Many of those streaming through the gates had turned up to see the Joel Monaghan show.
They wanted to see if the former NSW Blues and Australian Kangaroos flyer still had it at the ripe old age of 37.
Instead his centre partner Jake Wheeler hijacked the lead role with three tries in eight minutes to set up the Queanbeyan Blues' resounding 42-22 Canberra Raiders Cup win over the West Belconnen Warriors at Kippax Oval on Sunday.
Wheeler's stunning return to form following a knee injury that ruined his 2018 campaign was a welcome sight for Blues captain-coach Terry Campese, who has long had him pegged for bigger things.
"I've been waiting for Wheels actually, he has been coming back from a big injury last year and hadn't really found his feet as yet, but he definitely turned one on," Campese said.
"A big thing is just confidence with people coming back from big injuries. Hopefully that kickstarts his season. He has got the belief from us and his teammates which is great to see, and big Monners was asking questions about him.
"He is a player I think could easily play higher representative football, but he has just been unlucky with selections and stuff over time. It's good to see him back at his best for us.
"We experimented last year putting him in the centres, I think he only played four games and won centre of the year. One on one he is hard to contain, so that is definitely the position for him."
So that's that - but Wheeler's permanent shift into the centres left Campese searching for a fullback to fill the void, and he found it in rugby convert Matt Cole.
He defused Brent Crisp's bombs and Bobby Roberts' roosts to get Queanbeyan's sets off to a flyer, and front-rower James Antonio picked it up from there with an outstanding showing.
Then there was emerging star Jack Williams impressing on debut - a milestone that would have come last year had he not been too young for first grade.
But it was always going to be the wily veteran that set tongues wagging, and Monaghan didn't disappoint.
"With his first touch of the game I think he scored, so he is after a week off training now," Campese said.
"It's always great when you get players like that to come back. Some people think they're just there to take the piss but he put everything into it, so I definitely couldn't ask for more.
"There's still passion there, but the old fella is limping around now. He'll be good for the run.
"I've been chatting him up since last season and he finally agreed last week. When I let the boys know in the sheds at training on Tuesday, there was a bit of a cheer.
"It was a great response and [proof] we just made the right call."
AT A GLANCE
Canberra Raiders Cup round four: QUEANBEYAN BLUES 42 (J Wheeler 3, J Monaghan, J Hitchins, N Halalilo, S Fetuanitries; T Campese 7 goals) bt WEST BELCONNEN WARRIORS 22 (B Crisp, A McDonald, J Roberts, R Roberts tries; B Crisp 3 goals) at Kippax Oval.