As seen on https://www.nrl.com
A Selwyn Cobbo hat-trick propelled the Indigenous All Stars to a 28-24 victory over a gutsy Māori All side in the Saturday’s NRL Harvey Norman All Stars clash in Rotorua.
Cobbo scored his three tries in the space of 12 minutes in the final quarter of the match to help his side overcome a Māori outfit who led for the opening 44 minutes and fought back to make it a one-score game with two minutes to go.
Halfback Nicho Hynes was at the heart of the win for Ronald Griffiths’ side, scoring a try and then setting one up either side of half-time to claim the Preston Campbell Medal as player of the match.
With the Māori leading 18-16 with 20 minutes to go, Cobbo took it upon himself to put his side ahead with a try that showed off all of his athletic talent, before grabbing another two in quick succession to put the result beyond doubt.
A spirited pre-match Indigenous war cry was met with a stunning haka – performed to a chorus of cheers from most of the 17,644 fans in attendance – it was a nervous drop from Cobbo on his first touch which gifted the Māori with the opening try.
After the Indigenous hit back through Tyrell Sloan, who grabbed onto a Brent Naden flick pass, Cobbo left a try begging when he dropped the ball with an open line in front of him.
The sides then traded converted tries to Jesse Arthars and Hynes to leave the Māori up 12-10 at the half-time, with Josh Kerr being sent to the sin bin just before the break for a high contact with his shoulder on James Fisher-Harris.
But the numerical disadvantage did little to hurt the Indigenous side, who scored four minutes into the second half, with Hynes again at the heart of it with a break which ended in Naden crossing.
Jordan Riki’s try stopped the rot temporarily, before Cobbo took over the game with his treble.
A late try to Preston Riki did reduce the gap to four, but wasn’t enough to change the result.