This article first appeared on sbs.com.au/NITV.
A host of retired stars lined up for the inaugural Legends match, with the Arthur Beetson All Stars taking on the Brisbane Broncos Old Boys at Dolphin Stadium in Redcliffe on Thursday.
Thousands took to the stands to see the likes of Petero Civoniceva, Tonie Caroll and PJ Marsh return to the field.
"They still look a little bit fit, even though they retired from the game years ago," laughs injured Rabbitohs star and Deadly Choices ambassador Greg Inglis, who watched on from the sideline.
"It’s great to see that carnivals like this still exist," he says.
"It’s great to bring all the people and the mob together. You catch up with family that you don’t see the majority of the year – but one thing you can count on is these carnivals."
The Broncos side ultimately gave the All Stars a touch-up, with a convincing 32-12 win after two 25-minute halves.
The Legends match officially opened the four-day carnival, which draws around 20,000 spectators from across Queensland.
More than 1300 players and a record 53 teams have signed on for this year's event, with players hailing from as far as the Torres Strait and Mt Isa.
"A lot of us boys grew up together and played footy together," says Nathan Hughes, who is lining up with the South East Queensland Indigenous All Stars at the carnival.
"It’s bringing different boys from different areas and communities together and making them just one, just brothers I guess."
All players must have a health check before taking the field. Juniors need a 90 per cent school attendance rate, and adults must be enrolled to vote.
The Murri Carnival wraps up on September 23, less than a week before the start of the Koori Knockout on Friday, September 29.
Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter using #KooriKnockout.
All the action from the Koori Knockout 2017 will be broadcast online NITV Facebook 29th Sept - 2nd October (Friday to Monday) and on-air on Channel 34 & Foxtel 144 1st- 2nd October (Sunday & Monday). Catch up with all the action via SBS On Demand after the broadcast.