City-Country game no Origin trial: coach - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

City-Country game no Origin trial: coach

By Daniel Pace 05/05/2005 07:52:50 PM Comments (0)

Craig Bellamy has rejected the notion that the annual City-Country rugby league match is a genuine State of Origin selection trial.

As several fringe representative players attempt to convince NSW selectors they are worthy of wearing the sky-blue jersey in the series opener against Queensland later this month, Country Origin coach Bellamy hosed suggestions Friday's game at Lismore served as a true Origin trial.

"If you play well tomorrow night it isn't going to hurt your chances but at the end of the day it's a representative game of Country v City and that's how it should be viewed, not as a State of Origin trial," Bellamy argued.

"It isn't a State of Origin trial. Scott Hill was man-of-the-match in this game last year and didn't play any part in the Origin series."

Bellamy stressed his views did not take the gloss off the fixture at Oakes Oval, saying it helped promote the game in regional areas and the passion of the players would create a good contest.

"For all the guys from small country areas out there, rugby league is a very important part of country life in NSW," he said.

"All these small areas where these 17 players come from tomorrow night, they'll be glued to the TV watching the boy come good from that town."

Before embarking on a light training run with his team, City five-eighth Braith Anasta said he liked to believe the annual grudge match was an Origin trial.

"If you stand up in this game you do yourself more good than harm," said Anasta, who is battling Country halves Trent Barrett and Scott Hill for the Blues pivot spot.

"Whether it is or it isn't a proper trial, everyone goes out there and still plays their hearts out."

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