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Thursday, 1 May 2014
The Halftime Spray #6 (2014)
City v Country is an annual fixture which has been running for several decades. But alas, everytime it comes around, all the media outlets and people in the big smoke whinge and whine and ask "Why should we even bother with this game"
In the early years the argument was even stronger, given that Country would regularly get towelled up by a full strength City side.
However the argument was just as pointless then as it is now.
Because some of Rugby League's greatest players in this country have come from the bush. Having a City v Country match maintains interest in the game from kids who cannot access their team's games on a regular basis, if at all.
For many years I have demanded that the NRL do more to promote Rugby League in Country Australia, due to the fact that there is so much hidden talent in this expansive region. A failure to capitalise on this is essentially the handing over of this talent to other codes.
When I think of great Rugby League players from the past, I think of Clive Churchill from Merewether, Duncan Thompson from Ipswich, Arthur Beetson from Roma, Graeme Langlands from Wollongong, Peter Sterling from Wagga Wagga, the list well and truly goes on and on.
Furthermore, Country NSW has a similar history in their clashes with City, as Queensland has with NSW, especially when you compare their results. Both regularly got flogged. But both are equally as proud and many would argue, much more passionate, because of the constant floggings. It's the hardship that has built their spirit. It's what makes those players selected for Country cherish that jumper just that bit more than their counterparts.
It is why City vs Country games should be persevered with.