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Inglis injured as NRL All Stars triumph

The NRL All Stars fought back to defeat the Indigenous All Stars 36-28 in Robina, but the story of the night was an ankle injury sustained by Greg Inglis.
Inglis injured as NRL All Stars triumph
by NRL

The NRL All Stars fought back to defeat the Indigenous All Stars 36-28 in Robina, but the story of the night was an ankle injury sustained by Greg Inglis.

Inglis suffered the injury when he crossed for the Indigenous All Stars' fifth try in the 69th minute and he was forced to leave the field with the aid of two trainers.

The injury dampened another spirited match between the two sides, with the NRL All Stars having come back from 16-0 to post a six tries to five triumph and claim the Arthur Beetson Trophy.

Stirring Aboriginal and English versions of Advance Australia Fair were sung before the match with the Indigenous side then marching up to their opponents as a part of a traditional war dance with spears.

The pre-match ceremony certainly fired up the Indigenous line-up, with Jharal Yow-Yeh opening the scoring with just six minutes on the clock.

Despite the theme of the week leading up to the match being reconciliation, there was very little being shown on the field as both sides ripped into each other in the opening exchanges.

New Zealand enforcer Jared Waerea-Hargreaves was in the thick of the action, trading blows with Sam Thaiday and then fronting up to Nathan Merritt and Ben Barba in another stand-off on the touchline.

The Indigenous outfit doubled its lead on the stroke of quarter-time when Merritt scampered over from close range after Chris Sandow's grubber-kick deflected into the path of his former South Sydney team-mate off Paul Gallen's shin, but shortly after the restart Frank Pritchard reduced the deficit when he bulldozed his way to the line.

NRL All Stars coach Wayne Bennett immediately used his first power play to reduce the Indigenous side to 11 men.

However, it proved to be a missed opportunity as the Indigenous side extended its lead, despite the numerical disadvantage, when Matt Bowen pounced onto a brilliant Johnathan Thurston chip-kick to score.

Laurie Daley then invoked his side's power play and the NRL side emulated the success of its rivals when Luke Lewis darted over for a try.

However, with 10 seconds of the power play remaining, Merritt raced over again in the left corner for his second try of the encounter on the stroke of half-time.

The NRL outfit started the third quarter superbly when Gold Coast skipper Luke Bailey fended off three tackles to score.

Canberra star Josh Dugan then demonstrated superb handling skills to pluck the ball millimetres from the turf after a hand-off from the impressive Cooper Cronk with Benji Marshall's conversion giving his side the lead for the first time.

The final quarter then saw England international Jack Reed stretch the lead with a try in the left corner following smart work from Cronk.

Indigenous skipper Thurston then called for his side's second powerplay and Inglis took advantage of the shortened defence with a try, only to sink back to the ground in visible pain clutching his left ankle.

Chris Sandow's kick closed the gap to 30-28, but Vatuvei sealed the win with a late four-pointer and Marshall added the extras to add some gloss to the scoreline.

Merritt was awarded the Preston Campbell Medal after being named man of the match.

NRL All Stars 36 (F Pritchard, L Bailey, L Lewis, J Reed, J Dugan, M Vatuvei tries; B Marshall 6 goals)

Indigenous All Stars 28 (N Merritt 2, M Bowen, J Yow Yeh, G Inglis tries; J Thurston 3, C Sandow goals)

Source: ABC Sport

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