It was the Gold Coast reconnaissance mission to make Canberra Stadium coronavirus ready.
Canberra Raiders chief executive Don Furner joined the playing group on the chartered flight on Saturday to get a feel for what will be required when they host St George Illawarra at Canberra Stadium on Thursday night.
Having already extended Origin star Jack Wighton and co-captain Jarrod Croker to long-term deals, Furner won't let the coronavirus stand in the way of doing the same with young gun Nick Cotric.
He'll continue discussions with the Blues winger, who is off contract at the end of the NRL season.
The Raiders are also looking to re-sign veteran Sia Soliola.
"I did speak to [Cotric] during the week, but I haven't caught up with his agent. I'll get onto that," Furner said.
The Raiders are unbeaten going into the Dragons game having accounted for the Gold Coast Titans and New Zealand Warriors.
It will be the first game at Canberra Stadium under COVID-19 protocols, which means the grandstands will be empty.
The Raiders flew in and out of the Gold Coast on an NRL-chartered plane on Saturday and set up camp at Robina Stadium to prepare for the game.
What would normally be a corporate suite had been converted into their home for the day in a set-up similar to what they'd get a hotel when they're on the road.
There were lounges, massage tables, table tennis tables and of course a buffet.
Furner also wanted to see the logistical side of running an empty stadium - security, cleaners and the use of the big screen.
The video screens - including the ACT government's brand-new, $2 million one - are needed so the players can see the various countdown clocks.
He was expecting the ACT government to finalise the stadium costs for the Dragons game early in the week.
"This is why I was interested to come up, to see what they put on here, how many staff they used," Furner said.
"There's a couple of security, there's probably one cleaner, no lights on or anything like that so they're keeping it to the bone.
"We've had a good discussion with them [the government] last week. We're just going to wait for them.
"They'll probably send something through to say this is what the hard cost's going to be and then we'll talk to them during the week and put that in place before the Thursday night game."
The Raiders were full of praise for the New Zealand Warriors and the sacrifices they've made to keep the NRL going.
They've been stuck in Australia since before the opening round and could be forced to spend the entire season away from their Auckland homes.
There has been talk the Warriors might need to loan players from their NRL opponents to bolster their playing stocks, with Raiders forward Jack Murchie someone the Kiwi team was reportedly interested in.
Furner said there were no firm plans in place for such a loan deal.
"I assume we'll get briefed on that at some stage, whether that's a real possibility or whether the Warriors are going to fly some players in and then quarantine them for 14 days and use their own players," he said.
"We're just waiting on that. We've got nothing official like, 'Would you consider releasing player X? And this is how it would work and the salary cap'."
NRL ROUND THREE
Thursday: Canberra Raiders v St George Illawarra Dragons at Canberra Stadium, 8.05pm.
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