IT wouldn't have felt like it at the time, but The Rock-Yerong Creek's loss to Charles Sturt University in the qualifying final sent them on the path to a third straight premiership.
Their only defeat of the season sharpened the Magpies up mentally, forced them to refocus and it culiminated in a dominant 48-37 Farrer League grand final win over the Bushsows on Saturday.
With shooters Caren Hugo and player of the match Lily Wild dominant and benefiting from a number of turnovers forced, the Magpies built a 25-14 halftime lead and were never threatened.
It's the first time the club has won three straight A grade netball titles and captain Emily O'Leary said the loss to the Bushsows gave them the desire to defend their title.
"We knew we could do it but it gave us that bit more hunger in our bellies to work hard," O'Leary said.
"The belief was always there, we just knew we had to work hard and start fast, and that's what got us over the line.
"(Had we beat CSU in the qualifying final) it would have meant us playing two games in five weeks, including the grand final.
"I think it was meant to be, I'm a big believer in everything happens for a reason."
TRYC coach Sarah O'Leary said they were determined to start early to shatter any belief CSU had generated from that win and did just that by racing to a 5-1 lead.
"At training we'd been working on starting strong in the first quarters, we knew that's what we had to do and that's what we did," she said.
"We attacked really well, our shooters shot amazing, and our defensive pressure down the court was really good and forced turnovers.
"We've got such a bond in our team and we're all so close."
Wild has been with the club for their past two premierships after shifting from Collingullie-Glenfield Park.
"I feel like Caren (Hugo) and I have jelled well all season and I think our accuracy today was our best yet," Wild said.
"I think we really needed the loss, it helped us get back up and regroup. Going into the grand final undefeated would have been stressful."
One of the first people Sarah thought of when the final whistle blew was her father, Mark, a Magpies football legend who passed away in 2013.
After a brief stint with North Wagga, the O'Leary sisters returned to the Magpies to lead them to three premierships.
"I know how proud he'd be of me, Emily and the club, he absolutely loved The Rock so much and I know he'd love us winning three flags and winning here for him," Sarah said.
"If I"m ever feeling tired I think lets' push for Dad, I know he's watching'. It's a really nice thing."