Country Origin players celebrate their 18-12 win at BCU International Stadium.
Country Origin players celebrate their 18-12 win at BCU International Stadium. Leigh Jensen

Uate brilliance rescues Country from resurgent City

SOME Akuila Uate brilliance at both ends of the field in the dying minutes has helped Country to a 18-12 win at BCU International stadium.

Setting up a try for club team mate James McManus to give country the lead with only minutes on the clock, Uate backed it up moments later with a try saving tackle on Jorge Tafua to ensure Country would secure victory.

Country looked to have the game wrapped up at half time with a 12-0 lead but a valiant comeback from Brad Fittler's team had the scores locked up for most of the second half before Uate's heroic sealed the match for the home side

"Our first half was really good and we did exactly what we wanted to do," Country coach Trent Barrett said.

"The start of the second half to let them back into the game was disappointing.

"The players deserved the win and it has been a great week here in Coffs Harbour."

Despite the defeat Fittler spoke highly of his City side's performance but felt his players would be left ruing their missed opportunities

"We virtually bombed three or four chances but apart from that they tried really hard," Fittler said.

"The halves hadn't played much before so to fight ourselves into a strong position late on was great.

"We looked a bit tired in the first half but country did really well to slow us down."

Country had the upper hand early on as City failed to get a hold on the game with Josh McCrone opening the scoring after 14 minutes.

Uate extended the lead moments later when he scored in the eastern corner following a slick move from his Country team mates.

Only 90 seconds into the second stanza Andrew Fifita powered over to open the City account with Andrew Reynolds levelling the scores minutes later with a sneaky move from dummy half.

McManus though wrapped the game up for Country when he scored in the 67th minute all but ending any hopes of a city comeback.

COUNTRY 18 (J McManus J McCrone A Uate tries S Maloney 3 goals) bt CITY 12 (A Fifita A Reynolds tries A Reynolds 2 goals)

At BCU International Stadium, Coffs Harbour.

Crowd: 4,465



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