All Blacks star Dan Carter was pleased to be back on the rugby field, after leading Kobelco Steelers to victory in his first game in more than a year.
Carter had not played since December 2018, after leading Kobelco to the title last season in a MVP performance and undergoing neck surgery last April.
He went under the knife for a cervical spine problem, which was discovered during a medical exam with French club Racing 92.
Carter was expected to rejoin the Paris-based side on a NZ$49,000-per-month contract, after South African Patrick Lambie retired, but the injury meant he was unable to play.
After spending weeks in a neck brace, the 38-year-old made a successful recovery and finally returned to the field on Sunday (NZ time).
Carter, who was recently voted World Rugby's Player of the Decade, contributed 18 points - a try, five conversions and a penalty goal - in the win.
"I got through 65 minutes in my first competitive game in over 12 months," Carter said in a video message on his social media accounts.
"I was nervous, to be honest. Heading to the game on the bus, I was thinking 'why am I still playing?', but when the game started, I remembered why I love this game so much.
"The neck feels good, the head's still on the shoulders, which is a bonus."
New Zealand lock Brodie Retallick marked his Steelers debut with a try after the full-time siren.
Meanwhile, former All Blacks coach Sir Steve Hansen got off to a losing start as Toyota Verblitz director of rugby, with his side falling to Yamaha Jubilo 31-29.