THERE'S no doubt Country's 34-22 win over City in Wagga Wagga put opposing halves James Maloney and Josh Reynolds well in contention for a Blues jumper for Origin I later this month.
But it was a brain explosion from City No.6 Reynolds and a City halfback rapidly on the rise that were the main talking points following the win by the rural hosts.
In-form Raiders playmaker Blake Austin, 24, dominated the afternoon with three tries, but it was not enough to get City over the line.
And incumbent New South Wales five-eighth Reynolds also produced a polished showing with plenty of nice touches.
But it was a moment of madness in the 51st minute which would have had Blues coach Laurie Daley, who was looking on from the sidelines, scratching his head in confusion.
Reynolds produced a play which could put him on the Origin scrapheap, attempting to trip Tariq Sims near the line, before the star Knights backrower went over to score.
The incident put the fiery Bulldogs pivot on report, and it wasn't a play that would get him far in the ruggedness of an Origin battle.
Country led 24-10 after Sims' try before City hit back through tries to James Tedesco and Austin. Jack Wighton and Jarrod Croker then iced the game for Country with late tries.
COUNTRY 34 (J McManus, A Uate, D Mead, T Sims, J Wighton, J Croker tries; J Maloney 5 goals) d CITY 22 (B Austin 3, J Tedesco tries; M Moylan 3 goals) at McDonalds Park, Wagga.
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