Several All Stars players are licking their wounds after Saturday night’s brutal clash at Skilled Park, with Canberra forward Joel Thompson in doubt for the start of the NRL season with both rib cartilage and a hip flexor complaint. Manly’s George Rose was sporting a busted nose after a head clash with Thompson, while Melbourne Storm recruit Beau Champion was still seeing stars after being knocked out trying to tackle Petero Civoniceva. Meanwhile, Jharal Yow Yeh was feeling the effects of an accidental elbow from Canterbury-Bankstown hooker Michael Ennis. “Obviously Beau, not in great shape, Georgie Rose, I couldn’t look at him at three-quarter time, I had to turn around,” Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley said after the match. “He was busted and bleeding but he’s quite tough. I said to him ‘you don’t have to go back on’ but he said ‘I want to go back on’. “Joel Thompson had busted rib cartilage and a hip flexor and he said ‘I want to go back out’. After a minute he couldn’t run so I had to drag him back off. “Travis (Waddell) got a busted finger, Anthony Mitchell with his ankle, we were busted.” In contrast, only centre Jamie Lyon took an injury out of the game for the NRL All Stars but his leg complaint is unlikely to see him miss any football. Plenty of his troops fell around him but Indigenous All Stars captain Johnathan Thurston breathed a sigh of relief after getting through his first match of 2011 unscathed. Nerve damage to both ankles and a medial ligament tear cost him the tail end of North Queensland Cowboys’ 2010 season and his Kangaroos Four Nations jersey, but Thurston was at his willing best in a tough comeback match. On crutches just three months ago, Thurston said it was a huge relief to be back on the paddock with the season opener against the Broncos just around the corner. “I was sucking them in (under) the goal posts there for a bit,” he said. “It was just a great week to be around with the boys and just good to be back on the football paddock. “A couple of our boys are a bit busted but that comes with the territory.”

Advertisements