North Launceston proved the well-versed adage that form can be temporary but class is permanent after polishing off traditional TSL foes Clarence in a late-match shootout.
At no stage until midway through the final term did the Bombers even look seriously threatened, but three fist-pumping goals in the space of seven minutes from rival tall forward Noah Holmes changed all that.
The previous 50 minutes the self-assured home side held the Roos to just one goal.
But three clean grabs within kicking range had reduced the margin to a solitary point following what was a stoic affair on Saturday.
Almost right on cue, serial goal aces Jack Rushton and Brad Cox-Goodyer slotted one apiece to guide North Launceston towards a rearguard 7.12 (54) to 6.3 (39) victory.
Bombers coach Taylor Whitford labelled the performance "a little bit clunky", but had no problems in fighting out for the points.
"It was similar to round 1 where we had control of the game most of the day, but kicked ourselves out of it really," he said.
"It gave them a chance and they kicked the first few of the last and were right back in the game, so that's just our own fault.
"I think we controlled the game, most of the game, but still a little bit clunky at times. We didn't get any of our flow, but that's okay.
"So the character to be only up by a point and then win the game by two to three goals I thought that we showed a lot."
Clunky or otherwise, Whitford is not after any excuses after surviving North Hobart by 10 points to start the delayed campaign, surrendering to Launceston by 19 next, taking the bye and surviving again by 15.
The challengers may well be hovering for the first time since 2013 to pip North Launceston to a grand final berth, but there appears to be plenty of optimism around.
"I don't want to blame anything, but we're not in our groove at the moment as a group. We've got seven or eight changes as from last year, so we're a whole new group," he said.
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"We just have to gel, work together but I thought the bye came at a good time for us, both inside and outside of footy. The vibe today was really positive and that's great.
"We just need time together and hopefully we will come sooner rather than later."
The game reached great heights early just as it ended that way. Clarence got off to an ideal start when Holmes drifted his brazen shot from 50 metres just inside the left-hand goal post in the opening 90 seconds.
It took only a perfectly-executed banana kick tucked away in the pocket from Jackson Callow to hit the reply within a minute.
Both sides had traded goals until Rushton broke the pattern and scrapped one through to give North a seven-point lead.
Tom Bennett's timely, strong mark that resulted in a goal pushed the advantage out to 17 points in a quarter of two defences.
The Bombers had missed plenty of shots on the run until Whitford roved front and square late in the third term to go into the last break comfortably up by 19 points.
Clarence were turning the ball over too often from skill errors to look a chance and their switches of play made no headway.
Whitford's men continued to be the first to the ball, but failed to fully capitalise and hurt the Roos on the scoreboard.
This is despite Alex Lee proving to be so dominate around the contest in what was a standout game at UTAS Stadium.
Whitford could not sing the praises of his top ruckman enough after proving to be the difference between the two teams.
"He probably got beaten last game against Launnie, but to come back and play like that shows a fair bit," Whitford said.
Jake Laskey could not have been asked to put in a better TSL debut than he delivered.
Callow was always a key focal point up forward while Josh Ponting looked to be the prime mover out of the middle.