The Night Rugby League Was Fun Again - Indigenous All Stars v NRL All Stars Review
It may have been a balmy evening in mid-February but Rugby League kicked off Season 2010 with a celebration of how much fun watching the game should be.
For some fans the off-season can't end quickly enough and for others (who like their cricket) the new season comes around too quickly... but if you parked yourself in front of the telly with some friends (or were lucky enough to get to Skilled Park on the Gold Coast and see it in person) you would have to agree - the fun is back.
The Final Score was the Indigenous All Stars 16 defeating the NRL All Stars 12.
Opening the season has traditionally fallen to the Dragons and Rabbitohs in the Charity Shield but clearly - the All Stars Match will take pride of place in the pre-season schedule for the forseeable future.
The crowd was treated to a match that had enough of 'the good stuff' (hits, runs, steps, flick passes etc) to gloss over the errors and general lack of cohesion in attack - but given it was the first game of the pre-season for almost every player, that was understandable.
But clearly by this tweet sent to The NRL Tweet during the game - the atmosphere was amazing: rubyprecious @NRLTweet you have to be here, the atmosphere is insane! best game I have ever been to!
That's a fair rap on the contest - pre-season or not!
So Johanthan Thurston is the initial recipient of the Preston Campbell Medal... but because (for whatever reason) the medal was only named in Preston's honour late in the week - no medal was made... for the FIRST match ever played - this is very poor. Given the fans were voting for the Man of the Match - it should come as no shock to see Thurston get the nod. Although his biggest play of the game - putting Soward over for the match winner - came AFTER the voting closed at the 70th minute mark.
The standout players in our books were Michael Jennings, George Rose, Sam Burgess, Blake Ferguson and Thurston. But it was a trial match - so it would be unrealistic to expect every player to live up to their star billing.
The Game Stats:
INDIGENOUS ALL STARS 16 Tries: Wendell Sailor 3m, Ben Jones 32m, Jamie Soward 74m. Goals: Johnathan Thurston 2/2. Field Goals: Scott Prince 0/1.
NRL ALL STARS 12 Tries: Josh Morris 54m, Benji Marshall 59m, Michael Jennings 61m. Goals: No Attempts. Field Goals: No Attempts.
@ Skilled Stadium, Gold Coast QLD. Saturday 13th February, 2010.
What did you think of the game and is the concept worth continuing every year?