All Star game needs a cracker: Tallis - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

All Star game needs a cracker: Tallis

By Wayne Heming 12/02/2010 09:35:01 PM Comments (0)

Former Australia captain Gorden Tallis and the game's most successful coach Wayne Bennett will be on opposite sides in Saturday night's All Star showdown at Skilled Park but they share a vision.

Tallis is part of coaching support staff on the Indigenous All Star side while Bennett will coach the $1.75 pre-game favourites, the NRL All Stars.

Both teams are loaded with talent, hyping up expectations of free spirited game with lots of excitement for fans.

But just as State of Origin had to deliver the goods in July 1980, the All Star clash has to earn a permanent place on rugby league's calendar.

Questions have been asked how serious the players will take the game but Tallis and Bennett have no doubt the players will rise to the occasion.

"If (Indigenous All Stars) come out and get flogged well the concept is not going to appear that good," said the straight Tallis.

"If Queensland had been flogged (by NSW) all those years ago, State of Origin wouldn't be what it is today.

"This isn't State of Origin, it's a new concept.

"But if we come out and put on a great show, which I know we can and maybe even win the game, then maybe it can keep growing and be something special like Origin."

Bennett said the All Star game could be important to rugby league in a different way to Origin.

"I hope it is," he said before his players had their final training run at Skilled Park.

"I'm here because I believe in the concept and I thought it was great idea.

"The fans have shown they believe in it. It's sold out and there's a huge amount of interest in it.

"But we have to try and make it work on the footy field, give the fans what they want, to be entertained."

Bennett said he'd enjoyed watching his former general Darren Lockyer and Wests Tigers international Benji Marshall train together.

He hasn't tried to influence how they play, taking the view that they will work it out themselves.

"I've just sat back and enjoyed watching them," he said.

"They're both great movers, both have great running styles and wonderful hands.

"They've been good to watch and they'll be better tomorrow night with a bit of pressure on them and playing with each other.

"They've sorted out how they want to play and what they want to do and they're very considerate of each other's game and what strengths they have and they've come up with a nice balance."

Bennett hinted his side could take advantage of a new eight-point try by declining the conversion to have one attempt at another try from 15 metres out, without using a kick.

"We've had a bit of a talk about it and I think we'd like to try a couple of things but we've got to score a try first," said Bennett.

"It's a good innovation and we're here to entertain the crowd a little bit. I'm sure if we go for the extra try they will enjoy that, even if it isn't successful.

"You might even see the old wedge play," he laughed.

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