Country lick wounds after loss to City - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Country lick wounds after loss to City

By Daniel Pace 03/05/2007 11:11:34 PM Comments (0)

Brett Kimmorley waited two years to regain representative honours but lasted only 37 minutes in City's 12-6 win over a courageous Country in Coffs Harbour.

Halfback Kimmorley (concussion) was one of several casualties for Country as their dressing shed resembled a MASH unit at the end of a lacklustre game at BCU International Stadium.

Country trailed 8-0 early in the second half after losing Cronulla skipper Kimmorley and Canberra centre Phil Graham (knee) in the first half of a dour match played in front of 8,149 people.

It was hardly surprising given that both teams had just two days preparation for the NSW Origin selection trial.

Josh Morris (hip flexor), Anthony Laffranchi (broken nose), Preston Campbell (knee) and Craig Fitzgibbon (cheekbone) were also placed on the injury list for Country.

Manly prop Jason King (ribs) was the only injury concern from the City camp.

Kimmorley was knocked out cold attempting a tackle on City back-rower Ryan Hoffman in the 37th minute while Graham suffered a suspected torn medial ligament.

It's a cruel blow for Kimmorley, who is locked in a duel with City halfback and Blues incumbent Craig Gower for the NSW No.7 spot.

Kimmorley hasn't played Origin football since the opening game of 2005 when his intercept pass in extra time presented Queensland with the match-winning try.

"I feel good now," said a groggy Kimmorley, who wanted to go back on the field in the second half.

"With about 10 minutes to go in the game I got my bearings back and started to feel normal again.

"I remember spatters of the game but I didn't really know what happened and don't really remember much."

Asked whether he had missed a golden opportunity to press his Origin claims for the series opener against Queensland on May 23, Kimmorley replied: "It's not like I played crap or made mistakes.

"I got hurt and wasn't able to play on."

Country Origin doctor Hugh Hazard has told Kimmorley he's still a good chance of playing for the Sharks against NZ Warriors on Saturday night in Auckland.

NSW Origin chairman of selectors Bob McCarthy said "nothing was cut in stone yet" following the annual selection trial.

City five-eighth Braith Anasta is almost certain to be named as Blues pivot on May 15 when the NSW selectors name their 17-man squad while fullback Anthony Minichiello was City's players' player.

Melbourne enforcer Brett White could be a bolter for a bench spot following an outstanding display for Country while Hoffman and Parramatta winger Jarryd Hayne were impressive.

Kurt Gidley's Origin chances weren't helped after Country coach Craig Bellamy was forced to move him to the centres and then back into the halves following the injuries to Kimmorley and Graham.

Gidley had a chance to score a try under the posts with Country trailing 12-6 in the dying seconds but spilt the ball over the line.

"Some guys had to change their roles and other guys played longer than they normally do," said Bellamy.

"I thought the performance of our captain (Danny Buderus) typified the rest of the guys."

City coach Tim Sheens praised Gower's kicking game and said his team deserved to win.

"There was plenty of willingness but not a lot of finesse," Sheens said.

"I think New South Wales will get a good side out of those two sides."

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