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Curtain raiser classic - Australian Rugby league News
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globalrugbyleague - Thu, 03 Jul 2008 14:10:00 GMT
Illawarra became the envy of the sporting world on Wednesday night after capturing the Centenary Trophy at Stadium Australia.
In the curtain-raiser to the boring Origin III showdown, the troops from the NSW South Coast fended off a second-half comeback from Townsville to triumph 20-18 before 78,751 fans.
Illawarra led 10-0 at half-time thanks to tries to lock Mark Corrigan (12m) and Jarrod Boyde (35m) before the Queenslanders came storming home in the second term.
Townsville halfback Mitchell Seri scored two tries of his own but before Illawarra responded with a double set of touchdowns from man of the match, Wes Hallam.
Hallam saved the game with a match-winning tackle in the final minutes of play when he closed down a Townsville attacking raid short of the try line.
“It’s just sensational,” Hallam told the Illawarra Mercury after the game.
“This is something that’s never going to happen again and it’s a big thing to be number one country area.”
Illawarra fans also celebrated the form of Townsville fullback Billo Mosbo.
Mosbo – who managed one conversion from four attempts on the night - missed a kick that would have leveled the game.

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Illawarra 20 (W Hallam 2, J Boyd, M Corrigan tries; J Boyd 2 goals) Townsville 18 (M Seri 2, S Elliott, T Bowie tries; B Mosby goal) at ANZ Stadium. Referee: D Munro Crowd: 78,751 - Read More, Here