NRL All Stars see of Indigenous side - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL All Stars see of Indigenous side

Wayne Heming 12/02/2011 11:47:57 PM Comments (0)

Wayne Bennett's NRL All Stars squared the ledger and set the scene for future battles with the Indigenous All Stars with a spirited 28-12 victory at Skilled Park.

After suffering a 16-12 loss in the inaugural clash at Skilled Park last year, the Darren Lockyer-led All Stars were primed for a fast start and they delivered.

Bennett's side raced out to a 22-6 half-time lead with tries from Brett Morris, Paul Gallen, Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Akuila Uate.

The Indigenous All Stars, whose magnificent defence was was a highlight of their win last year, struggled to contain their opposition.

It wasn't until a Johnathan Thurston's chip-kick was scooped up by livewire Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba that they the breached the NRL All Stars line right on the stroke of half time.

The clash, was played in front of a rowdy crowd of 25,843 and didn't lack aggression with players opened up, knocked out and put on report.

All Stars forward Liam Fulton became the first player to be put on report in the concept's brief history after appearing to lift Thurston after he had off-loaded the ball in the 50th minute.

Indigenous All Stars lock Greg Bird resumed his Origin hostilities with Queensland skipper Darren Lockyer, penalised for for a late tackle on the NRL All Stars skipper.

Earlier NRL All Stars lock Paul Gallen was forced to leave the field with a gashed cheek suffered when his head collided with Anthony Mitchell's knee as he scored his try.

Next to go was Manly's indigenous prop George Rose following a nasty head clash with team mate Joel Thompson which left him with a bloodied nose.

Indigenous centre Beau Champion joined the list of casualties when he got his head in the wrong position trying to stop rampaging forward Petero Civoniceva 52nd minute.

Jharal Yow Yeh was also put out of the game with an accidental elbow from All Stars replacement Michael Ennis.

Down 22-6 at the long break, the indigenous side fired up and in thethird quarter of the game stretched the NRL All Stars defence to the limit.

Eventually South Sydney try scoring machine Nathan Merritt brought the capacity crowd alive when he managed to miraculously get the ball down for a try in the left corner despite the heavy attention of three defenders trying to drive him over the sideline.

But the comeback was ended by a brilliant 40-metre solo try by exciting Canberra fullback Josh Dugan who sliced through the defence, hauling in a short ball from Feleti Mateo eight minutes from time to to make it 28-12.

Thurston said the result had been disappointing but they had given the All Stars too much ball.

"They've got too many good players to do that," he said.

NRL All Stars hooker Cameron Smith said he thought the Indigenous side was going to repeat last year's escape when they came back hard in the third and fourth quarters.

He singled out Dugan, who was awarded the Preston Campbell Medal, tipping him for representative honours this year.

"The kid's headed for a big year," said Smith.

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