High-profile code-hopper Karmichael Hunt says it felt "amazing" to play his first rugby league game for Brisbane after more than 4200 days, despite the Broncos going down 38-16 to Canberra.
The 34-year-old was involved in several attacking and defensive plays and enjoyed 29 possessions, 20 passes, nine tackles and four kicks as he took to the field for Brisbane for the first time since 2009.
The talented five-eighth became a household name after switching to play in the AFL in 2011, and then to rugby union for the Queensland Reds in 2015.
He said it was a privilege to pull on the Broncos jersey again.
"Amazing, it was a good experience, I just wanted to soak it all in," Hunt said after the match.
"If you'd have asked me a couple of months ago if I was going to put another Broncos jersey on I would've said you're crazy."
Hunt admitted he was not sure what to expect after coming back into the NRL after an almost 12-year hiatus.
"It's always nice to get the first one under the belt, and to run out was a good experience," he said
"The game is a lot quicker than what is was before."
Unfortunately, the much-anticipated comeback was soured as the Broncos were easily defeated by the Raiders on a chilly night in the national capital.
"It wasn't the night we wanted [but] I got through," he said.
Hunt's comeback also impressed Broncos coach Kevin Walters.
"(It's) pretty tough for him coming into the side when we're not going so well," Walters said.
"He did his job well. Defensively he was OK, and he kicked the ball and organised well - probably a pass mark for him."
Hunt came through the game unscathed but admitted he would be feeling the effects for a few days.
"I'm pretty sore," he said. "I dare say I'll be a lot more tighter than some of these younger guys.
"But I got through injury-free and I'm obviously better for a run."
Walters said the Broncos were struggling to find form and "weren't good enough" at the moment.
While Hunt agreed with his coach, he said the team needed to keep their heads up.
"Something we've been really pushing over the last week is to remain positive," he said.
"We're obviously not where we want to be but we've got to look on the bright side and have a growth mindset."
Australian Associated Press