THE stars aligned for the Group 16 Indigenous All Stars match at Mackay Park on Sunday.
The All Stars accounted for the Indigenous Dream Team 36-16 in a back and forth encounter that keep the crowd engaged for the full 80 minutes.
Both sides played hard from the kick off looking to impose themselves physically on the contest.
Forwards from each side made early metres by looking to find holes on the fringe of the ruck.
It was All Star Blake Robinson, from Bega, who struck first, piercing the line on the right side to score in the seventh minute.
Eden’s Dylan Fletcher slotted the conversion to give the All Stars an early lead.
The Dream Team struck back quickly as a Moruya Sharks combination paid early dividends.
A deft grubber by Aaron Brierley set up Caine Brierley in the left hand corner to bring the score to 6-4 at the 13th minute.
The All stars then started to assert themselves on the back of the Dream Team’s errors.
At the 23-minute mark Cooma’s Todd Williams found a gap and dived across, and his try was converted, to give the All Stars a 12-4 lead.
In the space of five minutes Bega’s Todd Ayers then found the line to push the margin out to double digits and a 16-4 scoreline.
Ten minutes out from halftime and the Dream Team would have to be the next team to score to stay in the contest.
In the 34th minute Tathra’s Dillon Aldridge found space on the right wing to score in the corner.
The try was successfully converted from the sideline by Dennis Green and the margin was back to a converted try.
The score looked to be set at 16-10 before halftime when Moruya’s newcomer, Jack Leggett, had a barnstorming run on the left flank to crash over seconds before the siren.
The conversion was unsuccessful and the scoreboard was in the All Stars’ favour at halftime as they led 20-10.
The second half started like the first as both sides looked to capitalise on early errors.
At the 50th minute the All Stars leapt out to their biggest lead of the match when Cooma’s second rower Steve Dunn crossed the try line.
Fletcher nailed the conversion to give the All Stars a 16-point lead.
The Dream Team hit back quickly as Caine Brierley crossed again to finish the match with a brace.
Green slotted his second conversion and the Dream Team were down by 10 with 25 minutes remaining.
Hope faded for the Dream Team when Fletcher crossed five minutes later.
Fellow All Star Jake Schofield found the line to seal the match as the All Stars ran out 36-16 victors.
Group 16 president Dean Lynch was delighted by the match, saying it offered something to the South Coast community and he would be open to seeing it return next year.
“The day was absolutely awesome and the crowd was great too,” he said.
Lynch said the game was high quality and the players impressed Greater Southern selectors.
“After the game the Greater Southern selectors said they liked what they watched and that Group 16 had enough talent for a competitive rep team,” he said.