OK - the empty stadiums are weird and the fake crowd noise is divisive. But how about the footy? Brilliant, especially after a few rule tweaks.
So rather than worry about the canned murmuring and whether it worked or it didn't work, let's focus on what we learnt about the NRL restart on Thursday night: small variations make a big difference.
The sample size is small and we'll have to wait until the end of the weekend at least to find out how coaches can exploit the changes made to speed up rugby league.
The overwhelming feeling after game one of the relaunch, however, was the changes made were for the better. Complaining about artificial crowd noise is better than complaining about "six again".
Competitions all over the world are trialing new things. The Danish soccer league has installed video screens around the field, allowing fans to dial in so it looks as though they're sitting on the side of the pitch.
There are cardboard cutouts being sold, the Broncos had a "drive-in" screen set up for fans to gather in their cars and we're getting a snapshot into lounge rooms around Australia.
All of that is good, but knowing on-field changes can make sports a better product is the reason rugby union ears pricked up on Friday morning.
Australian rugby has been chained to European and South African powers for far too long, limiting the changes that can be made in one of the most competitive sporting markets in the world.
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Michael Cheika, for example was banging on about a scrum shot clock back in 2013 (after a loss to the ACT Brumbies), but we're still wondering today why referees allow set-piece resets to chew up so much game time.
The hope is an Australian domestic competition, with a schedule to be potentially unveiled next week, will have the freedom to make those tweaks. But it does come with a warning: "We don't want to mess with the fabric of the game," said Brumbies coach Dan McKellar.
McKellar and his Australian counterparts have been meeting to discuss potential changes in the new-look competition to make the game more appealing to fans. But we're talking tinkering, not removing two players and introducing a set of six tackles.
World Rugby has approved 10 potential law variations for individual unions to introduce at their own discretion - things like an "orange card", fewer people in a maul, goal-line drop-outs and cutting scrum resets.
"You don't want to take away from the scrum contest, but can we limit resets? We don't want to muck around with the fabric of the game - that's contest for possession and a position in rugby for all shapes and sizes," McKellar said.
"The last thing we want to do is de-power and devalue a scrum, then have eight back-rowers running around. It's about understanding Super Rugby is about developing players for the international game.
"Being OK [in Australia] with not throwing a lineout straight - that's setting hookers up to fail.
"When any sport becomes too defence orientated, you need to look at how it's being played. Rugby is certainly defensive now compared to 20 years ago. With the slight changes in rugby league ... to create more fatigue and open up the game, it was a different game."
So there was more to take out of rugby league than the lack of crowds, the temperature tests and coronavirus-forced changes.
The virus lockdown has given every code a chance to rethink their on-field product and how they value their fans.
Both the Brumbies and Canberra Raiders have been hosting member forum nights to give fans interaction with players and coaches at a time when they can't even attend games.
Why does that have to stop when the government restrictions ease? Obviously it doesn't and it may be the new norm, which could help in building supporter bases.
The easy option on Thursday night was to whinge about the crowd noise. At some point we'll whinge about a bad one-referee decision or a six-again call. But if ever it was the time to try something new, this is it.