As Shaun Johnson walked towards the eastern grandstand at Mt Smart near the end of Sunday's game against the Wests Tigers, the capacity crowd went nuts.
With the result confirmed following Jesse Arthars' 75th minute try, the Warriors playmaker felt a huge outpouring of emotion as he lined up the late sideline conversion.
"They all just stood up and I gave them a little acknowledgement and they were all just going crazy," said Johnson. "Then I remembered I had to kick the goal. Luckily I got it, then I turned around and they were just going off."
Johnson has enjoyed plenty of magical episodes as a Warrior over the years but game No. 176 will live long in the memory.
This season hasn't gone to plan – for player or club - but Sunday was a reminder of the good old days, with a packed house riding every moment.
"It's a big reason why you love representing this club," said Johnson. "We have been saying to the Aussie boys 'just wait till we get home'. Obviously it has been a long time coming but they got something that they will be able to savour for the rest of their careers. It was interesting talking to a few that haven't been here, they said 'it just feels right."
Sunday was particularly significant for Johnson, after his dramatic – and still inexplicable - exit at the end of the 2018 season.
"It was something that I thought I would never get to experience again," said Johnson, as he enjoyed a drink with teammates while watching his daughter Millah run around the Warriors gym.
Johnson has been part of numerous monumental occasions, including an NRL grand final and high profile test matches, but Sunday was comparable with anything previous.
"It was probably a bit more emotional - if anything," said Johnson.
The 31-year-old had been nervous leading in – "it showed me that the occasion was pretty big, told me that I was definitely ready" – then excited as the team waited in the tunnel, replicating the dramatic entry of 1995.
"We could hear it, but we couldn't see [the crowd] because of all the smoke," said Johnson. "When we ran out, it was electric."
Off the back of a dominant forward effort, Johnson responded with a solid display. He kicked well – including precise bombs for two tries – directed the play and regularly took on the line, accumulating 103 running metres.
He was reluctant to look too far ahead but satisfied with a strong team effort.
"We showed what we are capable of," said Johnson. "They are a desperate footy side just as we were, so they were probably just as excited to play here. It was a tactical game, back and forth and we can take a lot of confidence out of that. What that holds for us down the track who knows but we are certainly enjoying that feeling of winning."
Winger Dallin Watene-Zelezniak loved the transformational effect of playing at Mt Smart, thriving in front of the expectant 26,009 crowd.
"It's part of the reason I signed at this club," said Watene-Zelezniak. "I've been on the receiving end of these crowds and it is good to be able to have them behind me now. It was everything and more that I expected."
The 26-year-old inspired his teammates with a determined display, throwing himself at the line with a series of fearless charges.
"[The crowd] gives you that adrenalin and you think, 'yeah I can do that again'," said Watene Zelezniak "[Even if] the body doesn't agree with me the next day."
Sunday was particularly special for the 26-year-old, as he enjoyed his first NRL victory since last August.
"It's been a while," said Watene-Zelezniak. "A lot of people like to put the 'I' in team when they feel like it, but I'm just trying to do my job week in, week out and if we get a win like [Sunday] it makes it all worth it."