NRL All Stars 2024 LIVE updates: Indigenous women win after doubles for Chapman and Hunt

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NRL All Stars 2024 LIVE updates: Indigenous women win after doubles for Chapman and Hunt


Key posts

There’s the first big play of the night, with Dane Gagai clattering into his former Rabbitohs teammate Latrell Mitchell after he caught a high bomb from Jahrome Hughes. The force of the collision has squeezed the ball free – and isn’t Gagai letting them know about it. That’s a massive play.

This is a huge chance for the Maori All Stars with an entire set in the Indigenous red zone.

And it’s a try. Joseph Tapine, that just looked a bit too easy. He’s swivelled out of a couple of feeble attempts from Kierran Moseley and Adam Elliott, carrying Nicho Hynes over the line. That was just a one-off run next to the ruck. Simple, powerful stuff.

Kodi Nikorima converts the try.

Maori All Stars 6, Indigenous All Stars 0 after 5 minutes.

We’re underway at a wet Queensland Country Bank Stadium. Latrell Mitchell kicks off for the Indigenous All Stars.

Strap in.

Both teams are making their way onto Queensland Country Bank Stadium with Latrell Mitchell draped in the Aboriginal flag with boomerang in hand. It’s a fantastic reception from the crowd. These war dances will be something else.

And I don’t know how the actual game will topple the pre-match spectacle.

You could almost hear a pin drop during the Maori war dance. It ends with players from both sides marching towards each other and old Warriors teammates Josh Curran and Jazz Tevaga butting heads.

Now it’s the turn of the Indigenous side. There’s a massive roar for former local favourite Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow. It finishes with both sides showing a huge amount of respect for each other. I’m not sure how they get their emotion in check after that.

Let’s hope the game itself is half as good.

INDIGENOUS WOMEN 26, MAORI WOMEN 4

Kirra Dibb was player of the match on Friday night.Credit: Getty

KEY POINTS

NRLW NEEDS MORE FOOTBALL: The first game of the year always has its issues, but 26 errors between the two teams, and a 48 per cent completion rate for the Maori women, proves why more football is needed in the women’s game. The weather in Townsville didn’t help, it was slippery conditions from kick-off to the final whistle, but we see it every year with Origin and the NRLW – the more football the women get to play, the better the quality is.

KIRRA DIBB DESERVES ORIGIN CALL UP: A 40/20 in the first-half, and a try assist in the second, Kirra Dibb was easily the best player on the pitch on Friday night. The 26-year-old playmaker was awarded for her efforts with player of the match, and that performance should put her on Blues’ coach Kylie Hilder’s radar. Since making the move to North Queensland to captain the Cowboys inaugural NRLW team last year, Dibb’s game has matured, and it showed on Friday night with how easily she could steer the team around, and how instrumental her grubber kicks and bombs were in the Indigenous women’s victory.

JAIME CHAPMAN HIGHLIGHTS BEST OF NRLW: Jaime Chapman finished 2023 with a grand final hat trick for the Titans, and she started 2024 with a double for the Indigenous All-Stars. The 21-year-old centre is already one of the greatest prospects in the game, and she racked up an impressive 214 run metres on Friday night. More than once she could be seen with two or three defenders hanging off her as she made up five or ten extra metres, but her ability to slip through defensive lines using power and speed makes her one of the best players in the game.

KEY STATS

What do we get from Latrell Mitchell tonight? And how many minutes does he play?

After such an interrupted 2023 season, one of the game’s biggest stars was almost reduced to tears earlier this week when he was announced as captain of the Indigenous side. He always likes starting his year well in this fixture, and there’s no reason why he won’t again tonight.

Then the plane to Las Vegas beckons for his South Sydney side for a clash against Tom Trbojevic and Manly at Allegiant Stadium.

I would be very surprised if he plays the full 80 minutes, but won’t be surprised if he shows a couple of flashes of his customary brilliance. The whispers out of Redfern have been he’s looked fitter and stronger at the end of this pre-season more than any other.

Latrell Mitchell.

Latrell Mitchell.

It’s been another big news day in rugby league. I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as a slow news day.

So, what you might have missed?

There’s more boardroom upheaval at the Bulldogs with chairman John Khoury stepping down before Sunday’s AGM. You can read Michael Chammas’ story on the musical chairs at Belmore here.

Then Adam Reynolds and Pat Carrigan were handed a breach notice by the NRL for their, um, I’m not sure what to call it. “Aggressive cuddle”, as colleague Andrew Webster called it? Whatever it was, and no matter how many drinks were consumed, it won’t keep them out of the Las Vegas season opener. Michael Chammas and Dan Walsh have the story here.

Bulldogs CEO Aaron Warburton with chairman John Khoury.

Bulldogs CEO Aaron Warburton with chairman John Khoury.Credit: Getty

Time to nail your colours to a mast…

Righto, onto the men’s clash which is due to get underway in about half-an-hour.

The official teams are now in. There’s no change to Ron Griffiths’ Indigenous side with Latrell Mitchell to captain the side from fullback.

There’s one minor change to Adam Blair’s Maori team with Broncos prop Xavier Willison promoted to the starting side and Royce Hunt dropping back to the bench.

It’s easy to think the Indigenous side might have an edge in the backline, but how imposing is that Maori forward pack? Leo Thompson, Kenny Bromwich, Joe Tapine and Brandon Smith makes for a pretty menacing engine room.

Will it be the old adage: forwards win matches and backs decide by how many? Can’t wait to find out.

Maori All Stars prop Xavier Willison.

Maori All Stars prop Xavier Willison.Credit: Getty

Hello, Adam Pengilly on deck here now to take us through the rest of the night.

Is it the Super Bowl or rugby league?

Indigenous All-Stars coach Jess Skinner has copped a bucket of Powerade in the celebrations for her women’s side’s victory. I don’t reckon she minds, and she’s certainly got a better capacity to take it than Kansas City Chiefs coach Andy Reid did on Monday after the NFL extravaganza.

What colour was it again? Purple?

Anyway, the official presentations are underway on a typical tropical night in Townsville with the rain falling steadily.

Indigenous star Kirra Dibb has been announced as the player of the match.

Indigenous All-Stars playmaker Kirra Dibb.

Indigenous All-Stars playmaker Kirra Dibb.Credit: Getty

And that’s full-time in Townsville.

The Indigenous women have won 26-4 after 60 consistent minutes, with five tries to show for it.

The real standouts tonight were Kirra Dibb, Jaime Chapman and Kimberley Hunt, who all made plays that changed the game.

Unfortunately for the Maori women, the errors proved costly, and even though they cleaned up their completions in the second half, it wasn’t enough to come back.

Taliah Fuimaono in action for the Indigenous All-Stars.

Taliah Fuimaono in action for the Indigenous All-Stars.Credit: Getty

Now, our attention turns to the men’s match, which will kick off at 8:10pm.

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