Rugby League Mackay and District, just over two weeks ago, publicly affirmed their adamance to return should they be granted one wish... and at the 11th hour, that one wish became a reality.
"It was great news... I don't think many people expected it to be that good," RLMD chair Adam Wright said, reflecting on the Queensland Government's decision yesterday to further ease community sporting venue restrictions from Friday.
The announcement, which also included a fast-track to Stage 3 restrictions, has allowed the RLMD Board to swiftly green-light their proposal to return rugby league to the tropical north from August 1.
Mackay's senior competitions will play as per originally set-out over an eight-week home-and-away season, culminating in a two-week finals series finishing with the big dance on October 3.
Initially, the juniors were only scheduled to play on alternative weekends, but Wright said the proposed change in venue numbers meant more game time for the young up-comers.
"Our original return to play plan had age groups playing on alternate weekends, so over the eight-week period, teams would only play four or five games," Wright said.
"But with the further easing of restrictions, every team will look to play each weekend so teams will get seven or eight games over the shortened season."
The allowance for junior teams to play more games has also put a potential grand final day back on the calendar.
"Our competitions committee meets next Monday night and one of the discussion items will be focusing on whether we are able to play for premierships in the junior League," Wright said.
"So that decision will ultimately be up to that committee and will be high on their agenda list at next week's meeting."
The RLMD Board attributes their return to play success on the clubs' willingness to get footy back in Mackay.
"The support the League has had from our clubs has been second-to-none," Wright said.
"They have played just as much of a role as the League has in getting footy back on the park.
"At the end of the day, we can only run a competition if we've got clubs to put in the competition and there has been really good support from all of our clubs which has been great to see."