A little more than seven months ago Brad McCarroll inspired his Wellington side to a remarkable win over Molong in the then GrainCorp Cup's northern division preliminary final, effectively kicking his side to the 2018 decider.
It was the man-of-the-match effort that had tongues around the Central West Rugby Union waging.
On Saturday, though, at Wellington in round one of the new season, McCarroll was again brilliant in the new Oilsplus Cup but it was a far tougher and more well-rounded Redbacks that came away with a 28-12 victory over the Magpies.
The red and whites played the possession game to perfection, biding their time and refusing to panic with Molong briefly found a 7-6 lead at the start of the second half.
I think we can definitely improve ... we're trying to go one better.Wellington captain Keiran Brien.
That patience and ball control helped the Wellington boys run in three tries in the space of 13 minutes late at Biccentennial Park to come away from round one unscathed and looking every bit a side capable of going one step further than their runners-up finish last winter.
Redbacks skipper Keiran Brien believes a more experience Wellington machine is primed to challenge Oilsplus Cup kings Geurie in 2019.
And coming out on top against Molong, a tough side always at the pointy end of the third tier premiership ladder, adds further weight to that credence.
"I think we can definitely improve ... we're trying to go one better," the victorious No.10 said.
"Being our first game, we didn't know what to expect we just stuck to the basics.
"We always knew we'd have a target on our back. There were a few tussles but we expected it.
"We have that with Molong and Geurie, it's good to have those rivalries."
Wellington enjoyed the weight of possession during the first term and although Molong was able to repel a lot of the Redbacks' attack a 10-3 penalty count in favour of the hosts made wrestling back any momentum near impossible.
McCarroll's right boot nailed his first two shots at goal for a 6-0 lead, the margin at the break, before the Magpies swooped early in the new stanza.
The mid-field paring of Isaac White and Hugh Westcott combined for the game's opening five-pointer, the latter diving over near the posts four minutes into the second half to hand Molong a 7-6 advantage.
McCarroll's radar was faultless all game and a gift three points nudged his side back to a 9-7 lead before fatigue finally hit the Magpies.
Matt Watson scored first for the hosts, off a well-worked attacking set piece close to the line, before Mitch Budge and Mitch Brien crossed within three minutes of each other to rocket the Redbacks to a 28-7 lead.
To be honest, I think we got ourselves. We just gave away too many penalties.Molong skipper Josh Peffer.
Molong half Mitch Browne crossed late in the piece to reduce the margin to 16 points, but it was only ever a consolation.
"We sort of just kept rolling with the momentum. We had them in their own half for most the game, it was good to crack the line at the end," Brien added.
Molong skipper Josh Peffer said the sheer amount of defence the Magpies had to do throughout the first 60 minutes of the opening round paid a toll late in the game.
The Magpies were on the end of a 15-9 penalty count, too, but Peffer said that was because his side was a little too eager early in the season.
The experienced No.8, who was his side's best on Saturday, says the Magpies will regroup during a round two bye and ramp up their 2019 season from round three.
"The grand final, that's the aim," Peffer said.
"To be honest, I think we got ourselves. We just gave away too many penalties.
"It was a tough one but Wellington is the side to beat this year, there's no question ... 28-12, maybe they should have been better," he smiled.
- WELLINGTON REDBACKS 28 (Matt Watson, Mitch Budge, Mitch Brien tries; Brad McCarrol conv, Mitch Budge conv; Brad McCarroll 3 pen goals) def MOLONG MAGPIES 12 (Hugh Westcott, Mitch Browne tries; Mitch Browne conv)