With all sport, let alone Rugby League, suspended across the world only the Australians were pushing forward with a full NRL programme albeit behind closed doors.
Starved of live domestic action, we took a look at the Sydney Roosters against Manly Sea Eagles as both sides looked for their first win of the season after suffering defeats on their opening games last weekend.
A decent win could lift either side into the top five, but in a fledgling league table, a heavy defeat could mean that one of them could end the weekend at the bottom.
An early penalty gave the Roosters the first points as Kyle Flanagan slotted the ball between the uprights from close after three minutes, benefitting from an error by Tom Trbojevic as he failed to take a high kick.
On seven the Sea Eagles responded with a Reuben Garrick penalty from just ten metres out for 2-2.
The first four pointer went to Manly with Daly Cherry-Evans the provider, flipping the pass to Tom Trbojevic to crash the Roosters line from ten metres to ground. Garrick was unable to add the conversion.
The Roosters had a try turned down on eighteen for a ball strip and two minutes later a second for a knock-on in the build up.
On twenty-nine the Roosters dominance finally paid dividends when a Luke Keary looping pass found Daniel Tupou in space on the wing to cross in the corner. Flanagan pulled the conversion left of the uprights, the scores tied up at 6-6 going into the interval.
Four minutes after the restart Jake Friend was held up over the line. A minute later Keary had the ball dislodged when all that he had to do was ground, bombing a gilt-edged chance for the Roosters to take the lead.
A try-saving Tom Trbojevic tackle on Brett Morris on fifty-three kept his side level and ten minutes later Garrick kicked a penalty goal the edge the Sea Eagles into a two point lead.
The Roosters response, from the boot of Flanagan, came on sixty-seven to again level the scores.
An attempted Keary drop goal from twenty metres hit the left upright with six minutes remaining, the ball bouncing into Manly hands.
Two minutes later Daly Cherry-Evans was on target with his drop goal to edge his side into a 9-8 lead and they managed to run the clock down to secure the win and a first two points of the season.
Despite, or possibly because of, the low score, this was a thriller of an encounter between two of the big hitters in the NRL. There was plenty of drama, incident and massive hits to keep the exclusively TV audience gripped to the final hooter. It’s the Sea Eagles who get their first win of the season, the Roosters with a lot of work to do.
Roosters: Tedesco, Tupou (T), Morris, Manu, Ikuvalu, Keary, Flanagan (2G), Waerea-Hargreaves, Friend, Taukeiaho, Crichton, Aubusson, Radley. Subs: Vergils, Liu, Collins, Faamausili.
Sea Eagles: Trbojevic T (T), Taufua, Parker, Suli, Garrick (2G), Walker, Cherry-Evans (DG), Fonua-Blake, Levi, Taupau, Thompson, Sironen, Trbojevic J. Subs: Croker, Keppie, Boyle, Olakau’atu.
Referees: Cummins & Sharpe.