Zeb Taylor has been sent off in style - his funeral on Friday followed by a clash between his beloved Kangaroos and a rampant Bulldogs at a sun-smacked No 1 Oval on Saturday.
And although the Roos did not get the upset win, in what was a memorial match in honour of their late president and player, it kind of mattered not.
With 11 retired or part-time Tamworth players featuring in the clash, in a mark of respect for Taylor, who died from injuries sustained in a motorcycle accident on July 17, a jovial atmosphere rippled among the Roos after a healthy crowd had assembled.
As Taylor's tragic death so profoundly illustrated, there are some things that transcend sport.
The final score was 26.20 (178) to 2.5 (17).
Roos coach and president Brett Douglas "congratulated" the 11 players who returned for the match.
He said the funeral featured "a few good stories" about Taylor, a 39-year-old married father of a young daughter.
Taylor was a very popular character at the Kangaroos, and was remembered as a genuine and caring man who loved a good time.
"[It was] pretty much the true spirit for Zeb, like the man he was," Douglas said of the funeral.
He labelled Gunnedah "a class outfit". "They've set the bar very high. Their skills are very good. They've picked up a lot of good players: they stand out."
The Kangaroos, he said, had "a really young side" and were going through a rebuilding phase.
Gunnedah have amassed 323 points in winning their first three matches of the season, and conceded just 82, while the Roos slumped to their second-straight loss (they called off their first-round match on July 18 due to Taylor's death).
Gunnedah's lethal new signing, Victorian Jaydon Stiles, booted eight majors, while Andy Mack kicked seven.
The Bulldogs are red-hot favourites to win back-to-back premierships and their third title in four years.
Their blistering form is a statement that reads: "Stop us if you can."