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By Chris Kennedy, National Correspondent

St George Illawarra Dragons trio Jake Marketo, Cameron McInnes and Hame Sele have helped City Origin down Country 20-10 in Mudgee in the final ever City-Country fixture.

Dragons back-rower Tariq Sims had a massive impact with two line breaks in his game-high 235 metres, while his teammate Jack de Belin was also impressive with 155 metres, 31 tackles and four tackle busts.

The City slickers opened the scoring in the 10th minute through veteran Eels back-rower David Gower, who ran a nice left-edge line off a Townsend pass.

While Country had plenty of quality ball they struggled to build pressure through their kicks and it took until an opportunistic Anthony Don 80-metre intercept in the 36th minute from a telegraphed Bryce Cartwright pass for the Country boys to get on the board.

A Tyrone Peachey line break set City on the attack late in the half and with the clock ticking down, a penalty against Country presented City a gift two points on the stroke of half-time.

A period of sustained possession at the Country line threatened to push City further ahead and while Country held on for a few sets the pressure eventually told when Tamou smashed over in the 49th minute.

The match started to really open up midway through the second half; a Sims line break off a Nathan Cleary pass was brought spectacularly undone by a wonderful Nathan Ross chase, with the Knights winger not only running down the big Dragons forward but stripping the ball in the process to reclaim possession.

Country hung onto the momentum though and a Michael Gordon line break set the scene for Elliott to carve his way between Peachey and Cleary to get it back to 14-10 with a quarter of the game remaining.

Despite a few attacking chances, Country couldn't find the late try to steal a win and instead it was Bryce Cartwright who cashed in after a kick ricocheted around with skipper Paul Gallen given the honour of kicking the easy conversion in his representative swansong.

City Origin 20 (David Gower, James Tamou, Bryce Cartwright tries; Clinton Gutherson 3, Paul Gallen goals) defeated Country Origin 10 (Anthony Don, Adam Elliott tries; Michael Gordon goal) at Glen Willow Sports Complex, Mudgee. Half-time: City 8-6. Crowd: 8,322.

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Acknowledgement of Country

St George Illawarra Dragons respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders peoples, where our games are played, our programs are conducted and in the communities we support.

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