Written by Oliver Kellner-Dunk
Last night’s NRL All-Stars game was overall an entertaining event and a product our game should be proud of, promoting two amazing cultures within our society that then played their hearts out on the field in a great game of Rugby League, with the match itself coming down to the wire.
It was a celebration of diversity that was backed up by the passion players displayed through their ability and effort throughout the game, with the meaning of the event summed up by the emotion we saw after the final whistle was blown.
The Indigenous All-Stars were understandably inconsolable and distraught, while the Maori All-Stars were elated after winning the game 16-10, proving that this contest was more than just a preseason exhibition game.
However, one person, in particular, believes that we can see the event improved on the production side of things, as former Maori All-Star and Rugby League World Cup winner Isaac Luke has called for Indigenous and Maori commentators to call the game via his Twitter page.
“Surely we get some indigenous and Maori commentary next year,” said Luke.
“No disrespect to Vossy, but surely.
Surely we get some indigenous and Maori commentary next year. No disrespect to vossy. But surely. Be crack up hearing someone like
Bush tucker bunji or a mana Māori commentator.
Greg Alexander needs to pronounce our name properly or gap it.
— issac luke (@issacluke_14) February 12, 2022
“Be crack up hearing someone like Bush tucker Bunji or a mana Māori commentator.
“Greg Alexander needs to pronounce our name properly or gap it.”
Luke’s comments have since gone on to be retweeted by many different people who for the most part have supported his statement.
The 34-year-old also gave some suggestions for who he would like to see commentate the event in future.
“Why didn’t you [7 news reporter Katie Brown] come down for it then,” stated Luke.
“Could even ask the @TheRealPearl03 [Steve Renouf] or Hodges I don’t know.
“Could ask some rugby commentators from NZ @rubytui or maybe even big Rusty [Russell Crowe] could have a go.
— NRL (@NRL) February 12, 2022
“Someone that has a significant connection to both one or both cultures.”
Luke simply wants to see further representation from both cultures during the NRL All-Stars event as a whole which is hard to argue with.
It is also important to note that other than the commentary team themselves, the rest of Fox League’s coverage of the game was conducted by pundits of Indigenous or Maori descent, with Hannah Hollis, Gordon Tallis and Benji Marshall making up the prematch, halftime and post-match panel and Jake Duke on sideline reporter duties.
This shows us that in future it would not be that hard for the network to put in place what Luke is suggesting.