Half an hour after breaking their hearts, Sonny Bill Williams finally gave Canterbury fans something they have been craving for four-and-a-half years - a public apology.
In his first game against the club he walked out on mid-contract in 2008, Williams was all class in a commanding two-try performance in the Sydney Roosters' 38-0 crushing of the Bulldogs.
He was all class off the field as well, the dual international taking the time to catch up with former Bulldogs officials after the game before humbly claiming he was driven to quieten the fans who had come to Allianz Stadium to boo him.
This was all about Williams moving forward, but he still took time to remember the past, as he confirmed an apology that had only been made in veiled remarks when he announced his return to the NRL.
"I'm a lot more mature right now and if I could go back, I definitely would change a lot of the things that happened but I can't," Williams said of his dramatic departure from the Bulldogs.
"I apologised as soon as I came back and I guess that hasn't gotten across in the media too much.
"But for me, it was good facing up and just facing it head on and it was surprising to me coming through the gates (and being asked) to take some photos with some of the Canterbury fans.
"I said during the week I understand some of the ill feeling towards me from the fans but, for myself, it was never about the players that I played with or the fans. I always had a pretty good relationship with them.
"It was about some stuff that went on with the hierarchy and I guess I just had to sort stuff out for myself - I was pretty young back then."
Williams denied there was a sense of relief that the game was finally out of the way, admitting that there will always be some tension whenever he comes up against the Bulldogs.
The two teams come up against each other again in round 15 at ANZ Stadium.
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