The Batemans Bay Tigers are on the board in season 2019 after a 48-34 win over the Bombala Blue Heelers at Mackay Park on Sunday, April 14.
The match was a see-sawing affair with multiple momentum swings, but the Tigers managed to keep themselves in front for the majority of the match.
A first-half hat-trick to fullback Jesse Wighton had the Tigers up 30-10 at half time, but a sin-bin less than a minute into the second half let Bombala back into the game.
The Blue Heelers closed the gap to 30-28 at the end of the 10 minutes, but a second-half hat-trick to halfback Damian Bell made sure of the Tigers' victory.
Batemans Bay captain-coach, Brent Pike, said it was great to get on the board for season 2019.
"Last week we killed ourselves with discipline and giving away too many cheap errors," he said. "This week our discipline was a lot better, still not where I'd like it to be, but full credit to the boys, we dug deep when we were giving away penalties and managed to get ourselves out of that little slump."
Pike said he gave his side a simple message during the 10-minute sin bin in the second half.
"I just told the boys to dig deep and complete our sets," he said. "We probably still gave away too many cheap penalties during that sin bin, but they showed a lot of guts to take the momentum back.
"If we show that kind of effort and commitment every week, we'll be there towards the end of the season."
The Tigers featured youngsters Luke Barnicott and Anthony Henry at hooker and five-eighth respectively, and Pike was thrilled with how they played.
"We focused on helping our young blokes out during the week, particularly in defence, but they didn't need any protection this week," Pike said. "They stood up well on their own, and didn't look out of place at all.
"They were marching us around the field and telling us old fellas where to be, and they were giving us a fair spray if we weren't there.
"That's what you want from your six and nine, and they were among our best players."
Bombala coach, Joe Bobbin, said he was pleased with his side's performance in spite of the loss.
"We had a few injuries last week after a good win over Cooma, and it's hard to get up to the Bay from Bombala," he said. "We had to warm up with six blokes for first grade, and we brought everyone else up from reserve grade.
"There were a lot of boys who played a lot of hard minutes today, but the Bay boys were just better than us. We stuck with them for most of the match, we just ran out of gas."
The Blue Heelers now have two weeks off thanks to the Easter weekend and a round-three bye, and Bobbin plans to use that time to work on his side's defensive game.
"We had a lot of boys who were out of position today, but we still need to be a lot stronger across the field defensively," he said. "We've got two weeks off now, so we've got plenty of time to get some of these injuries looked after."
In Sunday's other games, the Bombala High Heelers were far too strong for Batemans Bay in the league-tag match, winning 52-0. Batemans Bay's reserve-grade side continued its undefeated start to the season with a 40-20 win.