Rugby league: Adam Blair leads roaring Māori All-Stars haka

While there was plenty of action on the field, the highlight of the new-look NRL All-Stars match was the spirited pre-game haka and war cry.

The first All-Stars clash between the New Zealand Māori and the Indigenous All Stars proved to be a massive success, as 19,000 fans at Melbourne's AAMI Park watched the Indigenous side win 34-14.

Players from both teams were proud to represent their cultures, and their passion showed before the match when the Māori All-Stars kicked off proceedings with a spine-tingling haka, which brought the crowd to their feet.

Captain Adam Blair led the call as the Indigenous side remained locked arm in arm, while the Māori side advanced to the halfway line.

Then Latrell Mitchell led the Indigenous war cry, filling in after Greg Inglis was ruled out of the contest with a knee injury.

Mitchell said he put so much passion into it, he felt his Indigenous ancestors next to him.

"There were lots of emotions running through my head," he said. "I've got no words to explain how I felt out there.

"I love representing my culture. I could feel my ancestors, my people, my child from home, and it was very emotional, and grateful for the opportunity."

Even though the New Zealand Māori didn't get the win, Blair said representing his culture was a special moment

"I thought we went out there and done our people proud," he said.

"The week has been outstanding. I couldn't fault it. The boys have embraced both cultures.

"It means lots to be Māori and to put on the jersey and run alongside people of my blood."

There was also plenty of talk about the women's Māori All-Stars' haka ahead of their match against the women's Indigenous All-Stars team.

The haka lasted for just over two minutes as the Indigenous side stood arm-in-arm in an intense stare-down.

Following the haka, the Indigenous-All Stars performed their traditional war cry as the Ferns stood with their arms locked.

The Ferns went onto win the match 8-4.


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