Almighty defensive effort delivers a 22-14 Indigenous victory over the Māori in NRL All Stars clash

Almighty defensive effort delivers a 22-14 Indigenous victory over the Māori in NRL All Stars clash

By abc.net.au
Saturday 17/02/2024
For all their speed and skill, it was the Indigenous side's toughness that carried the day. (Getty Images: Ian Hitchcock )

A Josh Addo-Carr double and some serious defensive grit have helped the Indigenous All-Stars beat their Maori counterparts 22-14 in Townsville.

Far from the free-flowing attacking football fans at North Queensland Stadium were perhaps hoping for, gutsy goal-line defensive work carried the Indigenous side to their victory as they withstood a Maori barrage.

Two tries in 10 minutes for Indigenous winger Addo-Carr earned his side an early lead, before a brilliant put-down from flyer Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow had them 16-8 clear late in the first half.

Halfback Nicho Hynes threw a superb cut-out pass to winger Alofiana Khan-Pereira late in the contest to seal the win.

A starring display from Hynes's halves partner Braydon Trindall would have had Cronulla fans salivating ahead of the NRL season, the duo combining beautifully with the five-eighth creating two try assists from his boot.

But Trindall left the game early clutching his shoulder, having delivered a huge hit to stop a rampaging Maori edge Jack Howarth.

Indigenous captain Latrell Mitchell received medical attention on his knee, but returned to see out the game.

He was never far from the action early, his handling error allowing Maori skipper Joe Tapine to produce the game's opening point with a hulking effort that saw him break three tackles.

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But Mitchell quickly made amends, cruising up to the Maori line to put Addo-Carr through to score in the corner.

Canterbury star Addo-Carr had a second soon after when Maori fullback Jesse Arthars bobbled a Trindall grubber and allowed the winger to gather and score.

The Maori side dominated territory, were tackled 51 times inside the opposition 20m compared with the Indigenous side's 17, and ran for nearly 300 metres more, but lacked precision deep in attack.

Perhaps the ultimate moment of desperation came when Maori prop Xavier Willison looked clean through to score late in the third term but was dragged down by the much smaller Bailey Biondi-Odo as the Indigenous desperation continued.

Willison scored a consolation try with the final play of the game.

Tapine was close to best afield with 114m and six tackle busts to go with his try. Willison also impressed with 91m.

Indigenous props Shaquai Mitchell (114m) and Josh Kerr (107m) completed a great amount of work in the middle.

Story by: Nick Campton (abc.au)

Original storyhttps://www.abc.net.au/news/2024-02-16/nrl-all-stars-game-blog-indigenous-maori-score-news-injuries/103477600

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