A LAST quarter surge from East Wagga-Kooringal was enough to ensure the Hawks took away a little of the pain from last year’s grand final defeat.
Temora were kept goalless in the last quarter as their rivals asserted their dominance late to come away with a 13.3 (81) to 8.10 (58) win at Nixon Park.
The Hawks were just off the pace for most of the match, but outpowered the Kangaroos kicking five unanswered goals in the last term.
Trailing by a goal at three-quarter time, the Hawks dominated as Temora were limited to only two scoring shots.
The Hawks were able to reverse last’s year grand final results, but coach Gavin McMahon wasn’t taking too much from the clash.
With both teams going hard at the ball, it took the Hawks most of the game to find their flow in the scrappy contest.
“The boys just keep going and finally started to play some responsible football which was good and timely,” McMahon said.
“It was one of those typical round one games were both sides were very eager and enthusiastic, almost over enthusiastic at times.
"It was a really scrappy first half but I think both sides started to play better footy in the second half.”
With both teams undergoing plenty of changes since September’s grand final, McMahon didn't factor in the match, preferring to concentrate on the task ahead.
“The grand final stuff is long gone for us and both sides are both very different,” he said.
“We had five or six that didn’t play in the grand final that played and Temora had a good dozen.”
After a quiet grand final Marc Geppert stood tall in the Hawk's forward line and kicked nine goals.
Brenton Roberts dominated in the ruck and was a catalyst for the Hawks success.
“He was outstanding and we won the clearances on the back of him getting a good hand the ball first,” McMahon said.
“He played really well and he and Gep were critical to what we did.”
EWK take on Farrer League newcomers Barellan at Gumly Oval on Saturday and despite the Two Blues going down to The Rock-Yerong Creek by 150 points McMahon doesn’t want to take them too lightly.
“They had half a dozen out with a wedding so it is hard to take any sort of form line out of what they did,” he said.
“They will still be new and enthusiastic and if they get close to putting their best side on the paddock it will be a hard one as you really have to be on your game and don’t know what to expect.”
Temora will host Marrar after the Bombers started off their season with a win over Northern Jets.