General NRL All Stars

Hoping that now that we aren't going into/coming off of a World Cup more players will be available.

I find it a bit BS that Ponga has ruled himself out for the All-Star Game to "focus on the Knights" but has simultaneously made himself available for Origin

All-Star Game = Miss one week of preseason, and one trial game (that he probably wasn't going to play in anyway)
Origin = Miss three weeks in the middle of the regular season, and miss several actual games for the Knights

I get that the ASG doesn't pay the big bucks, or get your face put on a lunch box, but it's still contradictory

If the best players that are eligible actually did play on a yearly basis it would be origin standard in no time, unfortunately, as long as it is at the start of the season rather than in the middle/at the end, and with the match payment is so low (16% of Origins), it will never realise its potential.
With all due respect to the game it’s a preseason fun celebration.

Tests and Origin should trump it.

Players don’t even make themselves available for tests if they don’t want to do I don’t see the issue.
Couple of guys with multiple allegiences for the Moari, like Jesee Arthurs, Jazz and few others. Really surprised they have named such a strong team. Could be a few who pullout, this far out from the game you would think.
Maoris looking strong.
Early attempt at a team list

Te Maire Martin
Jessie Arthars
Dane Gagai
Matthew Timoko
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak
Kodi Nikorima
Jahrome Hughes

Leo Thompson
Brandon Smith
Joseph Tapine
Kenny Bromwich
Briton Nikora
Jazz Tevaga

Dylan Walker
Royce Hunt
Trey Mooney
Xavier Willison

Jacob Gagai
Jack Howarth
Adam Pompey
i like the look of Jack Howarth..i hope he gets a run...but like the team you've picked
2.Jesse Arthur's



Team Maori are seriously short of back row forwards.

Never thought I would type that sentence, it is reverse Darwinism.

I would be looking to play Bromwich at thirteen for eighty minutes or at least seventy.

In a perfect world Kodi and Hughes play halves to free up TMM to play Fullback which then means Gagai and DWZ plus Nikora form and almost unstoppable right edge attack. Kodi with Nikora hitting the hole and Gagai as his pass to option would be unstopable, it is exactly the kind of set up Nikorima thrives in.
Top that off with Gagai and DWZ making room for that corner flag acrobatics and the Aussie indigenous will concede question about that, any side in the world would struggle vs Nikorima's instincts, Gagai's class and DWZ's polish supported by Nikora running the gap as a short ball threat, like I say, that group of players on attack are lethal.

On Hughes left edge I would give him Timoko for sure, and put Arthurs at left wing to give Hughes two short side narrow corridor hard running make something out of nothing types.

Tapine has to play Prop, as does Jazz and Hunt, that is only three actual props in this side and a worry in itself if it goes tits up with injury.

As much as I like the structure of a TMM Hughes halves pairing, the offering of Gagai DWZ is too classy to push DWZ to Fb and therefore TMM should be the Fullback.

If Smith plays 9, it is unfortunate that he is a fat cheesy kient these days and will need to use up Walkers minutes to spell his at DH.

Ideally we would have a eighty minute DH allowing Walker to come on for Bromwich at 13 and the injection of bald bro Jazz through the middle to really unsettle the Indigenous Aussies.

Having said all of this, I have no major issue with DWZ going to Fb and Kodi giving us the option of a replacement Nine for the Moldy Cheese, thus allowing Walker to spell Bromwich and bring the short passing interplay to our middle third with Jazz running off it.

Real shame we do not have more back row forwards for this game.

Our backs on paper shit all over theirs.
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I remember well as a young guy getting named for the Maori junior team to play a pakeha team in the curtainraiser to a Kiwi v. France test.
While I had dark hair and complexion I was definitely pakeha.
Told my old man and he said don't say anything about it and just go out and play.
There was alot of that with the ABs back in the day right?
Still happens now. But not as blatant as it was back in the days.