Just five weeks earlier Derby had beaten them by over 50 points in a pre-season friendly.
But this time round the Mansfield Woodhouse-based Wolf Hunt put out a still developing squad, with a mixture of experience, size and pace, that brushed Derby side aside from the first whistle.
Derby were shocked by the ferocity of the challenge they were facing.
Conditions were perfect for the very mobile pack that the Wolf Hunt started with.
The early sets went both ways, with the Wolf Hunt taking control after eight minutes with second rower Brent Leivers powering over from 15m, brushing aside three tacklers.
With stand off Adam Bates and hooker Glen Holt directing traffic, the Wolf Hunt slowly took control, making 50 yards per set of six, and the Wolf Hunt ran in four more tries within 20 minutes.
Scott Thacker, George Cassidy and Declan Dykes made 15 yards per drive numerous times, Brent Leivers taking his brace, and Declan Dykes evaded several tacklers in a 40-yard try, starting from a scrum on the half way line, with full back Aaron Lane dancing over with pace from 30 yards.
Lane converted three of the five first half tries, though Derby pulled two back two tries late in the half as the Wolf Hunt tired.
Derby tried to camp out on the try line, but excellent defence kept the line protected for three four sets to lead 26-12 at the break.
Refreshed by half-time, the Wolf Hunt resumed with their rampaging forward pack rolling over the Derby pack with some ease.
Forwards Malc Riley, Chris ‘Tank’ Wright and Gordon Willoughby wore down their opposite numbers and the Wolf Hunt were in search of the kill.
In the first 20 minutes the Wolf Hunt battered the Derby line and the backs came into their own. Numerous excellent long distance runs from Mason Hardwick, Jake Mason and Declan Dykes brought three tries that put the Derby heads down.
Glen Holt took a cheeky run from the ‘play the ball’ and scored close to the sticks and Gordon Willoughby’s Big Daddy Splash from close in to bring the score to nine tries and 40 points.
Credit goes to the home side as the Wolf Hunt tired and came up with errors.
Late on, Derby ran in three excellent short distance tries to make the scoreline respectable, but the result was never in question.
So a squad that had been together for less than two months had turned a home 60 point deficit into a four try win away from home.
Coach Carl Hardwick said: “‘The lads did very, very well.
“We had a basic strategy of hard driving and patience. The lads stuck to the game plan and we did a job on Derby.
“I am very satisfied with this, our first game and a win. There is lots more in the Hunt and a lot of development to come as we build our squad and work together.
“All credit to Derby. They stuck with it to come back. The Wolf Hunt were patient in attack and it just shows that practice makes perfect.”
Wolf Hunt now play their first home game against Coventry Bears on Saturday at The Lords Ground, Slant Lane, Mansfield Woodhouse. (2.30pm).
It will include a sponsors’ open day, food and drink along with pre match entertainment.
On Saturday, 7th June there will be a family day with entertainment, fun and games, a car boot sale, and a sevens competition at Slant Lane.
All experienced and new Rugby League players are welcome to training on Tuesday and Thursdays. The club can be found on facebook and contacted via [email protected]