Daley expects more from NRL All Stars - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Daley expects more from NRL All Stars

By Josh Alston 11/02/2011 03:35:59 PM Comments (0)

Most of the NRL All Stars players will be making their debut in the jersey on Saturday, but the Indigenous All Stars know none of them will be taking the game lightly.

Because if they do, they will share the same fate as the inaugural 2010 team, who lost 16-12 in the dying minutes of the match.

"Last year it was a bit like they were dipping their toe in the water and not diving in," said Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley.

"They didn't really know what to expect, they were trying to find it out as they went through the game.

"This time they'll be ready to go."

The loss of key players Greg Inglis, Sam Thaiday and the mastermind of the concept Preston Campbell has left the indigenous side looking a bit light in representative experience.

That loss has not been lost on the bookmakers who have them as rank outsiders to record back-to-back victories.

But it's the absence of the element of surprise which could most hurt them and lock Greg Bird knows while the players may be new, their coach remains the same.

And Wayne Bennett, the man who ended St George Illawarra's title drought last season, will not want to lose again.

"They won't be ambushed again," Bird said.

"Wayne, the way he coaches teams, I don't think he would like that to happen again.

"There was a lot of passion and emotion (in the Indigenous team) and I don't the All Stars realised how it was going to be.

"I think they'll be quite aware how much this means to a lot of the boys in our team.

"The fire is going to be burning in their bellies."

That fire is burning fiercely in the belly of Bird's former Cronulla and New South Wales teammate Paul Gallen, who was forced to sit out last year's game through injury.

He is one of 15 new faces in this year's team and he said the lessons of the players returning from 2010 had been passed on clearly to all of the debutants.

"The way it was played and the result of the game, it probably meant more to the indigenous boys," Gallen said.

"You could see by the way they played they were really out there to rip in and play whereas I think the All Star boys didn't know how to take it. It probably took them five or 10 minutes to warm in to the match itself.

"The boys who played last year have told us that it's a full on game so we'll be ready to go from the kick-off."

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