Harry Wilson picked up straight where he left off as the Queensland Reds broke an 11-game losing run against Alex Newsome's Waratahs to kick-start their Super Rugby AU campaign.
In a pulsating and see-sawing contest, the Reds snuck home 32-26 to record their first win over their long-time rivals since 2013.
One of the form players of the Super Rugby competition when it was abandoned in March, Wilson played a prominent role in the Reds' victory, scoring a try and again providing them with good go-forward.
When the tournament was suspended amid the coronavirus pandemic, the former Gunnedah native had made the most carries, and the second most run metres of any forward across all the teams.
He continued that form at Suncorp Stadium on Friday night with 13 runs for 50m - the most of any of the Reds forwards.
The rookie No.8 also had two tackle busts and was the Reds' top tackler with 11.
Playing their first game in over three months, the Reds side also featuring Inverell's Jock Campbell, jumped out to a 19-7 lead in the first half but two late penalties to Waratahs five-eighth Will Harrison saw the home sides' lead reduced to just six points at the break.
Another penalty early in the second half made it a three point game before Waratahs fullback Jack Maddocks ran a great line and sliced through the Reds defence to put the visitors ahead for the first time in the game.
Wilson then muscled his way over the top of the Waratahs ruck defence to restore the Reds lead with 15 minutes to play.
James O'Connor then stepped up with two late penalties to seal a memorable rugby return for the Reds.
"That was very physical, that was state of origin stuff," Reds captain Liam Wright told media post-match.
Handed the vice-captaincy - his first official leadership role at the organisation, Newsome had some nice touches and was particularly busy early in the game.
The Glen Innes native had seven runs for 49m with three tackle busts.