Wighton’s No.1 in Indigenous triumph

ALL STAR ATTRACTION: Orange junior Jack Wighton helped his side claim a comfortable win on Friday night at Newcastle. Photo: GETTY IMAGES
ALL STAR ATTRACTION: Orange junior Jack Wighton helped his side claim a comfortable win on Friday night at Newcastle. Photo: GETTY IMAGES

Orange product Jack Wighton helped his Indigenous All Stars side thump their World counterparts 34-8 at Newcastle on Friday night.

The clash marked the first time the prodigously talented Bloomfield and CYMS junior started a senior representative fixture in the No.1 jumper, having led Canberra to within a game of the NRL grand final from fullback last season.

The Indigenous team burst out of the blocks after an inspiring pre-match war dance.

In the fourth minute, Dragons back-rower Joel Thompson burst into the clear, drew the cover defence and slipped a clever pass to centre Jack Bird, who crashed over beside the right-hand upright.

Three minutes later, a World team error deep in their own territory allowed the Indigenous side to to spin the ball to the right edge from the scrum win, and Test winger Blake Ferguson scored in the corner.

Another handling mistake gifted the Indigenous team their third try, when co-captain Johnathan Thurston snaffled a loose ball and sent rookie halfback Ash Taylor over untouched. Thurston's conversion made it 16-0 at the first-quarter break.

A cricket score appeared to be looming for the World XIII, for whom Australia's Four Nations stars such as Cameron Smith, Cooper Cronk and Darius Boyd were not available, and who lost Jarryd Hayne after suffering a knee injury at last week's Auckland Nines.

But the underdogs hit back at the back end of the second quarter, firstly with a scrappy try by  David Mead, then through a backline move finished in the corner by Nene McDonald. That reduced the deficit to 16-8 by the half-time break and suggested a fightback might be on the cards.