East Wagga-Kooringal coach Matt Hard won't be lulled into complacency by a first round blitz of Coleambally and is certain to get that message across to his players.
Make no mistake, Hard was more than happy with the way the Hawks attacked round one and stayed on course right until the bitter end (for the Blues) for a whopping 134-point win.
"I was (pleased). We obviously had some lapses and some turnovers that we need to work on but in general the style of footy I was pretty happy with," Hard said.
"When we opened it up a little bit we gave ourselves a better chance so I was happy with that... there were plenty of positives but plenty to work on too. No disrespect to Coly but obviously they've got a lot of new faces there and will take a while to get going."
The Hawks only got into triple figures three times last year - twice against a battling Coleambally and once against The Rock-Yerong Creek, who finished seventh.
But Hard was emphatic that a 160-point haul will be kept in perspective.
"We're definitely not getting carried away with it. It's round one and we've got to keep improving on what we do. We have got a hell of a lot of things to work on, a hell of a lot of things, so we're definitely not getting carried away with that win, that's for sure," he said.
It was EWK's highest score since August 2016 (when they scored 165 against Temora).
That premiership-winning season, which was also a wet winter, the Hawks scored more than 100 on 11 occasions.
Chris Ladhams, who opened with a brilliant nine goals on Saturday, could be the man to take them back to that sort of form.
"Having coached Chris before I was pretty confident what I was getting. He lived up to expectation and it was good, very good," Hard said.
"He is good to watch and that's the beauty about him. He's very clever and offers a lot of experience and he's going to be good for our young fellas and just our footy club in general."
Ladhams went off the ground with a cork late in the game, but returned to kick another three goals. His influence went beyond scoreboard pressure.
"He's only been there for one day but he was very good with leadership and giving direction so I think we'll benefit a lot from having an on-field leader like that. That was one of the main reasons that I was keen to get him across," Hard said.
The Hawks coach was pleased with the team performance from Chris Gordon and Harry Fitzsimmons through the middle, ruckman Kyle North-Flanagan to new faces Ethan Andrews across half-back and Daniel Hitchens on a wing.
They travel to Ariah Park this Saturday to take on the Northern Jets.
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