There we were, a few thousand people at Robertson Oval two Saturdays ago - and twice as many again on the Sunday - taking in the sight of some of the best footballers in the country.
Richmond got rolled by Greater Western Sydney in the AFL Women's game and the AFL pre-season fixture.
But all four teams should have fond memories of Wagga, their last game in front of a crowd for the foreseeable future.
Who, there and then, could imagine what was about to unfold?
AN EERIE WEEK
Two weeks on, community and school sport has been brought to a virtual standstill as Australia comes to grips with the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.
The NRL and AFL are playing in front of empty stadiums. But at least they're playing.
"It was great to have the footy back," Mater Dei Catholic College sports coordinator Nathan Irvine said on Friday.
"At least it gave everyone something to talk about. That was a nice change after a week of talking about coronavirus."
"It felt a little bit normal again."
Irvine is the first to admit it's been a confronting week. First and foremost, it's about reassuring everyone that, on the advice available, school is the best and safest place for school kids. But it's been a week of questions from students and adjustments by staff. And in a city like Wagga, school without sport isn't normal.
"I think what's surprising to some, especially the kids, is how much they miss it," Irvine says.
"How many opportunities there are (when sport is on); how important it is. You can sense a little bit more tension around the place, not being able to get out and blow off that steam.
"You see how important it is to find another way to do it when we can't play our normal sports, definitely."
Nathanael Mooney understands it on two levels: as a sports nut, and as school captain.
"It's a tough one because it's out of our control. But it is important that we come together as a community," Mooney says.
"It is different to every other year I've been at school, I know that. There's a feeling of uncertainty. We don't know what the next day brings or what next week looks like.
"But a positive attitude is what's going to keep everyone going - looking forward to what's at the end of this uncertainty."
Mooney has already featured in first grade Australian rules, cricket and rugby union. He was hoping this was his year to have a real crack at the Brumbies. That's up in the air. But the lessons he's learnt in sport aren't a bad guide for dealing with a setback.
"One hundred percent. As you start to go higher up in grades, the challenge becomes a lot harder and this is nothing different - it's a challenge that, as an individual, you have to overcome," Mooney says.
"We'll have to find different ways... I always thrive on the adrenaline boost. You build up all week and hit Saturday all guns blazing. That's gone for now.
"But everyone will find something else to look forward to, and just have to hope that it's not for a long period of time."
OUT OF SORTS
Ganmain-Grong Grong-Matong president Jason Hamblin, wife Kellie, and their children are like so many others in the Riverina, for whom sport provides the rhythm of weekly life.
There are now daily holes in diaries, huge gaps on weekends and a coming-to-terms process.
"I'm lost," Chloe, 19, says. "We're all lost without sport. There isn't a day we don't have something on."
Chloe's studying teaching and coaches the Lions' A Reserve netball side.
Matt, 17, and Abbey, 15, are both at The Riverina Anglican College, where, ordinarily, they'll get involved in every sport available at school.
Abbey is big on netball, Aussie rules, running and triathlon.
Matt was focussing on footy, in the GWS Giants Academy system and hoping to put his best foot forward for a shot at draft selection. Now, no-one knows what's on next month, let alone next year.
Right now, they say helping at home and focussing on schoolwork can fill some gaps. But not all.
For Jason, it's like a bad dream come true.
"We used to wish for a month without sport. You've got to be careful what you wish for. A few weeks ago, we had the kids in Geelong, Sydney and Newcastle... this weekend, my wife's got six or seven jobs lined up. I think, please, bring sport back!"
It's a shock to the family routine, but they know the real impact is far broader.
"Country footy is a community. I feel isolated in a sense that I'm not coming to training to see guys and talk football," Jason says.
"And to tell people there's possibly no football season, it's tough on them. That's when our community goes out, that's the outlet for farmers. It's devastating.
"But we'll work out how to keep everyone up. From here on in, it's going to be a mental game. They've got to keep themselves on track and hopefully there'll be footy in June."
The AFL has put a stop to all community football until the end of May. It's about health and safety in communities, as well as playing a lead role in a society-wide adjustment to the COVID-19 threat.
"I feel sorry for the kids and our players. They all look forward to it," Jason says.
"But when something's taken away, all of a sudden their hunger improves."
TIES THAT BIND
Wagga Kangaroos president, Peter Hurst, says that support for each other is what's important within rugby league clubs too, in the wake of the NSW Rugby League's decision to halt their games until at least the start of May.
"For us, it's all about momentum and motivation. In all sport, everything's a challenge. It's about keeping the cohort together. Away from fitness and skills, it's camaraderie and we've got to keep that going," Hurst says.
"We're a family club, it's an extended family and we've got to look after each other."
Hurst says if the whirlwind of the last week has taught us anything, it's about having the right mindset.
That means not taking sport for granted, maintaining a sense of belonging and looking after sponsors, supporters and each other.
Group Nine will meet again on Sunday to discuss draws and possibilities. But the reality is the future remains uncertain.
"We've got a big focus at the club on our juniors and giving them the opportunity to play grade footy ... but it's also about being mates and making mates for life," he says.
"There's a bit of a hole there at the moment but we'll look back in years to come and I think it'll be a blip on the radar. It's all about staying positive and pushing forward...
"We've developed an individual program that we've put out so they can work on their fitness. Team training has been banned from NSWRL so we've just got to work harder and smarter to achieve what we want. We want to ensure that we're prepped and in a good position... rolling into when the comp does start."
'A WAY OF LIFE'
For experienced East Wagga-Kooringal coach Matt Hard, sport has been the outlet from school or work for as long as he can remember.
"I started playing footy when I was five years old. I've had a few injuries but this is completely different. No footy? For me, it's a way of life and it's not there any more, to an extent.
"I've got my two daughters playing netball at East Wagga, my son plays footy at East Wagga. My wife enjoys spending a day at the footy. That's just our family and there's a lot of families who are in the same boat.
"Where do you go? I don't know how many times you can mow the lawns or prune the roses. But we're going to have to adapt and find ways around it."
Hard makes clear that coronavirus is Australia's big concern, not sport. But it's hard not to be a little disheartened.
"You're at this stage of the season where we've prepared pretty well, we think we've recruited pretty well and the boys are in a good frame of mind. All of a sudden to say you can't do it anymore, it's a tough one," he says.
Like every club in Australia, there's the need to prepare but also maintain morale in an era of strange concepts like social distancing, self-isolation, and essential or non-essential gatherings.
"That's the immediate challenge because if everyone goes their own separate ways, you lose that connection, it's very hard to get back," Hard says.
"It does go to show what a big part to play sport has in our lives. It is a religion to people to an extent. It's where you spend the winter. People spent five months talking about this season and looking forward to the next six months."
Marrar's Shane Lenon is an opposing Farrer League coach but they're on the same page on this one.
Both have pre-season preparations that have gone out the window weeks before what should have been a season. And there are players to support.
"You certainly do that," Lenon says. "Obviously we're not allowed to train, so getting together isn't going to happen but staying in contact. In regards to the footy, we've put a program together for the players to stick to.
"You've got to train and keep doing everything as though the footy's going to start after the 31st May. There's a chance it won't happen but you can't do nothing for eight weeks, then wait and see."
Both coaches know sports clubs don't exist in a bubble. And they also know what success looks like. Maybe it's our clubs who can teach the rest of the world something.
"I've been around footy long enough to know one sure way to stuff things up is to panic," Lenon says.
"This is the cards we've been dealt. We can't do anything about what's happened. You've got to try to keep living your life, stay positive, and if you can help someone else along the way - do that.
"But don't panic. It'll pass. It's not ideal and we still don't know if there will be footy. But my approach is there will be footy and you've got to keep living your life. You can't curl up in a ball and do nothing."
Football Wagga development officer Kyle Yeats is still getting his head around it after their national body suspended all grassroots soccer until mid-April, at least.
It was no fun to tell young Wagga City Wanderers.
"On Tuesday at training, you could see all the hearts break when we told them there was nothing for at least the next few weeks. They didn't know what to do with themselves," Yeates says.
"It's going to be difficult. You spend hours a week at training together and now we sit at home and hardly see each other. It's weird.
"But we're going to put out a few challenge videos on social media, to get kids to do a few things. There's plenty they can do at home."
One of his first big days in the job was a massive mini-Matildas and mini Socceroos event recently, with numbers in the thousands.
That would be unheard of now. Illegal in fact.
For Yeates, whose days have previously been filled with coaching and training, there's far too much time for planning. It hit home on Friday.
"It kind of felt normal until today and now thinking, you don't have to go anywhere tomorrow. I don't really have anything else to do!" Yeates says.
"Sport takes you to a different world, almost. You can completely forget about everything else.
"Next week, with a full week off, it's going to be surreal.
"I've never experienced anything like this. It's weird."
Nathan Rose is in his first year as coach of Southcity.
But his day job helps retain a sense of perspective. Working with students in the Clontarf Foundation program at Mt Austin High School, he knows attitude is everything.
"You've got to turn a negative into a positive. School has to be a safe place for our kids, it's a happy place to come," Rose says.
At the Bulls, he's facing a challenge no coach has experience in. But he'll take the same approach, and keep a firm focus on his players' fitness to play, if and when there is a season.
"First and foremost is that footy's getting pushed back. Group Nine has a proposed date but whether it does happen, it depends, it could get pushed back further," Rose says.
"We've spent the last six or eight weeks building a foundation, fitness-wise, so the key thing is making sure that we still have something to do training-wise.
"It's definitely a different situation that I wasn't preparing for. It will get hard at some point, I imagine... but you've just got to try to dig deep."
That's what Mater Dei Catholic College's Nathan Irvine will be encouraging his students to do.
"Most mornings they've got lots of questions about the uncertainty - are schools going to close? What's going to happen if they do? The senior students asking what does it mean for them," Irvine says.
"We've got some kids who have negative outcomes, a kid like Jamie Mooney who missed his chance to swim at nationals, which he's been training really hard for.
"But we're working out 'What's the positive?' For some it might mean they can get in the gym a bit more and work on their strength, or work on their fitness. Once footy season starts you sometimes struggle to do those things so they might get a few months that they can go and hit the gym, or do it at home.
"It might be something they can work on and use as an opportunity rather than see it as an inconvenience."
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