One game back and already Cavaliers have realised what the standard is for the State League season ahead.
Should the returning - and first - defeat come to nothing else, coach Dan Roden can point out the propensity of the Northern Hawks to lift to another level last week as the template for the reigning premiers to aspire towards.
Roden had been prepared to recognise the 70-66 finish was "a game of margins" after Cavaliers had appeared to do very little wrong on the day.
"Considering we have all not played for four months, the standard of netball was just excellent," he said.
"Both of the teams were in the same position, so you just can't take nothing away from their performance as we got the same preparation."
A couple of vital lessons were learned at one end of the court before travelling up to face Devon on Saturday.
But history would suggest Cavaliers could ignore their mistakes and a third season win would be all but assured.
The Devonport-based side have won a mere seven times from 92 appearances during the past five seasons, which six were over defunct rivals Burnie Tigers and OHA.
ELSEWHERE IN SPORT
So the perennial strugglers will expect to cop brutal defence from Cavs, who battled to prevent shooters Ashlea Mawer and Danni Pickett in front of goal late in the clash.
"We've had to go back and work on how we could slow the entry into their attack," Roden said.
"The Hawks were fantastic, they were really good, but I guess that's the first time we have played them for a while without two talls in there and a brand new back three.
"That was quite obviously the first really good contest that we have had in our back end, so we will learn a lot."
But Roden is painting a bright portrayal of the much bigger picture that had his charges up for the entire first half up against their storied Silverdome tenants from the 2019 grand final rematch.
"I really don't think we did too much wrong in the way we transitioned the ball into your attack," he said.
"I did think our defensive end that is actually young felt like they were in the contest.
"We got game possessions, we made the most of those game possessions, but I think at those critical moments it cost us in the end."
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