City-Country teams battle over passion - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

City-Country teams battle over passion

By David Beniuk 06/05/2009 01:16:41 PM Comments (0)

As Friday night's NSW trial intensifies into a battle of mini-State of Origin proportions, City have adopted some traditional interstate banter and declared Country will have no mortgage on passion in their jersey.

Echoing the Blues' annual defence of their devotion to the cause against the passionate Queenslanders, City winger David Williams has even suggested the clash will be more ferocious than the Test between World Cup holders New Zealand and Australia in Brisbane.

With as many as 12 NSW positions up for grabs, one of the most eagerly anticipated City-Country fixtures looms in Orange.

"There's a lot of banter coming from the Country boys, you always hear how they've got the passion and that, and I think we just want to prove it wrong," Manly winger Williams told AAP.

The players on both sides are keenly aware of what's on the line, Williams said.

"They've been a bit sceptical, teams of past years, that this hasn't exactly been a selection (trial) as it's said to be, but with so many positions open and everyone biting at the heels of all those positions and competing against everyone else, everyone's taking this very seriously," Williams said.

"It will probably be a tougher match than the Kiwi game."

The former Test winger and cult figure with the trademark "Wolfman" beard said Origin's traditional mate against mate mentality would be on display on Friday night when he comes up against the likes of Country centre, and Manly teammate, Jamie Lyon.

"Obviously playing outside him (at Manly) I get to see exactly what he can do and he's damaging to defenders," he said.

"Hopefully our blokes over there can knock him off his feet.

"We're wearing different jerseys so I don't think there's any (club) teammates on Friday."

Twenty-two-year-old Williams, who burst onto the scene in Manly's premiership year and played two Tests in 2008, has only managed three first grade games this year after suffering a shoulder injury in the Sea Eagles' pre-season World Club Challenge triumph over Leeds.

But he said his Origin dream was still very much alive after his selection for City.

"Obviously there's been a few forks in the road and a few speed humps with injuries," he said.

"But making the City squad has sort of given me a bit of a spark in that regard to keep on going for this year because it seems that spot's open and I've hoping to put a good claim for it."

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