NRL World All Stars vs NRL Indigenous All Stars
Competition: NRL Pre-Season
February 10th 2017
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Kickoff: 8pm AEDST
This will be the 7th rendition of what has become a pre-season classic, for NRL fans and players alike, forming something near a representative clash, setting the tone for the season for many players. This season again features some of the premium talent from the premier Rugby League competition in the world, including Jonathan Thurston, Greg Inglis and young guns Ash Taylor and Bryce Cartwright.
Try scoring machine Bevan French will make an appearance off the bench for the Indigenous All Stars outfit; a feature of the World squad is their exciting big youngsters, particularly Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Jordan McLean and Paul Vaughan. Others too look forward to from the Indigenous squad are Jack Bird, Dane Gagai and Wade Graham.
Hot conditions are forecasted, hence providing an awfully difficult challenge, given the earliness of the pre-season, with the daytime high of 40 degrees, and mid-20’s game time temperatures. Given these conditions, many substitutions will be made and it could well be a stop-start affair, with a trend of errorneous play.
NRL World All Stars vs NRL Indigenous All Stars: Head to Head Stats
After 6 clashes, all around this time of year, early in the pre-season, there has been no dominant force in the clash, indeed the teams have shared the spoils, with 3 games each. Though without a clear superstar in the World All Stars outfit, and 2 of the games greats in the opposition outfit, namely Inglis and Thurston, the head to head statistics are not overly relevant.
For the record, the World All Stars won last years’ matchup 12-8, played at Suncorp Stadium in Brisbane, where James Graham was crowned with the Preston Campbell Medal, for player of the game.
NRL World All Stars vs NRL Indigenous All Stars: Prediction
Thurston and Inglis are the superior players in this matchup, and it could well be argued that their go-forward merchants, Andrew Fifita, Ryan James and Leilani Latu had better years than their opposite numbers. Although, the likes of Jarrod Croker, Gavin Cooper and Jake Friend are all quality opponents and will look forward to testing themselves against the quality opposition.
The Hooker battle indeed is worth focusing on, with potential NSW star Nathan Peats, battling against Australian representative Jake Friend who has yet to gain a cap in the Queensland camp due to the brilliance of captain Smith. Another intriguing matchup is Ash Taylor and Moses Mbye, who appear to be in line to succeed Cooper Cronk in the long term setup of the Origin camp, under Kevin Walters. Incumbent Australian wingers, Blake Ferguson and Dane Gagai are both part of the Indigenous setup, and look to have the edge over opponents Uate who could not get a gig in Newcastle last season and Nene Macdonald who impressed in Gold Coast, but moved to St George Illawarra.
NRL World All Stars vs NRL Indigenous All Stars: Tips
- NRL Indigenous All Stars to win by 10-14 points.
- Greg Inglis and Jonathan Thurston to shine in a high scoring affair.