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NRL All Stars prevail in entertaining clash
In the second annual All Stars contest, the NRL representatives have prevailed 28 points to 12 in front of 25,843 people at Skilled Park.
It was action packed from start to finish in the second annual All Stars contest, with Dragons prolific try-scoring winger Brett Morris touching down in the corner to open the scoring.
The action went from end to end, with Benji Marshall inserting himself into several plays and Thurston doing the same for the Indigenous side but it was workhorse forward Paul Gallen who extended the NRL All Stars advantage barging over, with Smith converting his first for the night.
Back to back tries from Akuila Uate and Shaun Kenny-Dowall, the polar opposities with the former being all strength and the latter all skill started by Benji Marshall but they both counted towards a 22-0 lead for the NRL side.
The Indigenous side would claw back some of the deficit after Thurston got some luck on a poor play the ball but he shrugged that off to put in a grubber for Ben Barba to score after confirmation from the video referee. Thurstons conversion made it 22-6 at halftime.
We almost went a whole quarter just after halftime without some points but Nathan Merrit turned houdini to keep the ball within the touchline to highlight the festival atmosphere the game had.
That gave the Indigenous side a sniff going into the last quarter only 10 points behind.
While the score was closing in, the big hits and tricks didn't stop coming from both sides, with Kurt Gidley nearing chipping a kick to his Newcastle team mate Uate and Corey Paterson showing that he could of been a halfback in another life.
It was LeagueUnlimited Man of the Match Josh Dugan to sink the hearts of Indigenous fans, after steaming onto a Mateo offload and not stopping until he hit paydirt, Kurt Gidley was the NRL All Stars third goalkicker and slotted his only attempt to end the scoring at 28-12.
All forty players from tonight's contest will be nursing some bumps and bruises but all seemed to get through pretty much unscathed besides some slight knocks to Lyon and Champion who was knocked out cold.
Indigenous All Stars 12 were defeated by NRL All Stars 28
All Stars - All Stars - Saturday February 12, 2011 7:45pm
Venue: Skilled Park
Referee: Shayne Hayne, Ben Cummins, Gavin Badger and Henry Perenara
Video Referee: Tim Mander
Touch Judges: Paul Holland and Jeff Younis
Halftime: Indigenous All Stars 6 NRL All Stars 22
Indigenous All Stars (12)
Tries: Nathan Merritt, Ben Barba
Conversions: Johnathan Thurston (1/1), Scott Prince (1/1)
NRL All Stars (28)
Tries: Josh Dugan, Akuila Uate, Brett Morris, Paul Gallen, Shaun Kenny-Dowall
Conversions: Benji Marshall (1/1), Cameron Smith (2/3), Kurt Gidley (1/1)
LeagueUnlimited.com Live Commentary Welcome to Skilled Park for the 2nd annual All Stars clash, between the NRL side and the Indigenous one. While all the festivities are being done, there is one change for the NRL side, Liam Fulton goes to the bench for Ashley Harrison to start the match.
Deborah Mailman is leading into the moments silence for the devastation around Queensland, with some truly heartbreaking pictures.
All presentations done, Ray Warren is introducing both sides for tonights contest.
Preston Campbell is all wired up and thanks for the crowd for coming out tonight, he's followed by the national anthem, sung in both Indigenous and English. Kick is only moments away.
1 min: Looks like the Indigenous side will kick off and how long it will take for someone to test this new rule. Which is, if you kick and regather in your own half you gain another set. We're underway.
3 min: Both sides have got through their first set, Thurston tried a little chip and chase for himself but didn't come off. Compounded with a stupid penalty on zero tackle, NRL All Stars attacking early.
5 min: TRY
A good move from the All Stars, sweeping movement to Jennings who draws his defender and hands to Morris to score. Cameron Smith from the sideline hooks it across the face.
NRL All Stars 4-0
8 min: Matthew Bowen defuses a huge bomb from Lockyer, outjumping Josh Dugan.
11 min: End to end stuff early here, Cameron Smith put a bit of a dodgy kick in ater a good set by the NRL side.
13 min: Silky passing here from the Indigenous side, marching upfield and Prince sees an offside player and charges at him, drawing the penalty.
14 min: Beau Champion butchers a try, getting to the ball with his foot straight into the chest of Dugan. Ashley Harrison is polaxed and drops the ball but Uate avenges his team mate and crash tackles Thurston to regain possession.
16 min: The Indigenous team is coughing up too much possession, gifting the NRL side too much possession but they defuse this one after ripping the ball out of Uate's hands.
19 min: The NRL All Stars try to spread it in their own half but Brett Morris drops a pass from Dave Taylor.
20 min: Thurston tries to hook one across the in-goal but Uate leaps high enough to deny the Indigenous side first points. That is first quarter time.
We got an insight into the halftime talks for both sides, Daley emphasised defence and spreading wide while in attack and Fittler was motivating his troops.
21 min: Prince kicks us off again and the NRL All Stars side spread it wide to Shaun Kenny-Dowall but he is hit and loses it.
23 min: The NRL side defend another set of six on their line well and are rewarded with a piggyback penalty thanks to a crusher tackle from Ryan James.
First video referee decision for 2011, checking if Paul Gallen got the ball down after an inside ball from Cameron Smith.
26 min: TRY
Video referee rules he got it down, the NRL All Stars extend their lead. Smith has an easier shot for his second conversion and slots it.
NRL All Stars 10-0
27 min: Benji magic there, creates a hole for Fulton who strides into the gap and gives a streaky pass to Morris who tries to hand it Kenny-Dowall but comes off his knees, going dead.
29 min: Double knock on, with players getting tired. Feed will be to the Indigenous side.
31 min: George Roos pinged for an incorrect play the ball, NRL All Stars will start their set 40m out.
31 min: Jamie Soward almost snaffles an intercept but drops it, admonishing himself instantly. Joel Thompson and George Rose have a nasty head clash, stopping play breifly.
34 min: TRY
Benji Marshall offloads it to Smith who draws defenders before finding Kenny-Dowall who ducks and weaves his way to a try. Cameron Smith converts his second.
NRL All Stars 16-0
35 min: Too soft again from the Indigenous side, conceding another penalty. From the restart, Beau Champion gets in the wrong position trying to tackle Petero Civoniceva and is out cold.
36 min: TRY
Uate does well to recover a bouncing ball, steps and leaves Thurston clutching thin air to score the NRL All Stars fourth try. Marshall steps up for his conversion of 2011 and nails it.
NRL All Stars 22-0
37 min: Fulton gets a rush of blood and throws it forward, gifting the Indigenous side one more chance before halftime.
38 min: Thurston and Soward combine to try and send Yow Yeh away but he drops it cold and that should send us to the break 22-0.
40 min: One last opportunity here for the Indigenous side, Thurston gets a lucky break, with a poor play the ball.
Checking the try for Ben Barba but he looks onside and got it down.
40 min: TRY
Thurston makes the NRL All Stars pay, he dinks one through for Barba who scores. Thurston nails the conversion to take us to halftime.
NRL All Stars 22-6
41 min: We're almost back underway here at Skilled for the second half. The NRL All Stars side will kick off, Cameron Smith starts it all again.
43 min: Interesting, the referees have swapped after halftime, Ben Cummins and Gavin Badger taking over. They get their first opportunity with the whistle ruling that Darren Lockyer was taken out late. Uate is on the end of another attacking raid but just glances the sideline and called.
46 min: Razzle Dazzle from the NRL All Stars here, Liam Fulton pulls a trick out of the bag, chipping it for Uate but again he goes out.
49 min: Michael Jennings is struggling in back play but Yow Yeh almost creates something from a kick return but is hit by two players.
50 min: Liam Fulton is called out by the referees, who are booming all around the stadium. He caught Thurston high and the Indigenous All Stars earn an additional set after Gidley knocks it on.
52 min: The set comes to nothing when Dugan recovers a kick, he almost goes the length of the field but is hit high by Greg Bird, penalty sufficent.
54 min: Greg Bird is pinged for the second time in succession, the NRL All Stars are starting to open up the Indigenous All Stars. They will be odds on to score but Yow Yeh is down and hopefully not seriously injured.
55 min: Good work there by Carl Webb and Anthony Mitchell who knock it free from Paul Gallen. A huge let off for the Indigenous All Stars here.
58 min: Indigenous All Stars get a break there with a strip ruled on Corey Paterson, with help apparently from Wendell Sailor.
Nathan Merrit could have the Indigenous All Stars second try but checking if he's taken out the goal post.
60 min: TRY
Nathan Merrit has produced some magic there, to somehow stay inside the touchline and plant the ball down, they're back into this. Scott Prince has the conversion attempt and sneaks it over. That will be the last action of the third quarter.
NRL All Stars 22-12
61 min: As we head into the last quarter, Brad Fittler urges the NRL All Stars to finish strongly.
63 min: This isn't the start required for the NRL side, Liam Fulton knocks on an easy one, says the ref.
64 min: Brett Morris has his kicking license revoked, after a horrible kick to end a good attacking set from the NRL All Stars but the Indigenous side is just holding on.
66 min: Cameron Smith dinks one in behind for Shaun Kenny-Dowall emulates the superheroes in the audience and saves the day.
67 min: Kurt Gidley tries to lob a kick up there for his fellow teammate Uate but Merrit gets to the ball first and earns a penalty for a mid-air tackle.
68 min: A massive hit from Shaun Kenny-Dowall dislodges the ball and the Indigenous All Stars can't maintain possession.
69 min: Paul Gallen somehow finds himself in the centres and drops it cold. The NRL side compounds the error with a penalty on first tackle.
70 min: Surprise tactic from Corey Paterson here, he puts in a kick for Nathan Merrit who juggles the ball and sadly spills it.
74 min: TRY
The Indigenous All Stars fail to wrap up Mateo which is fatal because he offloads to Josh Dugan who just keeps on running to the tryline to seal the game. Gidley is the NRL All Stars third goal kicker tonight and starts off successful.
NRL All Stars 28-12
74 min: Short kick off tried by the Indigenous boys but it's knocked on.
75 min: A tired knock on from the NRL side there but they recieve the ball back when the Indigenous team knock it on as well.
David Taylor could have the All Stars sixth try of the evening, only checking the grounding.
77 min: Judged a no try, Taylor was held up.
78 min: The Indigenous All Stars try a move from their own line but Joel Moon knocks the ball on, as this game fizzles out.
78 min: Both sides just playing towards the end of the game now, with a forward pass and knock on respectively. NRL All Stars with the ball.
Checking if Paul Gallen got the last touch on the end of a messy play.
80 min: No try, it's ruled that Gallen knocked the ball on, in the in-goal.
80 min: It was an entertaining end to an entertaining game, the NRL All Stars tried to put one more play but it's intercepted by Soward who tries to kick it but puts it straight into the chest of Taylor. He tried to find Morris but it was knocked on and that will be fulltime.