late comeback by Country in Wollongong. With golden point already introduced into all NRL and State of Origin fixtures, the 2008 draw was the first of its kind in the Origin format of City-Country. Braith Anasta and Mitchell Pearce engineered a second-half revival when they overturned a 16-6 deficit for City, but Todd Carney stepped his way across the line with eight minutes remaining to level the scores. Both sets of halves then each missed field goal attempts in the frantic final minutes.

2014: City 26 drew with Country 26

Although bereft of the big names that had dominated the early years of the contest, the 2014 fixture proved to be one of the most see-sawing in history. Country looked to have the game won when they scored to take a 26-10 lead with 10 minutes remaining, before Will Hopoate unleashed. The then-Eels centre scored one try and set up another as City crossed three times in the last five minutes to draw the match after the siren.

- AAP

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