CANTERBURY'S 22-2 win over the Dragons in round four was the beginning of the end... we just didn't know it was for Dogs coach Dean Pay.
In what was pitched as a loser literally goes home clash for the coaches, it was Pay who got the nod in emphatic fashion over Paul McGregor, a result that looked to have sealed his former Origin teammate's fate.
In the end, the Dragons board called an extraordinary meeting and chose to back McGregor to see out the season. The Dragons have since gone 3-2 to find themselves one win outside the eight.
The Dogs haven't won another game and, ironically, will head into the return clash without Pay at the helm after he walked before he was pushed on Tuesday.
It's one those great rugby league swings and roundabout yarns that the match ultimately proved less a turning point for the Dogs than the Dragons, with prop Paul Vaughan saying the players needed to look in the mirror.
"For the boys, we just want to play good footy," Vaughan said.
"Mary's a great coach and he's got all the respect here from the boys and from everyone around the club. It just came down to us as a squad and as players to man up there and take ownership of the performances we were chucking out there.
"It's just such a high results-driven game across the board. Whether you're a player or a coach, there's a lot of pressure there. It's a high-pressure sport and everyone demands results.
"Sometimes, if that doesn't happen, the worse sort of thing happens. It's the same as players as it is for coaches. It's high-pressure but that's what you have to test yourself against week in week out. It's about being consistent.
"Hopefully we've turned a corner and the back end of the season will be nice and strong for us."
In that vein, a 34-4 win over a wounded Sea Eagles outfit last week was a step in the right direction, giving them a sniff of the top eight ahead of Saturday's clash with the Bulldogs in Wollongong.
It doesn't amount to a full turnaround, but Vaughan said is side is looking to use their best performance of the season as springboard as a new-look spine finds it's groove.
"The first couple of weeks of the [resumed] season was pretty rough there but I think we've been building towards that performance for a couple of weeks now," Vaughan said.
"It's always good to score a couple of points. We've got the spine nice and settled and I think the boys are are playing really good footy. With Cam moving to thirteen and Benny at nine, the continuity is great and everyone's doing their job.
"We've got a really good chance to get a couple of games together and make a bit of a charge because the comp is so tight. We're not out of it and hopefully we can get a roll on."
Hunt's shift to the starting dummy-half role certainly seemed to spark the Dragons, but Vaughan said he was just pleased the see the much-maligned playmaker with a smile on his face again.
"I think Benny's positional change has been great for him," Vaughan said.
"His defence, his attack and his leadership and his talk in the middle is fantastic. It's probably a shock to the system trying to get through 50 tackles week in week out but he does it for Queensland, he does it for Australia.
"He's one of the best players when he plays rep footy [there]. It's just good to see Benny enjoying his footy, he's really relishing that role and it's exciting times."
McGregor made just one change to his 17 on Tuesday, with Jason Saab recalled in place of Jordan Pereira who's facing a second frustrating fortnight on a sideline after pleading guilty to a grade one shoulder charge in what was his return from a two-week suspension.