A conversion and a penalty goal to Rabbitohs halfback Adam Reynolds for the World All Stars has helped his side to a 12-8 win to take out the 2016 All Stars clash.
Reynolds had a solid night with the boot, both in terms of kicking goals as well as in general play, playing alongside fellow Rabbitohs Thomas Burgess who also led from the front with his charges.
After a stirring rendition of the National Anthem and a fiery Indigenous war-cry that saw Rabbitohs skipper Greg Inglis play a key role, the stage was set for what promised to be a classic encounter – and it delivered with a low-scoring, grinding affair.
The opening stages saw all three Rabbitohs ease into their roles in their new surroundings with some particularly strong runs from Burgess, calm and leadership from Inglis, and some adventurous signs from Reynolds.
By the time the first drinks break came around though, the scores still read nil-all, as both teams traded opportunities and battled off-season rust.
It took until the 33rd minute for first points to be scored, and they came in unlikely fashion when Konrad Hurrell reached out to score, only for play to be allowed to continue before the referee sent the try upstairs one play later. The try would be awarded for the World All Stars to lead 4-0.
Leilani Latu hit back for the Indigenous outfit on the stroke of half-time out wide when he finished off a slick back-line movement to cross. Jamie Soward’s conversion attempt hit the upright to leave the half-time score at four apiece.
Two minutes after the break, the World All Stars went in again, this time through Semi Radradra, who took a ball from Jarrod Croker to score out wide. Reynolds converted from out wide to take his side’s lead to 10-4.
Adam Reynolds was having a good night with his boot – the halfback forcing repeat sets before also adding another goal to his name following a penalty within kicking distance to make the score 12-4 in favour of the World All Stars.
Dane Gagai narrowed the gap for the Indigenous side when he raced over out wide amid euphoric scenes from his teammates to make the score 12-8 with 63 minutes gone.
The sides continued to exchange blows with the clock winding down, but it would be the World All Stars that would come away with victiory
World All Stars 12 (Konrad Hurrell, Semi Radrada, tries; Adam Reynolds 2 goals)
Indigenous All Stars 8 (Leilani Latu, Dane Gagai tries; goals)