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City storm to victory over Country in NSW Wheelchair clash

City have today claimed a 22-14 victory over Country at the Whitlam Leisure Centre in the 2024 CABE NSW Wheelchair Country v City clash.

It was a tightly fought contest from the outset, with both sides tied at 10-all and two tries each going into half-time. But City then managed three-straight tries in the second half to secure the win, despite a late try from Country No.4 Brad Grove.

Country opened the scoring at the five-minute mark with a shift to right from close range, courtesy of a flick pass from Diab Karim to an untouched Richard Engles in the corner. Karim had no issues adding the extra two points for a 6-0 lead.

Only minutes later the City defence managed to survive another attacking raid before replying with points on the ensuing set.

After a few settling hit-ups, Craig Cannane raced onto the ball at the halfway line to put Mohammed Chemaissem through a gap, making it all the way under the posts to score in the ninth minute. Chemaissem converted his own try to tie things up at 6-6.

A further six minutes had surpassed when Country found themselves in open space with players in support, as Toby Popple stormed down the right edge with Grove backing up alongside Engles, who was stopped short of a second try.

Country made the most of the numbers advantage on the following play when Karim threw a long ball to Zach Carl, who found Grove appearing on the other sideline to score.

Less than five minutes from the main break, William Derederenalagi left his mark on the opening half by forcing a drop-out from inside his own half.

City then worked their way into scoring territory before No.1 Cory Cannane squeezed through the defence for a four-pointer. With that try the two sides went to half-time at 10-all.

The second half began with both teams struggling for ascendancy, until City managed to break the deadlock.

Powering downfield in the 48th minute, it was a matter of plays before City swung the ball wide for No.6 Edge Iole to score in the right-hand corner, taking their lead to 14-10.

Midway through the second half it looked as though Engles had evened the scores before a forward pass was called.

That moment proved to be a turning point with time ticking down after City captalised on their next possession, as Cannane sped along the right touchline to score his second for the afternoon, bring the lead to 18-10.

In the final 10 minutes City extended the margin to 12 when Liam Luff pounced on a loose ball in midfield to add another four points.

Country gave themselves a chance in the 76th minute when Grove caught onto a towering kick to score in the corner, but a determined City team held on for a 22-14 win.

Cannane was named Player of the Match after steering his side to a win as City turned around last year’s 70-15 defeat in the corresponding clash.

City Wheelchair 22 (Cory Cannane 2, Mohammed Chemaissem, Liam Luff tries; Chemaissem goal) Country Wheelchair 14 (Brad Grove 2, Richard Engles tries; Diab Karim goal) at Whitlam Leisure Centre on Saturday 18 May. Player of the Match: Craig Cannane.

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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