Port City Breakers started pre-season training back in January - more than 130 days ago.
But barring a last-minute deluge - which did happen last weekend when players were on the highway to Kempsey - they're appear certain to open their Group 3 rugby league campaign in Tuncurry tomorrow.
The Breakers have already had three false-starts after matches against Wingham, Old Bar and Macleay Valley were washed out.
"It's been the world's longest pre-season," Breakers captain-coach Richie Roberts said.
"You say it every week ... 'everyone is keen to play', but then something happens and it gets called off. We came so close last week. It was heartbreaking, shattering."
And while it appears certain the match with the high-flying Hawks will proceed after being transferred from a waterlogged Regional Stadium, Roberts wasn't getting too carried away.
"I don't want to count anything before we run out," he said.
The Breakers are the only club to have not played a single competitive match so far in 2022. Old Bar and Wingham are the other two, however the Pirates and Tigers did manage to play some sort of pre-season trial.
Wingham went to Dungowan, but only took half a first grade side and Old Bar played Byron Bay in early March.
And while Old Bar have suffered a number of player withdrawals as a result of the Big Wet, Roberts has managed to keep his side together.
"Boys have been losing interest and not not wanting to play, but always getting discouraged when they get a message on a Friday night saying the game has been called off," he said.
"They're just losing all motivation. I think that's what it was, but luckily I've kept them all together and that was our biggest thing ... just stick together and keep training."
Roberts did, however, see a positive outcome from Port City's delayed start to the season.
"It gave us more time to work on some things," he said.
"We started pre-season in January and peaked our fitness for the start of the season (in May) and then they pushed the comp back so we went through the motions at training a bit.
"The last few weeks we picked it back up right for the start of the season."
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