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Day 1: NSW City-Country sides off to flying start

NSW City and Country sides have recorded big victories over the Combined Affiliate States and Australian Defence Force on day one of the Harvey Norman National Championships. 

NSW Country proved too classy for a gallant ADF outfit, cruising to a 54-0 victory.

The reigning champions ran in 11 tries in a complete 60-minute performance, with Shakiah Tungai crossing for a hat-trick and St George Illawarra teammate Kezie Apps scoring an early double. 

Former Jillaroos playmaker Simone Smith made a strong return to the representative arena after ACL surgery last year in a major boost for Country's quest to go back-to-back in the tournament. 

Smith set up three tries in a superb display that wouldn't have gone unnoticed ahead of State of Origin selection in a fortnight. 

Earlier in the day, NSW City came out firing in the opening game of the championships to post a comfortable 46-0 win over CAS, who boast a mix of players from states and territories across Australia.

NSW Country's Kezie Apps scored two tries in her team's big win over Australian Defence Force.
NSW Country's Kezie Apps scored two tries in her team's big win over Australian Defence Force. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos

Kiana Takairangi, sister of Eels centre Brad Takairangi, crossed for a first half hat-trick for City, while left edge teammate Corban McGregor (3), Sarah Togatuki and Botille Vette-Welsh all got over the line.  

CAS fought back in the second half, muscling up in defence and restricting City to just two tries in the final 30 minutes. 

City debutant Shaylee Bent crossed for a four-pointer in the 42nd minute before McGregor iced the game with her third try of the afternoon on the full-time siren.

NRL Women's National Championship - Day one

NSW City lost halfback Maddie Studdon to a minor back issue, while Australian Jillaroos forward Simiama Taufa was rested after a head knock earlier in the week.

Draw

  • Pool 1: South East Queensland (SEQ), NSW City, Combined Affiliated States (CAS)
  • Pool 2: Queensland Country, NSW Country, Australian Defence Force (ADF)

Day 1 - Thursday May 30

  • NSW City 46 (Kiana Takairangi 3, Corban McGregor 3, Sarah Togatuki, Botille Vette-Welsh, Shaylee Bent tries; Maddie Studdon 4/8, Kaarla Cowan 1/1 goals) defeated Combined Affiliate States 0.
  • NSW Country 54 (Shakiah Tungai 3, Bobbi Law 3, Kezie Apps 2, Tess Staines, Kaitlyn Phillips, Rikeya Horne tries; Kirra Dibb 5/10 goals) defeated Australian Defence Force 0. 

Day 2 - Friday May 31

  • 12.00pm – CAS v SEQ
  • 1.15pm – ADF v QLD Country

Day 3 - Saturday June 1

  • 12.00pm – SEQ v NSW City
  • 1.45pm – QLD Country v NSW Country

Day 4 - Sunday June 2

  • 10.30am – Third (Pool A) v Third (Pool B)
  • 12.00pm – Second (Pool A) v Second (Pool B)
  • 1.45pm – First (Pool A) v First (Pool B)

Matches will be live streamed via NRL.com, with the final two matches of the Championship (on Sunday) broadcast on Fox League.