Konrad Hurrell scored an important try as the World All Stars defeated the Australian Indigenous All Stars 12-8 in front of almost 40,000 fans in Brisbane last night.
Warrior Hurrell, playing in the centers, scored the first touchdown of the game and afterwards Indigenous All Stars captain Greg Inglis criticised Todd Greenberg's comments about the future of the All Stars event.
In front of 37,339 thrilled fans at Suncorp Stadium, the future of the All Stars was surely confirmed.
It was a brutal clash, with players steamrolled, crunched and in one frightening moment tipped on their head.
Greg Bird's face was opened up in a sickening head clash.
From the War Dance onwards, it was clear the game truly meant something.
World All Stars captain Cameron Smith even opted to take a kick for goal from a penalty in the second half as his team eventually won 12-8.
Inglis was blunt post-match, stating the game had to remain on rugby league's increasingly packed calendar.
The usually reserved star even voiced frustration that NRL head of football Greenberg had said the game's future was in doubt a week before the event.
"It was unfortunate that the comments came out before this week started," Inglis said.
"I think they should have waited until after the week to be quite honest.
"Talking to the boys all week they really enjoy it. The crowd that turned out tonight... I mean I couldn't really things out on the field.
"This is a great concept."
Wayne Bennett said the NRL would be foolish to cut the game adrift.
"It is a pretty brave organisation that can say 37,000-odd people aren't wanted," Bennett said.
Indigenous All Stars coach Laurie Daley said he would sit down with the NRL to explain why the event had to stay.
"We will be pretty vocal in our thoughts about keeping this game alive and make sure it is played every year," he said.
"I think if you took it to North Queensland you would get a full stadium and at Canberra you would get a full stadium.
"There's a lot of places you can take it."
In a tight but fast-paced opening 40 minutes, the crowd were delighted with a series of monster hits before the game opened up with tries to Hurrell and Indigenous forward Leilani Latu.
The World All Stars threatened to run away with the game early in the second half when underrated Canberra centre Jarrod Croker threw a sublime flick pass for Semi Radradra to score.
However, the Indigenous team dominated the next 15 minutes and were only down 12-4 heading into the final quarter in front of a crowd that were desperate for them to win.
Dane Gagai then scored from a beautiful Jamie Soward cut-out pass to bring the Indigenous team within four points.
However, they couldn't finish off several line breaks in the last 10 minutes and ultimately the World All Stars won 12-8.