With two smiles and three words, it's suddenly okay for South Sydney Rabbitohs fans to feel all warm and fuzzy about rugby league again.
Returning from an ACL rupture suffered in round one last year, skipper Greg Inglis led the Rabbitohs out in front of a capacity crowd at Glen Willow, much to the delight of the strong Souths contingent on hand for Mudgee's first Charity Shield and, also, one particular teammate.
Close behind him was Englishman Sam Burgess, who was quick to crack a smile Inglis’ way when both found the centre of the ground.
“We were just happy … he said ‘we’re back again’,” Inglis said of the moment he made his return.
Certainly, Inglis is back again.
And, just maybe, so too might Souths be.
Determined to make the 22-18 trial win all about the team, rather than himself, Inglis praised his side’s youth as Souths stunned a Dragons side minus only utility Kurt Mann, who pulled out in the warm-up with a sore calf.
Inglis played the first 20-minute term before coming off and watching the rest of the match – the second half he was dressed in a club polo.
“It’s all about South Sydney moving forward and improving on our performance tonight,” the 2014 premiership winner said, eyeing off his side’s round one clash with the New Zealand Warriors on March 10.
“I’m happy with the young boys coming through.
“They’re buying into our system and they’re buying into what we believe in at South Sydney. That’s the most pleasing thing.”
The Australian and Queensland star played at left centre for new coach Anthony Seibold, while backrower Angus Crichton was also a late inclusion in the Rabbitohs squad.
Crichton scored a try, while Inglis’ return was less instrumental in the win, it will be pivotal for Souths’ 2018 as a whole.
“It felt really good,” Inglis said of his left knee.
“I was planning to have 20 minutes out there but when it got to the 20 minute mark I wanted to go another 20 to half-time, but I’m just thankful we got through that 20.
“It wasn’t decided (that he’d play) until captain’s run on the day, I’ve had a good solid three weeks, coming back, the ACL is a massive injury.”