THEIR leaders stood up, but the contribution of their many youngsters was crucial in Osborne's first-up AFL Riverina Championship victory over Wagga Tigers at Robertson Oval on Saturday.
And no one was more impressive than 16-year-old ruckman Nicholas Madden, who played superbly on senior debut in the 15-point victory.
Ostriches coach Joel Mackie said in the lead-up to the game he had to be reminded how young his team was before the match.
But the Hume League newcomers defied all outside expectations to shock the Tigers at home.
Madden said the butterflies were fluttering when Mackie told him at training last Thursday he'd be playing in the main event.
"It was a bit of a surprise and I didn't expect it. I was just happy to get the chance," Madden said.
"I was a bit nervous going into it, but I settled into it alright and it was pretty quick footy.
"Joel just wanted me to play my role, to talk and to construct. I definitely feel more comfortable now (after the match), the nerves are gone.
"I reckon the six-game season this year will be a good chance to just get a feel for it."
Madden said the side showed strong resolve to respond after the Tigers nailed three straight goal to take the lead in the third quarter.
"When they hit back in the third quarter the boys did really well to find a couple of goals, and Joel gave us the go ahead at three quarter time to go out and finish it off," Madden said.
"We were definitely underdogs coming in, so it was good to get the win.
Osborne has dealt with a tumultuous build-up after AFL Riverina gave them the green light to play in the competition after the Hume League was cancelled.
They have adhered to a strong recommendation from AFL Riverina by not fielding any players living in Border regions, which forced them into a recruiting drive just before the season began.
But Mackie insisted he felt confident the young players could step up and ensure they're accountable in the one-off, six-round season.
"I had full faith in our list. Obviously a few things have gone against us the last few weeks, but we've picked up a few along the way and we have to roll with the punches at the moment," he said.
"Nick Madden in the ruck, he really showed he belongs out there.
"Two weeks ago we played Ganmain at home and got our pants pulled down. We were a bit undermanned admittedly, but we were wondering how it would pan out.
"It's changing that quickly in this year at the moment."