NRL beat Indigenous All Stars 28-12 - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

NRL beat Indigenous All Stars 28-12

By Josh Alston And Wayne Heming 13/02/2011 01:08:17 PM Comments (0)

Any thoughts of the All Stars game being regarded as an exhibition were buried by NRL All Stars halfback Benji Marshall who declared the annual clash as tough as a Test match after the ledger was squared at Skilled Park on Saturday night.

The Indigenous side won the inaugural clash 12 months ago 16-12 but the NRL All Stars were all business this time under champion coach Wayne Bennett and skipper Darren Lockyer, winning 28-12.

Neither side held anything back with blood spilled, players knocked out and put on report in a high-paced battle in front of more than 25,000 fans.

For a game played a fortnight out from the NRL season kick-off it had just about everything, intensity, heart, sweeping back-line raids, big defence and a host of injuries.

"I'm stuffed," declared a sweat-soaked Marshall who likened the intensity to New Zealand's World Cup and Four Nations upsets of Australia.

Bennett had joked after the Indigenous side's win last year that it was only fitting they won the first game but added "it will be the last time you beat us".

He was true to his word, his players ripping in early and getting out to a 22-6 half-time lead.

"With the quality of players and as competitive as we are, it was a very tough game," said Marshall.

The NRL All Stars were caught by surprise by the passion of the Indigenous side under Preston Campbell last year and any suggestions they would take the game lightly were dismissed after some full-blooded hits.

"It was a physical game and we expected that," said Marshall

"We turned up ready to play and we were pretty good.

"We wanted to play the first 20 minutes like it was a Test match.

All Stars hooker Cameron Smith said the football should have thrilled the crowd.

"I thought they were going to get us (like they did when Jamie Soward scored late last year)," he said.

Smith singled out young Raiders fullback Josh Dugan who was voted the Preston Campbell Medal winner as man-of-the match after scoring a spectacular solo try which guaranteed the All Stars victory in the final 10 minutes.

"He's headed for a very big year, even a sky blue jumper."

Marshall agreed with Smith.

"You see the young stars like Josh Dugan and Akuila Uate perform the way they did and sit back and enjoy them.

"This is a great concept and I'm glad I could be a part of it.

All Stars forward Liam Fulton was placed on report for a tackle on Indigenous halfback Johnathan Thurston.

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