Country didn’t get the win against City, but the Newcastle Knights five representatives all did their NSW Origin chances no harm with solid performances.
That’s the overwhelming feeling following a thrilling 26-all draw between rivals Country and City in Dubbo on Sunday.
Led by inspirational skipper Beau Scott, who suffered an abdominal injury in the warm-up and bravely played on, the Club's Country players all proved their worth on the rep stage.
Five-eighth Jarrod Mullen stood out with his kicking game and organisational skills, while Tyrone Roberts showed he is more than capable in his maiden representative match.
Winger James McManus was his usual consistent self and finally Robbie Rochow excelled coming off the bench with some barnstorming runs to have experts calling for him as a potential NSW Origin bolter.
Watching from his lounge room in Newcastle, Club captain Kurt Gidley couldn't have been prouder of his fellow Knights.
"I was really proud of all the guys who played representative footy over the weekend," Gidley said after training on Monday.
"I had a good look at the Country game yesterday and I was really proud of all our boys who represented in that game."
Gidley was particularly pleased with the performance of Mullen, who led from the front against City with his pinpoint kicking game.
"I thought all our guys were great yesterday, but certainly Mullo," he enthuses.
"He controlled the game really well and I thought his defence was probably the best part of his game.
"At Origin level you want the strongest halves there defending and I think that’s a big part of Origin.
"That’s probably one part of Mullo’s game that he doesn’t get enough credit for his defence.
"So I thought he went a long way to pushing his claims for NSW."
Scott, meanwhile, was thrilled to retain the shield for Country as captain even though the match ended in a draw.
"I thought we were the better team on the day, so it was disappointing not to get the win outright," he says frankly.
"But at the end of the day we still got a hold of the shield, which was nice."
Scott was impressed by the performances of his Newcastle teammates and hopes they can use their Country Origin experience to help spark the Knights' season.
"I thought all the lads played really well," he says.
"Jarrod’s all round performance was really positive, while I spoke to Tyrone after the game and he was buzzing.
"He loved it.
"Jimmy (McManus) was his usual self and I actually thought Robbie (Rochow) was a standout.
"He was awesome. His carries were so strong and he is so solid in defence as well.
"We’ll go back to Club football now and take this rep week back there with a lot of confidence for the game on Sunday against Penrith."
GET TO THE GAME THIS WEEKEND, AS WE CELEBRATE WOMEN IN LEAGUE ROUND.