Andrew Pelechaty reviews the All Stars game at Townsville, which ended in a 10-10 draw….. Here’s how the game went.
|20th||Penalty Goal Jamal Fogarty (Indigenous All Stars)||Indigenous All Stars 2-0|
|34th||Zane Musgrove (Maori All Stars) – SIN BIN||Indigenous All Stars 2-0|
|48th||Try Jordan Riki (Maori All Stars)||Maori All Stars 4-2|
|50th||Goal Patrick Herbert (Maori All Stars)||Maori All Stars 6-2|
|52nd||Try Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Maori All Stars)||Maori All Stars 10-2|
|58th||Tyrone Peachey (Indigenous All Stars) – SIN BIN||Maori All Stars 10-2|
|63rd||Try Alex Johnston (Indigenous All Stars)||Maori All Stars 10-6|
|64th||Goal Latrell Mitchell (Indigenous All Stars)||Maori All Stars 10-8|
|79th||Penalty Goal Latrell Mitchell (Indigenous All Stars)||Scores tied 10-10|
While this may have been a one-off pre-season game, the pre-game war cries from the Indigenous and Maori All Stars teams showed the pride both squads have for their heritages. The Townsville crowd certainty appreciated the footy being back, with over 20,000 attending.
The game also saw the new off-season rules in action, including the extension of the “six again” rule and play-the-ball restarts when the ball goes over the sideline: special rules for this fixture included unlimited interchanges and four 20-minute quarters.
The Maori All Stars got an early chance when Jack Wighton knocked on after a Latrell Mitchell offload. Patrick Herbert scored in the corner but the pass from Dylan Walker went forward. If nothing else, it showed that the Maori All Stars were prepared to throw it around early despite the humid and wet conditions.
The Maori All Stars had another chance after 15 minutes (helped by a couple of penalties), but the Indigenous All Stars’ defense muscled them over the sideline.
Another attacking chance from the Maori All Stars was ruined by a knock on from Issac Luke.
Despite dominating possession and territory, the Maori All Stars couldn’t convert it into points.
The Indigenous All Stars took first points via a penalty goal to Jamal Fogarty.
The second quarter followed the pattern of the first, with the Maori All Stars continuing their possession glut (with over 20 sets in the opposition 20 by this stage, and a lopsided penalty count in their favour), but the Indigenous All Stars’ defense held firm.
The Indigenous All Stars also couldn’t capitalise on their limited opportunities.
With six minutes left in the half, the Maori All Stars’ Zane Musgrove was sin-binned for a shoulder charge and placed on report.
The Maori All Stars had their best chance to score a minute from halftime when Joseph Manu tried to dart over from dummy half but dropped the ball.
While there was plenty of attacking footy (especially from the Maori All Stars, helped by over 60% possession), the wet conditions were a factor in an unexpectedly tryless first half.
The first Captain’s Challenge of 2021 came early in the third quarter, when the Maori All Stars challenged a knock on by Esan Marsters: while he lost the ball, he regained possession before it hit the ground, so the Challenge was successful.
The Maori All Stars finally scored when Jordan Riki barged over close to the line off a nice ball from Benji Marshall.
Four minutes later, the Maori All Stars stretched their lead further with a 75-metre try; Manu intercepted the ball, ran most of the way and passed to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak to give the Maori All Stars a 10-2 lead.
The Indigenous All Stars’ night got worse when the restart went out on the full.
There was another sin bin just before the end of the third quarter – an indication of fraying tempers and a bit of niggle – when the Indigenous All Stars’ Tyrone Peachey was spelled for 10 minutes.
The Indigenous All Stars opened the final quarter with a try through the Souths combo of Mitchell and Alex Johnson (last year’s leading NRL tryscorer), with Mitchell threading through a kick. Mitchell then converted to cut the Maori All Stars’ lead to 10-8.
The Indigenous All Stars had a golden chance to take the lead in the closing minutes, but Jesse Ramien lost the ball.
Mitchell tied to scores 10-10 through a penalty goal with a minute left.
The Indigenous All Stars had one last set to pull of the winning try, but couldn’t do it. With no Golden Point, the 10-10 draw stood and the teams shared the Arthur Beetson Trophy.
James Fisher-Harris won the Preston Campbell Medal.
While it was a relatively dour game – not helped by the Townsville rain and humidity – the Maori All Stars scored two third quarter tries within four minutes of each other.
The first was from the Brisbane Broncos’ Jordan Riki, receiving a pass from Benji Marshall and barging over despite plenty of defensive attention. It was the first try of the night and the first try of 2021.
The second try came against the grain, with the Sydney Roosters’ Joseph Manu (who came close to scoring in the second quarter) nabbing an intercept from Jamal Fogarty on the Maori All Stars’ 25 metres, and running to the Indigenous All Stars’ 10 metre line, before passing to Dallin Watene-Zelezniak.
Indigenous All Stars: 1. Latrell Mitchell, 2. Blake Ferguson, 3. Jack Wighton, 4. Jesse Ramien, 5. Alex Johnston, 6. Cody Walker, 7. Jamal Fogarty, 8. Andrew Fifita, 9. Reuben Cotter, 10. Josh Kerr, 11. David Fifita, 12. Tyrell Fuimaono, 13. Tyrone Peachey. Interchange: 14. Corey Thompson, 15. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown, 16. Cade Cust, 17. Chris Smith, 18. Zac Saddler,
19. Josh Curran, 20. Brian Kelly.
Maori All Stars: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak,
3. Joseph Manu, 4. Dylan Walker, 5. Patrick Herbert, 6. Jarome Luai,
7. Benji Marshall, 8. Russell Packer, 9. Jeremy Marshall-King,
10. James Fisher-Harris, 11. Briton Nikora, 12. Jordan Riki, 13. Joseph Tapine. Interchange: 14. Issac Luke, 15. Jackson Topine, 16. Zane Musgrove,
17. Emry Pere, 18. Esan Marsters, 20. Daejarn Asi, 22. Wiremu Greig.
MATCH REVIEW CHARGES
Zane Musgrove (Maori): Grade 2 Shoulder Charge (Early Plea 3 weeks, 262 points; Base Penalty 350 points).
Decision: Early Guilty Plea taken, 2 match suspension.
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak (Maori) Grade 1 High Tackle (Early Plea $1,350; Base Penalty $1,500)