The 2016 City vs Country match will take place this Sunday as a lot of young players have the opportunity to state their claim for a New South Wales jersey. Continue reading for our City vs Country Preview and Betting Tips.
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City vs Country (Sunday 4.10am AEST)
The Country side hasn’t lost to City in the last three matches and their team has been announced and it is a strong side that hasn’t been hampered too much with injury. Their back line has a couple of players out of their original position with Kane Linnett moving to the wing, where he struggled when he was forced to move their for the Cowboys last season due to an injury during the game and Panthers Isaah Yeo has been selected on the wing despite playing in the backrow at club level. This could be an issue for the side as the kicking game of Chad Townsend and Aiden Seizer could put Country on the back foot immediately and put the two players under a lot of pressure with attacking kicks.
They have a strong halves pairing with Jack Bird and James Maloney picking picked at the 6 and 7. They play together at club level but Bird has been in the centres this season to accommodate for Maloney and Chad Townsend joining the Sharks after he spent the season at the five-eighth position last year. Maloney has improved throughout this year and a lot of people already believe he will be picked for the New South Wales squad after missing the cut for the last two years. Meanwhile Bird is a natural talent and strong runner of the football, however he is still young and learning his craft but he definitely is an Origin player for the future.
Maloney’s partner in the halves for the Sharks Townsend will be on the opposition side this weekend and Canberra’s Aiden Seizer will be along side him. Townsend has been playing at an incredibly high level and has been instrumental in the Sharks being equal top of the competition. However, Seizer has fallen out of form through injury this season and has been inconsistent throughout matches. The City sides wingers are far superior of their opponents as they have powerful runner Josh Mansour on one wing whilst David Nofoaluma will line up on the opposite side and has shown he can find the try line through difficult situations. However, they will be without their first two options at fullback with James Tedesco missing due to a shoulder injury whilst Matt Moylan has not been made available by the Panthers. Clinton Gutherson will line up at full back despite only playing on the wing throughout his first grade career.
The two forward packs will make for a big battle with the City side having a lot of x-factor with Bryce Cartwright in the back row. However, a part from that the Country squad has a lot more punch with a lot more size in Shannon Boyd, Boyd Cordner, Tyson Frizell and Jordan McLean coming off the bench. The big forward pack will gain superiority over their opponents and lay a solid platform for Bird and Maloney to work of the back of and also create a lot of opportunities for fullback Jack Wighton to show up in support. I am predicting the Country side to win on the back of this advantage but it will be a narrow margin with both sides scoring a lot of points.
This contest is known for being high scoring matches with both sides focusing on attack more than defence. Three of the last four years have ended in high scoring matches with over 50-points being scored in the last two years. I am backing another high scoring margin with two attacking sides being picked for this match.
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Take note: Any of the tips in this article are simply the author’s opinion, so bet at your own risk and always gamble responsibly. Also be sure to check out the Before You Bet Twitter Page for all our thoughts in the lead up to bets! Happy punting!
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