The sting of defeat will serve as added motivation for Oscar Hunt when he suits up for Central North at this weekend's NSW Country Championships in Tamworth.
The Red Devils winger was last year part of the combined Central North/New England side who were knocked out of Richardson Shield contention by opening game opponents Western Plains, the Plainsmen scoring a fortuitous late try to snatch the win from the Bushrangers' grasp
After finishing up his studies, the 25-year old had recently returned to Gunnedah to take up a job as a maths teacher at Gunnedah High School, and was coaxed into going to Warren by then-fellow Red Devil Joe Hinchey.
"He said he wanted to have a crack at rep, and I said I'd have a go," Hunt said.
He was pretty familiar with the rep environment having played at colts level for both Newcastle Hunter and Central West.
This year when the call went out to play for the Kookaburras, Hunt was happy to put his hand up again.
There were a couple of other Red Devils in the frame but they were forced to withdraw either because of work commitments or injury.
"I'm really excited," Hunt said.
The Kookaburras tackle the Plainsmen at 2.20pm at Scully Park on Saturday, and if victorious will face either New England or Far North Coast on Sunday for the silverware.
Even if they aren't able to turn the tables they will play again on Sunday.
Hunt said that is probably one of the toughest things about the championships - playing two games of footy, and tough footy, in as many days.
Usually you have a week to recover.
"Obviously we know the first game is going to be physical," he said.
"They (Plainsman) are not particularly big but they run hard and are as tough as nails."
"You've got to deal with 80 minutes of people hammering you and then you've got to turn it around and do it all again."
He has been listed as a centre/winger and from what he understands will probably start at outside centre.
"But it is pretty fluid. Everyone can move around," Hunt said.
More noted as a winger - he played there all through his junior days and for most of his senior career - as he has got bigger, stronger and faster he has pushed into the centres a bit more.
Arguably as fit and as strong as he has ever been, Hunt attributes a lot of that to his other sporting vocation - CrossFit, paying credit to CrossFit Gunnedah coaches Josh and Jess Stevenson, as well as Jacob Murray.
"They really push me and get me there to do what I need to do," he said.
He has competed in a few competitions and said it has "been fun". Much like playing footy, you get to go around to different towns and meet people.
Hunt admits that is probably where his intentions more lie now.