Country Origin thumps City 36-18 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Country Origin thumps City 36-18

By David Beniuk 07/05/2010 10:22:11 PM Comments (0)

Two Country Origin debutants - one a teenager, the other 28 - gave NSW selectors something to think about Friday night as they led the men from the bush to a 36-18 come-from-behind victory over City at Port Macquarie.

Nineteen-year-old Canberra fullback Josh Dugan was a standout, scoring one try and laying on another, while Parramatta veteran Luke Burt notched a personal tally of 16 points as well as sublimely setting up a four-pointer for Michael Robertson.

Country came from 12-0 down in the first half to lock the scores up at 12-12 by the break and score another four tries, including a double to Dean Young, in the second in front of a record 7,688 at the Regional Sports Ground.

Next Big Thing Dugan was everywhere, his 70m burst in the first half giving Country the field position for him to be able to pluck a Brett Kimmorley kick from the air to score his side's first try in the 28th minute.

The lanky No.1 then threw a classy long ball to Timana Tahu to help set up Burt's 49th minute try.

Burt added six conversions to that effort but perhaps his biggest contribution was a deft set-play grubber from a scrum in the 62nd minute for Manly's Robertson to score and make it 22-12.

City hit back late through Anthony Minichiello but were outscored in the second half 24-6.

Earlier, the game's whiz-kids had ruled with Dugan joined by opposite number Lachlan Coote, City five-eighth Kris Keating and Country centre Jamal Idris in posting first-half tries.

In a blow for NSW and North Queensland, City lock Luke O'Donnell was helped from the field in the 67th minute with what looked like a serious knee injury, while Keating also suffered a knee problem.

Robbie Farah continued his unhappy time against rival Michael Ennis, while Country halves Kimmorley and Todd Carney, and returning forward Willie Mason, did their State of Origin chances no harm.

Country coach Laurie Daley praised Dugan's toughness as well as his talent, after he copped a head knock early and then a knee injury just before halftime.

"We talk about his talent but I think we focus on his toughness there as well," Daley said.

"He was knocked out early, we thought we'd lose him and then he got a nasty cork on his knee which needed a lot of work on it at halftime." Dugan put his stunning debut down to playing his natural game.

"I think I was a little bit immature there at the start, I had a few nervous touches but I got rid of them and just went back to my normal game and tried to do what I do best and that's going forward," he said.

But Blues selector Daley warned it would be tough for the rising star to crack the NSW team.

"It's going to be difficult for him, you've got the likes of Jarryd Hayne and you've got (Brett) Morris on the wing, they're playing for Australia," Daley said.

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