The NRL Indigenous All Stars team has beaten the NRL All Stars 16-12 in front of 26,687 on the Gold Coast.
Any worries about how fair dinkum this game was going to be were quickly erased early on in the match with big hits and great play being the order of the night.
Usually at this point of the year and even into round one of the NRL season proper, you find that the football can be pretty sloppy with a lot of dropped ball, a lot of very tired defense and a lot of broken plays. This wasn’t the case in this match.
Whether it was the solid preparation both sides had or just the quality of players in both sides, the game provided really great plays and most players showed very good form.
In this game the NRL trailed an interesting concept where a team could turn down the try conversion via a kick and allowed the scoring team one attacking play (With no general kicking allowed) to cross the try line and secure an extra four points.
I think the idea might have some merit, but I would suggest maybe only having say 7 players from each side take part in in this one off extra points play and possibly starting the attacking play 30 or 40 meters out from the try line with the defensive side 20 meters back at the start of the play.
The game was played in four quarters which was good for this time of the year but really seemed to drag the game out a bit.
The only major injury problem so far from the game looks to be Kurt Gidley who may have possibly done his knee stepping before getting crushed by his Newcastle team mate Corey Patterson.
Outside of that a few players took some bad knocks but no one else looks to come out of the game to badly hurt which was good.
The concept was always a winner, but they need to sort out selecting the teams. I think the Indigenous team should be a proper representative side selected on form, which I wouldn’t mind seeing them play maybe a New Zealand Maori side or a Polynesian team, something where the opposition is flying its own flag too.
The NRL All Stars really put in for this game though which was good to see.
During the match, Michael Jennings was outstanding as were Jonathan Thurston and Preston Campbell. I was also impressed with the way the Indigenous All Stars pack stepped up against a very good NRL All Stars pack.
It all makes you wonder how the Indigenous All Stars would have gone with Inglis, Hodges and Idris in their side, its scary to think they were missing all of that talent and still managed to win!
Overall, the game get a very big tick from me. Sort out the team selection drama and this should become a fixture for many years to come.
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