The resilience shown at the club from the playing group right down to the committee has given Port Macquarie Sharks coach David Geary cause for optimism in 2022.
Geary said their ability to simply get on with the job this season was arguably the highlight of a season punctuated by the pandemic.
"We stuck with it when a lot of things were thrown into the mix," he said.
"We had to overcome a lot of different obstacles throughout the year, but to not at least be able to put a finish to the season is probably the most disappointing part.
"I know the top five clubs are thinking the same thing especially Wauchope being undefeated for the whole year, but I was pretty proud of my team to sit in second spot for the whole year."
The hunger that will drive the Sharks could be the motivating factor that leads them to their first premiership since 2018.
"There is unfinished business, but the players need to take a lot of confidence in themselves out of what's happened this year because hopefully we don't get a season like that again," the coach said.
"Hopefully next year there's definitely not going to be any floods, but hopefully all the COVID stuff is all behind us by then.
"Hopefully it's all smooth sailing for the club and we can rip in and get back to winning premierships because that's what we do best."
A number of players shone for the Sharks in season 2021, but none more so than prop forwards Matt Jones and Lee Price.
"They were our two best players all year; they were exceptional with the workload they got through," Geary said.
Fullback Mitch Wilbow, centre Dylan Adams, wingers Hayden Orley and Hunter Clayworth, halfback Brayden Reid and five-eighth Cuban Piper were also all impressive.
And Geary expects most of them to return next season.
"We're pretty proud of what we accomplished. It's unfinished business for next year."
What else is happening in news, sport?
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: