THE NZ Warriors came, they saw, conquered, lost and left after 148 days on Australian soil.
It was a rocky start for the team as the NRL season hung in the balance with borders closed and tough COVID-19 restrictions in force.
Until Tamworth came to the rescue and offered up Scully Park as a second home.
Warriors chief executive Cameron George said he already has the city in his sights if the team needs to come back under the same circumstances next year.
"It's been interesting to say the least," he said.
"It was tough, challenging, exciting and rewarding but we are grateful to get them home.
"I haven't underestimated the impact of the Tamworth experience on this group."
The team left Australia on Monday and finished tenth on the ladder after they ended their run with a win against Manly on Sunday.
When the players arrived in May, the reality of months without seeing family and training in an entirely new setting was tough, Mr George said.
"We were pretty well homeless when in five minutes we pulled together Wests with Rod Laing and Kevin Anderson," he said.
"It provided us with a welcoming home for our players who needed a place that would give them comfort and support - Tamworth gave us that in every regard.
"The experience in Tamworth allowed them to regroup, train properly and have confidence to get through this."
With new coach Nathan Brown, the Warriors look forward to a competitive season in 2021.
Preparations are already underway with Tamworth Wests Entertainment Group chief executive Rod Laing to host the club the next time around if coronavirus restrictions remain in place.
Mr George said the players would have loved to have brought their families this year but unfortunately were unable.
"We're going to get the players back to New Zealand for 14 days in isolation, then the Kiwi-based players will go on extended leave, have a bit of fun with their families and we'll decide mid-November what plan to roll out," he said.