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Interstate rivalry returns following successful Murri and Koori carnivals

A State of Origin type atmosphere is expected when the winners of the Murri Carnival and Koori Knockout tournaments go head-to-head next year.

As part of a rejuvenated 2023 Arthur Beetson Queensland Aboriginal and Islander Health Council Murri v The Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council Koori Interstate Rugby League Challenge, the winning men’s, women’s, boys and girls teams from this year’s carnivals will face off in late January next year for bragging rights.

Brisbane Natives took out the women’s title for the third straight year in the Murri Carnival after defeating the Joan Smith Memorial team and captain Patrice Chambers said it was always “heaps of fun” to be involved in Queensland’s biggest Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander rugby league carnival.

“The Murri Carnival is always heaps of fun; it’s so good to catch up with your mob and playing back in Redcliffe was even better,” Chambers said. “Playing in the stadium was such an awesome experience.

“Players young and old get to be involved, and the best part of it is, it brings families and communities together.”

For Chambers, the chance to feature in the women’s interstate match-up – which is slated to take place in Queensland in late January next year – was a huge bonus.

Women's teams in action during the 2022 Queensland Murri Carnival at Redcliffe. Photo: Erick Lucero / QRL
Women's teams in action during the 2022 Queensland Murri Carnival at Redcliffe. Photo: Erick Lucero / QRL

The side will face Dunghutti Connexions who beat Newcastle Yowies to top the Koori Knockout women’s competition, with former Jillaroos Simone Smith and Nakia Davis-Welsh amongst the talents in the team.

“I know the men’s teams have had that opportunity, but I haven’t seen a women’s Interstate Challenge before. I am honestly so excited for it,” the Wynnum Manly Seagulls BMD Premiership hooker said.

“The talent that comes from both of these carnivals is insane. I am hoping it will be live streamed or televised so that more Indigenous players to get exposure and take their game to the next level.

“It will be massive.”


Emotions are high as the 2022 KKO champions celebrate their victory and hard work 🏆 #KooriKnockout #KKO

Posted by NITV on Monday, October 3, 2022

In its 50-year celebration, the Koori Knockout again attracted some of the best talent in the game including Cody Walker and Rugby League World Cup bound stars Latrell Mitchell and Josh Addo Carr.

Mitchell’s team the Walgett Aboriginal Connection were pipped by the Newcastle All Blacks in the men’s final, meaning the All Blacks will now face off against Queensland winners Erub United who proved too good for Coastal Blacks, with Northern Pride star Julian Christian (main image) winning player of the final.

The team, which represents islands in the Torres Strait, also featured the talents of fellow Pride player and former NRL representative Gideon Gela-Mosby and former Rooster Bernard Lewis, as well as try scoring whiz Jono Reuben who made his NRL debut with St George Illawarra Dragons earlier this season.

Acknowledgement of Country

Queensland Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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