Canterbury's end-of-season celebrations made headlines for the wrong reasons last year but in a sign the club has turned the corner, players have been praised for their latest show of community spirit.
Less than 48 hours after being pummelled by the Panthers in the final round, more than 20 players and support staff traded beers for the tools with a trip to Ashfield on Monday to support the Rev. Bill Crews Foundation.
The foundation provides more than 500 takeaway meals to homeless and needy Australians each day. Seventy volunteers offer free reading classes, counselling and healthcare.
The players included departing five-eighth Kieran Foran, skipper Josh Jackson and re-signed forward Adam Elliott.
"It was real fun, they didn't just do gardening but they served meals and shifted pieces – all the jobs we needed to get done," Crews told 2GB's Ben Fordham on Tuesday.
"They were helping out all around, they were all passing footballs, it lifts the spirits of everybody.
"The footballers love it too because they were dealing with real people, some of the homeless told them exactly what they think about it.
"We're in a pandemic and people are depressed and worried. Having them here is really important. Just to have them here lifts the morale of people. It was a top day."
NRL Wellbeing Manager Luke Goodwin said the response had been overwhelming from the playing group just two days after they were released from COVID-19 protocol restrictions.
"It was optional for any player or staff to come and we had over 20 turn up," Goodwin said.
"We've had players drive over an hour to be here, players who aren't going to be here next year or players who their partners have just had a baby.
"It's so important as a person to give back, not just our club but in general."