After VB Country Origin upset the star-studded KARI City Origin side in 2015, the Country-City clash travelled to Tamworth last year - and this time it was Country who took the 'favourites' title. A jam-packed Scully Park willed their men on to victory, but it would not be enough as City won the highest-scoring Country v City clash since the clash adopted the 'origin' rule in 1987.
Captained by James Maloney for the second consecutive year, VB Country Origin boasted an impressive side; he was joined by 2016 NSW VB Blues second-rowers Tyson Frizell and Boyd Cordner, alongside a number of emerging talents throughout the 17. NSW True Blue Craig Fitzgibbon took the helm as Country coach, replacing Trent Barrett who had been named head coach at the Manly Sea Eagles.
Despite Country's efforts, however, they got off to a slow start against a KARI City Origin side featuring obvious attacking prowess. Trailing 18-6 at the break, Country were unable to hold on to the Country v City shield despite posting 30 points in front of the vocal Tamworth crowd. Ultimately, four tries to Aaron Gray - who combined well with Panthers duo Bryce Cartwright and Tyrone Peachey - secured the City win for captain Chris Lawrence. The sight of Tamworth locals perching themselves on a nearby rooftop is one Country v City memory which will live on with those in attendance forever.
Secure your seat at the final ever Country-City clash in Mudgee on Sunday, 7 May. Purchase tickets today to witness history as the curtain draws on a great Rugby League tradition.