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City overcome early deficit for impressive U18s win

City have managed to overcome an early deficit before romping away with an impressive 48-18 win over Country in the CABE Under 18s match at Leichhardt Oval today.

City trailed 10-0 early in the first half, and again at 14-6, before taking charge to run away with the game. City back-rower Jacob Halangahu turned in a strong performance to earn Player of the Match honours, lock Finau Latu and winger Ratu Rinakama both bagged doubles, while five-eighth Mitchell Woods was dominant after scoring a try and having a hand in several others. 

Country started the match with plenty of intent and were the first team to score after five-eighth Cooper Black took the ball to the line before flicking a ball back for hooker Mitchell Brophy to finish the job. Black converted for a 6-0 lead.

A strong surge from Country prop Jesse Milin put his team on the front foot and on the next play halfback Jordan Hamlin launched a cross field kick for an unmarked Saint Fuatimau to grab and cross over out wide. Black missed the conversion, but Country had an early 10-0 lead.

City pegged one back after hooker Zaidas Muagututia turned a ball back inside for Latu to score but Country responded after Black laid on a kick for centre Harry Hudson to touch down. Black missed the conversion, but Country were in control at 14-6.

That was where their momentum ended. City scored through Rinakama to reduce the deficit to 14-10, before taking the lead after halfback Toby Rodwell stepped off his left foot before picking up back-rower Jezaiah Funa-Luta to burst through a hole and score. Fullback Connor Votano landed the conversion to hand City the lead for the first time that afternoon at 16-14.

They never looked back from that moment on. City added one more try before half-time when Woods showed some nifty footwork before popping a pass over the top for Nikora Williams who in turn picked up Luke Laulilii to score in the corner. Votano landed the extras for City to take a 22-14 lead into half-time.

City kept the momentum going after the break when Woods took off from his own end before finding Votano in support who raced away to score underneath the posts. Votano again converted to extend the margin to 28-14.

Tries flowed for City from that point on with Hayden Buchanan, Latu and Woods all scoring before Country grabbed one back after Hamlin slipped a nice ball for back-rower Archie Duncombe to score. Not to be outdone, City scored a final try when Woods floated a long pass over the top for Rinakama to cross for a 48-18 lead and put the exclamation point on an impressive victory.

City 48 (Finau Latu 2, Ratu Rinakama 2, Jezaiah Funa-Luta, Luke Laulilii, Connor Votano, Hayden Buchanan, Mitchell Woods tries; Votano 6 goals) Country 18 (Mitchell Brophy, Saint Fuatimau, Harry Hudson, Archie Duncombe tries; Cooper Black goal) at Leichhardt Oval on Saturday 18 May.

Acknowledgement of Country

New South Wales Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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