Group 16’s All Star opener
Jacob McMaster - Bega District News
The Moons shot for the Stars at Group 16 rugby league’s opener in Moruya on Saturday.
Nathan, Sam and Grant Moon played for three respective sides on the day, and Sam even technically played for two sides in her game.
It was the Indigenous v All Stars rugby league celebration round and Nathan was playing with the under 18s rep selection side, while older brother and sister lined up for the All Stars in exhibition games.
Both Group 16’s young rep sides proved too strong for their Group 7 rivals, the under 16s, especially, shone in the heat to comfortably outdo their opponents 24-8 (without any conversions).
It was a slightly harder day in the office for the Group 16 under 18s as they faced a formidably large Group 7 pack.
Speed and agility proved key for the southern side as Group 16 scored the opening points.
Group 7 made a resurgence and locked up the scores at 12-12 late into the second half with just four minutes left on the clock.
However, Group 16 captain Jackson Whitby found space in the dying stages to ensure a win for the home side 16-12 barreling over the line just right of the posts.
The Group’s second women’s contact game was another success despite a few unfortunate head knocks in the match.
The All Stars roster came away with a dominant win 50-0, but the game was played in excellent spirits and the Indigenous women’s team put on some of the best hits the competition has seen to date.
Australian Jillaroo Kezie Apps and Cobargo’s Millie Boyle were the standouts for the All Stars with some strong runs and plenty of tries between them.
The headline Indigenous v All Stars clash was played in greasy conditions after 30 degree heat filtered into a smattering of rain.
The Indigenous side boasted the size in the forwards and made plenty of momentum through the middle, but the All Stars’ defence stood firm on repeated try-line raids.
Similarly to the 18s it was the speed on the fringes that paid dividends for the All Stars as they opened the scoring and added the extras to lead 6-0.
The Indigenous side shot back in the second half, but missed the conversion and trailed by two at 4-6.
Handling errors hindered both sides and late in the second half the Indigenous side seemed certain to score until a knock on just short of the line saw a handover.
The All Stars found space with only six minutes left to play and scored just wide of the posts, with the kick slotted through they led 12-4.
The Indigenous side was making moves up the park in the dying minutes, but an injury forced a stop to play in the final two minutes and the clock whittled away for the All Stars to win 12-4.