It was a comfortable March night. The day had been a warm 26 degrees but with the sun dipping below the horizon, the temperature dropped to a comfortable 20 degrees by kick off.
It was short sleeve weather and Bankwest Stadium was packed to witness the start of the 2020 NRL season. The Parramatta Eels would take on traditional rivals the Canterbury Bulldogs in a slugfest that would see the blue and gold emerge victorious 8-2.
But what everyone in that crowd of 21,363 wasn’t to know, was just what lay around the corner for the rest of the year.
The pandemic had first been detected in late 2019 and became headline news in January 2020. Cases began to filter around the world throughout the end of summer and while numbers began to steadily rise in February in the US and cases were detected in Australia, there was a form of nonchalance around society at the time.