In the build up to North Tamworth's trial match against Aberdeen on Saturday, veteran Bears forward Shane Wadwell vented over the late start to the season, saying: "I don't really like it."
Perhaps there was an element of Norths champing at the bit, in anticipation of the season commencing, that contributed to their mugging of 2018 Group 21 grand finalists Aberdeen at Jack Woolaston Oval.
Fielding a near full-strength side, including key new signings, centre Andrew Moodie and second-rower Josh Schmiedel, the Bears won 54-22. They led 44-6 at halftime.
Ahead of Norths' season-opener against Werris Creek on May 5, Bears captain-coach Scott Blanch was a satisfied man after Saturday's win.
What pleased him most was the side's strong execution of his game plan: eat metres up the middle before looking for weaknesses on the edges.
On the surface, he said, it was a "pretty simple" game plan but "executing it is a different thing".
"We rolled forward and played off the back of that - got to our edges," he said of Saturday's performance.
"I think that's what we do best - that's our style of footy ... I'm pleased with our forward pack and the way we went forward.
"[We are] just looking to carry that momentum from the trial .. into round one."
Norths have welcomed back this year key forwards Brock Wadwell and Alec Cocking, who both missed last season due to personal reasons.
Wadwell, younger brother of Shane, was once described by fellow rake Callum Hayne as one of the three most dangerous players in the competition.
We rolled forward and played off the back of that - got to our edges.Scott Blanch
"Brocky's back," Blanch said, adding that the former starting hooker has "been working hard".