Indigenous defeat Maori, Selwyn Cobbo three tries

The Indigenous All Stars defeated the Maori All Stars 28-24 in Rotorua.

The win marks the Indigenous team’s first victory over its trans-Tasman rivals since 2019.

The scene was set with both sides showcasing traditional war cries – the Maori performing the haka and the Indigenous players a cultural dance.

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Fullback Selwyn Cobbo had a mixed performance, starting the game with a costly fumble before scoring three tries to seal the victory.

An early error from Cobbo set in motion the opening try for the Maori side.

With possession turned over, the Maori were able to create an opportunity for Zach Dockar-Clay, who aimed at the goalposts and scored from his own grubber.

The Indigenous team responded with a try through Tyrell Sloan on the receiving end of a slick flick pass from Brent Naden.

But a missed conversion by Latrell Mitchell left the Indigenous trailing by two points at quarter-time.

Going try for try, alarm bells sounded when Josh Kerr was sent to the sin bin and placed on report following a dangerous tackle on James Fisher-Harris.

Kerr was deemed to have made shoulder contact with the head while completing a tackle, causing blood to flow from the corner of Fisher-Harris’ mouth.

Despite being a player down, the Indigenous side rallied to take the lead.

Just as it looked like the Maori side could strike back, Cobbo scooped up a grubber before taking off downfield.

Fending off a few players down the left side, the 20-year-old sprinted for 95m before effortlessly diving over the try line.

Minutes later, he jumped on a pin-point grubber from Cody Walker for his second before concluding an epic sequence from the Indigenous team for his third.

“[Cobbo] made the easy look difficult at the start of the game but now he’s starting to make the difficult look quite easy,” Billy Slater said in commentary for Nine.

Preston Riki scored in the 78th minute to give the Maori a glimmer of hope, but time slipped away.

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