Maori All Stars v Indigenous All Stars 2023

Rugby League is back! The Rotorua International Stadium will be electric on Saturday afternoon (AEDT) as it hosts the first All Stars match on New Zealand shores. It’s one of Rugby League’s great spectacles, bringing together the best in the NRL to celebrate two of the richest cultures to grace the game. There are some big names missing but nonetheless this game always proves to be one of the more entertaining matchups of the year. With anticipation building, let’s see if we can find the winner!

Maori All Stars

The Maori All-Stars finally get an All-Stars match on home soil, and it’ll be a special occasion, no matter the result. They come into this a little underdone, with the likes of Joey Manu, Jared Waerea-Hargrweaves and big Nelson Asofa-Solomona all sitting out. Despite the significant losses, the Maori edge will lie in their pack. They’re coming up against a much smaller and more inexperienced Indigenous pack, and with James Fisher-Harris and Joseph Tapine in the side, they could do some real damage. They also get the home-ground advantage which is huge considering the circumstances, and the Maori’s are often underestimated, so they are impossible to write off.

Indigenous All Stars

It’s been a disrupted build-up for the Indigenous All-Stars following the drunken scuffle between teammates Jack Wighton and Latrell Mitchell. Still, I doubt this could have any impact. What I see as more costly is that they go into the game without cult figure Josh Addo-Carr. However, youngster Tyrell Sloan slots in to make a solid backline. Latrell Mitchell, Cody Walker, Dally M medallist Nicho Hynes and lesser-known Titans hooker Kierran Moseley will make up the spine. These four could decide the game. With an inexperienced pack, if they can find a way up the ground and feed the outside backs in Sloane and Cobbo, it’s game over for me. The mismatch could prove too much for the Maori backline. The Indigenous side is justifiable favorites here.

TIP: Indigenous All Stars (-3.5) + Cobbo anytime try scorer

The Maori’s currently have the wood over the Indigenous boys 2-1, but I’m predicting we see this squared up at the end of 80 minutes. Cobbo to find the line for a nice price booster.

Price: $2.50