A stalemate is not the result many foresaw when the All-Stars game began but it is what we got, with the Maori and Indigenous sides finishing up at 10-apiece.
With both sides forced into reshuffles when the Melbourne Storm contingent was ruled out due to COVID restrictions, gameplans had to be changed.
As both sides slugged it out, the first half turned into somewhat of a grind with the score just 2-0 to the Indigenous side at the break.
The Maori side was rightfully praised by many for their sturdy defensive efforts to hold the Indigenous side at bay in the first half.
Enter Benji Marshall, who, after leading the Maori side with a passionate haka, was there to produce the assist for the game’s first try.
As calm as ever, Marshall found promising Broncos back-rower Jordan Riki with a short pass and he did the rest.
The Maori side would go down a man, however, when Zane Musgrove put on a shoulder charge. He was immediately sent to the sin-bin.
Musgrove now faces a nervous wait to determine if he will see time on the sidelines.
The Maori side, seemingly in control, extended their lead in the second half when Joey Manu intercepted Jamal Fogarty.
He raced away and found Dallin Watene-Zelezniak who scored the Maori sides’ second try.
At 10-2, it was all going the way of the Maori but the Indigenous side dug deep to produce the draw.
It was Latrell Mitchell’s deft grubber that found speedster Alex Johnston out wide to narrow the margin.
After a successful conversion and then a penalty goal, the scores were deadlocked at 10-all.
Despite Tyrone Peachey being sent to the sin-bin, the Indigenous resolve shone through, forcing the draw.
NRL News Player of the Game
3. Latrell Mitchell
2. Benji Marshall
1. Jordan Riki