North Wagga coach Kirk Hamblin had plenty to be happy about after the Saints’ start to the season but it couldn’t have been more different for Coleambally, after going down by 121 points at McPherson Oval on Saturday.
For Hamblin, the 20.14 (134) to 2.1 (13) victory showed the value of their new faces, whose presence helped bring out the best in some of the young Saints. The home side set up the win with seven goals in each of the first two quarters, and led by 85 points at half-time.
“I was pretty happy. For about three-and-a-half quarters, I thought we played good, solid team football,” Hamblin said. “The blokes we recruited have got enormous experience and their talk on game day and at training is helping us. It’s probably something we’ve lacked and they’ve helped our whole side.”
Hamblin described it as a good team win, with nine different goal-scorers. Lachie Steward, Luke Walsh and Jimmy Morris all had solid debuts at their new club, and seemed to free up some of their teammates.
Corey Watt, with four goals, had a fine game for North Wagga, while Ned Mortimer and new ruckman Josh Hanlon were also impressive. Nathan Dennis and Morris both kicked three goals each.
On a brutal day for the Blues, midfielder Graham O’Connell and co-coach Mitch Carroll suffered injuries. Tom Morton and Tom Groves were Coleambally’s best.