Maitland Blacks captain Carl Manu scored a last-ditch try to ensure a magical day at Marcellin Park had a fairy tale ending.
From sky divers descending with the game ball to the official naming of the Todd Bowd Pavillion and the return of club favourite Chris Logan - it was all going the Blacks way apart from the score in first grade.
Wanderers had not read the script, but Manu was not going to let the Two Blues spoil the day and his second try, a match-winner shortly before the bell, got the Blacks home with a 21-17 win.
The Blacks trailed 17-14 with time almost up, when the ball was shifted to Manu just inside Wanderers' half.
The block-busting centre stepped off his right foot to fracture the defensive line and then beat three attempted tackles in a 35 metre run to crash over beside the posts.
It was the first time the Blacks had been in front all game.
Wanderers' defence had been outstanding up until when it mattered most.
The Two Blues led 10-0 at half-time, 10-7 early in the second and 17-7 after 55 minutes.
There was a touch of symmetry to Manu scoring the winner with the Maitland skipper accepting the game ball to kick off the season after a spectacular opening ceremony featuring a team of five sky divers.
The team descended onto the Marcellin Park with pinpoint accuracy much to the delight of a big home crowd which was also present for the official naming of the Todd Bowd Pavillion.
But perhaps the best news was the sight of former skipper Chris Logan lining up at fullback after deciding on Thursday to end his code-hopping plans to play rugby league with Kurri Kurri and to return to the Blacks for season 2019.
"It was great to get him back at the club on and off the field. He helps us on the field, but from everyone at the club's perspective it is just great to have a good man like Chris back," coach Matt Thomas said.
"It's a real huge boost for the club."
The news wasn't all good however, with Jye Estatheo popping his shoulder late in his first game back after injury last season and fly-half Pat Batey injuring his ankle.
Batey is likely to miss four weeks and Estaheo could be out for up to six weeks.
Thomas said the effect of a disrupted pre-season was clearly evident with Maitland's putting in a clunky performance.
"I think we were probably three runs short of what we needed before we played. You could see we were very clunky in a lot of things that we were doing," he said.
"We tried, we knew it was going to be clunky because of the number of trials we had, or didn't have.
"When we kept it simple with the passing it worked, but we tried at times to throw the Hail Mary and it came undone.
"Our basic skill levels were poor. We've got a big pack and some very classy backs, but when you can't catch the ball or throw it properly it makes it very difficult.
"We couldn't hold the ball for more than three phases.
"Wanderers defence was fantastic, but we did make it look better with our errors."
However, Taylor was delighted with the team's belief which enabled them to come back and win.
"We really worked hard on our belief, we just stayed calm and we had been working hard on that," he said. "We've been talking about whether we are miles in front, or miles behind we can still win.
"I think it's opened everyone's eyes on exactly where we are in terms of our preparation, but we won it and that's what good teams do.
"We had five debutants yesterday and we knew it wasn't all going to run smoothly, but it was frustrating with the basic skill levels."