This Sunday marks the final game of City vs Country, and if they had decided to pull the plug 10 years ago, it would represent a significant occasion.
The concept died when it was no longer considered a genuine NSW State of Origin trial, and when that went, it became just another fixture on an already-overcrowded rugby league calendar.
The laughable line ups that have been thrown forward shows just how embarrassing this once great fixture has become. I’m a Dragons fan and am still left mystified at how a guy like Jake Marketo, honest toiler that he is, can grab a country jersey, he hasn’t been sighted in first grade in some time, while Hame Sele, a veteran of three NRL games, not only gets picked for City, but is the starting lock!
A quick peruse of both line ups and it will be a tough sell in Mudgee this weekend, even if it is the last game ever.
David Gower is a fringe first grader at best, while Pauli Pauli hasn’t even played a game in 2017, yet is deemed good enough.
City are just as guilty, selecting over the hill Roosters fullback Michael Gordon, first year player Brian Kelly, while two of the most boring players you’ll ever see in Mitch Aubusson and Kyle Turner take their place as well as household names Adam Elliott and Daniel Alvaro, both of whom struggle to crack the NRL.
But there is hope for NRL fans who reside in the bush.
A dedicated country round, with 8 games spread across country NSW, bringing 16 full-strength NRL teams to towns like Wagga, Dubbo or as far south as Batemans Bay. Give these fans what they want, not this watered down concept that has long passed its’ used by date.