Last time they met: Country scrape home

Country secured a tight encounter 18-12 in Albury. In a low-scoring first half, it was City that opened the scoring after seven minutes when Beau Champion stepped inside his defender on the right edge to score.

However, Country would take a narrow 6-4 half-time lead after Michael Gordon out-jumped Jarryd Hayne to collect a Jarrod Mullen bomb and fall across the line.

Hayne made amends shortly after half-time when he ran onto a Mitchell Pearce pass and powered his way over the line despite the attention of three defenders. Another well-timed Pearce pass sent Simon Dwyer over in the 54th minute although winger Nathan Merritt’s horror night with the boot kept Country within striking distance at 12-6 down.

Merritt’s none-from-three record came back to bite City when Ryan Hinchcliffe pushed his way over from dummy-half to level the scores with 16 minutes remaining.

Country then launched a series of attacking raids that saw them come close, with Michael Gordon breaking clear only to lose the ball in the cover tackle and Josh Dugan making a break and kicking ahead but failing to win the race against Hayne.

In the end their winning try came in unusual circumstances as City chipped over the top but failed to regather, with Country back-rower Chris Houston gathering the kick in instead and passing out to Akuila Uate who had too much pace for the defence in a 60-metre run to the line.

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Remember you can access all the team lists, live scores and stats from Australia vs New Zealand and City vs Country on your mobile this weekend.  Visit m.nrl.com on your mobile device, or download the free 2012 Official NRL iPhone App ( live streaming radio available too ). Match highlights from both rep games are available 20 minutes after each game has ended., so you can relive all the big hits and tries from Auckland and Mudgee
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