iSelect Titans utility back David Mead has thrust himself into NSW State of Origin calculations with an outstanding performance at fullback for NSW Country today in their 26-all draw with City Origin.
Mead scored two tries, was one of three Titans players to bag tries in representative games over the weekend. Country teammate Kevin Gordon also scored try today while Titans co-skipper Greg Bird was the first try scorer for Australia in Friday’s tough Test match against New Zealand, won 30-18 by the Australian side that had to come from 18-12 down.
All the Titans rep players performed creditably. Kangaroos prop Nate Myles, chosen on the bench but starting at prop, was tireless while Bird proved while he is a fixture in the Australian side with another good performance.
City hooker Beau Falloon was impressive while playing the first 50 minutes for City, busy in defence and sharp out of dummy half.
But the talking point among Channel 9 commentators Phil Gould, the former NSW Origin coach, and Immortal Andrew Johns was Mead. It was only last week when the Port Moresby born PNG international was declared eligible for NSW Country and thus the Blues, and he only made the Country side after Dragon Josh Dugan was ruled out with injury.
But like every other time this season, he has made the most of the opportunity and was a threat in attack as he hunted around the middle third of the field and made some telling tackles.
Mead, who has been deputising at fullback for the injured William Zillman – the Titans consistent and first-class performer who returns from injury this weekend - can play wing, centre and fullback and Gould mentioned that this could be in his favour in bringing him into calculations for the NSW side that is picked in three weeks. Blues coach Laurie Daley was also at the match in Dubbo.
Country led 26-14 with just over three minutes to play before City posted two tries, the last a miraculous effort to Will Hopoate in the last play of the match, which was converted by Adam Reynolds, after Country had outplayed their opponents for most of the match.
Mead and five-eighth Jarrod Mullen were just outpointed as man of the match by former Titan, giant centre Jamal Idris.
Country 26 (Mead 2, Gordon, McManus, Idris tries; Roberts 3 goals) drew with City 26 (Tupou 2, J. Reynolds, Fifita, Hopoate tries; A. Reynolds 3 goals) in Dubbo. Crowd: 9627.
Australia 30 (Morris 2, Bird, Cronk, Inglis Tries; Thurston 5 goals) defeated New Zealand 18 (Bromwich, Harris, Moa Tries; Johnson 3 Goals) at Allianz Stadium. Crowd: 25,429.