Great tries, big hits, and some last ditch defence, saw the Maori Women’s All-Stars emerge as 16-12 victors at Rotorua International Stadium.
Led by Zali Fay, who scored a double and produced some great goal-line tackles, her efforts and those from Gayle Broughton and Shannon Mato all led to their win.
The first try went the way of the M?ori side, as they shifted left and veteran centre Amy Turner took the line on, drew a defender in and found Fay on the outside for her first.
At the quarter-time break, the Indigenous side received a penalty and Kirra Dibb opted to take the two which she slotted as expected.
The Maori went further ahead when Olivia Kernick threw a cut-out pass out wide for debutant Jasmin Strange to dive over and score.
Consecutive conversion misses kept the Indigenous side in the game and they capitalised through youngster Jada Taylor.
A looping pass from Dibb found the talented winger as she showed speed, spins, and smarts, to score the opening try for the Indigenous side.
The Indigenous side then got another advantage when Destiny Brill was sin-binned for a dangerous throw.
They made the most of it as Jasmine Peters’ offload found Keilee Joseph as she stepped, weaved and dodged past defenders to score.
Not to be outdone, despite being down to 12, some lovely work from Ashleigh Quinlan put veteran Turner over as she ran a nice line.
Evenly poised at 12-all and with five to go, the Maori side shifted left and eventually scored as quick hands found their way to Fay for her second.
Holding on for dear life, they were able to keep the Indigenous side at bay.
NRL News Player of the Match
3. Gayle Broughton (MAO)
2. Kirra Dibb (IND)
1. Shannon Mato (MAO)