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Women's All Stars too strong in historic clash

Chris Kennedy, National Correspondent NRL.com Fri, May 02, 2014 - 7:20 PM

Women's All Stars captain Ali Brigginshaw had a great game in her side's historic match against the Indigenous Women's All Stars on Friday night at Allianz Stadium. Copyright: Grant Trouville

In an historic curtain-raiser to Friday night's Trans-Tasman Test, the Women's All Stars have beaten an Indigenous Women's All Stars side 24-0 at Sydney's Allianz Stadium.

The Women's All Stars looked the slicker of the two sides in the first 40, taking a 14-0 lead to the break and continued on with their strong form in the second half.

Several passages of neat passing led to tries to Renae Kunst, Tegan Chandler and Emily Andrews in the first stanza, and Ali Brigginshaw was successful with one of three shots at goal.

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Despite a late scare when a penalty put the Indigenous Women's All Stars on the attack for one final surge at the try line, the Women's All Stars were able to protect their line and hold on to a 14-0 half-time lead.

The Women's All Stars also started the stronger after the break, keeping the Indigenous side pinned in their own half, and the pressure eventually led to points when a brilliant scything run from Brigginshaw saw her slide over next the posts and convert her own try for a 20-0 lead with around 20 minutes to play.

The Women's All Stars continued to press the Indigenous line, forcing a goal line drop out and coming close to scoring when a Brigginshaw cut-out pass almost put Sam Hammond across out wide.

The Indigenous side continued to make life hard for themselves with handling errors and paid the price when a great sweeping run from Maddie Studdon put her in position to grubber for right winger Karina Brown to pick it up and score just inside the dead-ball line.

Like in the first half the Indigenous side's best chance came in the final minutes, but again the Women's All Stars were able to keep their line intact to close out a 24-0 win.

After the game, Women's All Stars captain Ali Brigginshaw told NRL.com it was "pretty overwhelming" to have been involved on the same night and at the same venue as the men's Test.

"It's surreal that we finally get to play before the men. We've spoken to them before and they love women's league, they really love seeing us play. To play before them is a real big honour," she said.

"It felt like we actually meant something to women in league – the support's been great."

She said the squad only came together on the Wednesday shortly before the game with some new faces.

"We started afresh, started from the basics, did some defence and contact and it all came together this morning," she said.

Of the performance she said the team was most pleased with keeping the opposition to nil.

"We didn't care how many tries we scored, just that they stayed to nil – that's what we prided ourselves on," she said.

Indigenous All Stars captain Julie Young – a member of the World Cup-winning Jillaroos – told NRL.com that while disappointed at the final scoreline, it didn't represent the effort her side put in, nor did it overshadow the side's joy at taking part in the occasion.

"I'm real proud of the game that we've played," she said.

"I know the scoreline might say we got a bit of a flogging but we've played the best side in the World. The Jillaroos are No.1, we've got to give them credit for that.

"I'm really proud of my girls, I'm really happy with how they dug in, they never gave up."

To be playing on Allianz Stadium as the curtain raiser to the Trans Tasman Test is an "unbelievable feeling", she added.

"It feels really amazing and I guess it's not going to sink in for a little while. I'm really blessed to be here today and to be captain of the side is a real great honour," she said.

Women's All Stars 24 (Kunst, Chandler, Andrews, Brigginshaw, Hammond tries; Brigginshaw 2 goals) defeated Indigenous Women's All Stars 0 at Allianz Stadium.