Auto Poster Maori All-Stars' expecting a fiery encounter against Indigenous side


Sports Fan
Apr 23, 2013

Peta Hiku says the Indigenous clash will be one of the highlights of his career.

They are yet to play even one minute of pre-season footy, but don't expect that to hold back the Maori All-Stars.

Just three days before they enter camp ahead of their historic rugby league clash with the Indigenous All-Stars in Melbourne, the Warriors players selected in the exhibition side were already talking up the intensity of the clash.

For senior players like Adam Blair and Peta Hiku, who have both played in their fair share of big matches, the February 15 clash loomed as a special milestone in their careers.

Hiku, whose family hail from both Ngāti Porou and Ngāpuhi, said the opportunity to showcase their culture to the world was not something the side were taking lightly.

"It meant a lot to be selected, my family were really proud," he said.


Adam Blair hinted that a new haka could be on the cards ahead of the Maori All-Stars game.

"It's exciting man. Now that the side has been selected and you can see it on paper you get a real understanding for just the level of talented Maori players there actually are running around in the NRL. The side is pretty stacked."

Three "Aussie" players in Dane Gagai, five-eighth Kalyn Ponga and prop James Tamou have all been selected to represent the star-studded Maori side.

Hiku compared being selected for the inaugural clash to earning his first test call-up, and said it was a feeling felt among others in the side too.

"It's different because I always dreamed of playing for the Kiwis when I was younger so that was really special to pull on that jumper," he said.

"This one obviously came up far more recently but it's a similar buzz you know, I'm extremely proud of my culture. This truly means a lot I know to everyone selected and we will play like it too."

Blair, who is tipped as the man to likely captain the Stacey Jones-coached side, said there would be no feeling out process despite the match serving as, essentially, the first real hit-out of the season.

"If you go into any game, let alone something this big, thinking you're just going to get through it that's when things (injuries) happen," he said.

"I know the Aussie Indigenous boys are proud of who they represent and will be out to do their culture proud, and so will we."

Both players said the side would likely enter with a simple game plan, but expected there to be some exciting rugby league on display none the less.

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