North Wagga's 53-point victory against Barellan on Saturday wasn't the flashiest of their four wins in five rounds but coach Cayden Winter is happy to take victories in all shapes and sizes at this early stage of the season.
The Saints were happy to head for home with another scalp after overcoming a spirited Barellan, who've been hurt by a significant injury list, 11.13 (79) to 4.2 (26).
The defending premiers restricted the Two Blues' scoring opportunities but didn't get it all their own way going forward themselves on the way to a third straight win.
They led by just over a goal at the first break but consistently kicked three a quarter from then on to keep edging further ahead.
"They played really well, Barellan, and our boys stood up when they needed to," Winter said, adding that good sides have to learn how to win in a variety of challenges.
"I can say that it wasn't a pretty win but you've got to win ugly sometimes and that's what we've done."
North Wagga's Josh Thompson and Corey Watt in the midfield were both heavily involved and had a big influence on the game with smart use of the ball and their pressure on the opposition.
Josh Campbell led their goalscoring with his second five-goal haul of the season, while Mitch Mattingly had a memorable debut, kicking a goal and enjoying a win.
North Wagga were without the unavailable Daniel Jordan and Kirk Hamblin. But the Two Blues had a host of outs themselves. Winter paid tribute to the opposition for stopping Saints from busting the game open.
"They were really good with their contested ball and their pressure so it was good just to get the win," Winter said.
"I think they'll give a few sides trouble this year if they can bring that pressure week in, week out."
There could be a post-script to come with three yellow cards shown after a scuffle in Barellan's forward 50 during the match.
North Wagga 2.4, 5.8, 8.11, 11.13 (79)
Barellan 1.1, 1.1, 3.2, 4.2 (26)
Goals: (North Wagga) Josh Campbell 5, Bailey Clark 2, Nathan Dennis 2, Josh Thompson 1, Mitchell Mattingly 1; (Barellan) Not submitted.
Best: (North Wagga) Josh Thompson, Nathan Dennis, Zachary Delaney, Ky Hanlon, Corey Watt, Cayden Winter; (Barellan) Not submitted.
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