Jamal Idris has presented a compelling case for NSW selection and Jarrod Mullen edged Josh Reynolds in the reckoning for the Blues’ five-eighth spot as City and Country fought out a 26-all draw at Dubbo’s Apex Oval.
Will Hopoate scored an 80th minute try with Adam Reynolds adding the extras to tie up the scores, while Idris claimed man of the match honours in Sunday’s representative match.
Mullen astutely led Country around the park throughout the contest, kicking a 40/20 that led to Kevin Gordon’s try which brought the scores to 10-all in the 30th minute, and kicked for Idris’ try in the 63rd minute which put Country ahead 22-10.
Andrew Fifita’s form rise continued as he made good yards with every carry and scored a memorable individual try in the 74th minute.
He was ably supported by Aaron Woods.
Gold Coast’s David Mead opened the scoring in the 11th minute after Beau Scott offloaded close to the City line for an early 4-0 for the home side.
Canterbury playmaker Josh Reynolds then hit back for City with a wonderful converted try.
After a bustling run that bent the Country line, Fifita offloaded to Matt Moylan who raced upfield and kicked for Reynolds who caught the ball in the Country in-goal to touch down in the 17th minute.
Daniel Tupou then leapt over James McManus to claim an Adam Reynolds kick in the 23rd minute to put City ahead 10-6.
After Tupou dropped a spiralling Tyrone Roberts bomb, Country converted good field position into a Kevin Gordon try, when the Titans flyer crossed outwide after clever work from Josh McCrone at dummy half on the half hour.
Mead made it a double when he crossed three minutes later with Roberts throwing the final pass.
Country led 16-10 at the break and went out to 20-10 with Idris’ try before the Penrith centre put James McManus over in the 70th minute for a 26-10 lead and the game looked over.
After Fifita scored, Tupou scored out wide in the 79th minute from a Hopoate play before Hopoate crossed himself just before fulltime with another high pressure play.