This is the second year of the NRL All Stars. The Indigenous All Stars taking on the Maori Kiwis is a great representative concept.
- Indigenous All Stars vs NZ Maori Kiwis
- Both teams are dealing with significant omissions
This is the second year the NRL have staged the Indigenous All Stars versus the Maori Kiwis, which is a great representative concept.
I missed the mark on this last year. I thought the Maoris offered great value and really unloaded on them… but I was humiliated as the slick Indigenous outside backs blew the Maoris off the park. Ponga and Hughes were very poor and the Maoris simply did not look like they prepared as well as the Indigenous team did.
While I may seem like a glutton for punishment, I have a similar view heading into this game.
My ratings suggest the Maoris have a better all-round team, despite the Indigenous outside backs featuring some of the best attacking players in the NRL.
While both squads have been hit by withdrawals, the loss of Cody Walker and Ryan James for the Indigenous team is significant, with the Indigenous team having to rely on a handful of forwards that have barely played any NRL.
The Maori team will be missing Big Nelson and Tamou, who are huge losses, but they still have some very experienced NRL forwards lining up.
With guys like Luke, Nikorima, Ponga, Hughes and Brandon Smith, the Maoris have lots of dangerous smaller players whereas the Indigenous team will be running all of their attack through Tyrone Roberts and Wighton.
While the game is being played at the Gold Coast, the large expat Kiwi population will see a lot of support for the Maoris.
The bookies have gone up with 4.5 head start to the Maoris, when I would have this at a pick’em at best.
NRL All Stars: Predicted Score
Maori Kiwis 19
Indigenous All Stars 18
NRL All Stars: Recommended bets
I’ll be having a reasonable size bet on the Maoris, both at the plus and at the head-to-head.