GREATER Western Sydney's win over Richmond on Sunday rounded off a near perfect Marsh Community Series, but players were given a sobering reminder of just how little it really meant at their community camps the following day.
The clash was played in Wagga Wagga, and not long after the final siren, Giants players, coaches and officials were on the road, scattered around the Riverina region to visit locals badly affected by recent bushfires in New South Wales.
One of the destinations was a tiny town just under 500km south-west of Sydney called Tumbarumba.
GWS players and officials spent Sunday night at the local establishment, the Union Hotel, mixing with locals and talking footy, but also hearing their tragic stories.
The Tumbarumba Roos under 14s side won the premiership last season, so they were guests of honour as the Giants presented the club with a signed jumper.
Giants ruckman Sam Jacobs was among a group of players who got up early the next day to meet some farmers hit hard by the bushfires.
A country boy himself, he told AFL.com.au that the cut-throat nature of the footy world seemed irrelevant when compared with the pain of those impacted by the disaster.
"It's pretty confronting to experience the devastation these people have been through first hand, but it's been great to come out a lend a hand," he said.
"We live in a big city and footy is our world, but this is people's livelihoods.
"This is what they do every day and to see it get taken away in such a horrific way is shattering.
"It's nice that we can come out here and through our footy, bring people together.
"It's good to have a platform to put some smiles on their faces.
"Being at the local pub and seeing how happy people were to see us was really cool.
"It's obviously been a really tough time but socialising with them was great.
"As a community they've come together and as footballers it's great that we can have a little bit of an impact as well."