A last gasp try to Knights winger Akuila Uate got Country over the line, though it was poor goal-kicking from the City side, that ultimately, cost them the game, with Nathan Merritt missing all 3 kicks.
The injury to Soward was rather unfortunate, given that he had all but played himself into an Origin jersey up until that point.
It was an unexpected man-of-the-match in this game, with that honour going to Melbourne Storm lock Ryan Hinchcliffe, in a game that was played in front of 8,056 at Lavington Sports Ground.
Two players that were under the pump, but showed their true colours, and just what they are capable of, were Roosters halfback Mitchell Pearce and Raiders prop Tom Learoyd-Lahrs.
With both under pressure to perform, they did their Origin chances no harm, as the battle heats up for spots.
The usual contenders also shone, with Keith Galloway and Tim Mannah having great games also, with the fullback battle between Hayne and Dugan ending somewhat level, meaning Hayne has probably done enough to play fullback for NSW.
The injury to Soward was made even worse, when he felt pain in his thumb, just as he felt a strain in his groin, meaning that recovery will be even longer.
“I spoke to the physio, she said at the moment it’s not torn, it just looks like a twinge,” Soward said of the leg injury.
On his thumb, he added: “She doesn’t think it’s broken so the Dragons will probably X-ray it.
“I could miss Sunday or miss a couple of weeks, just wait and see.”