A double to teenage fullback Harry Hayes has helped Waratahs kick off their campaign on a winning note.
The Wagga fired early, but struggled to adjust to the loss of five-eighth Lachie Day, and their goal kicking, in their clash with Tumut at Jarrah Oval on Saturday.
However new coach Jonno Andreou was still pleased to start the season with a 29-21 victory.
"It was a scrappy game by the end of it with a bit of niggle in it too for round one," Andreou said.
"The boys really stood up in defence, Harry Hosegood, Harry Middlebrook, Milo (De Fanti) and Nico (Maclean) all stood up in the middle of the field which is really good to see as we need to base our game on our defensive patterns.
"It was good to see that pay off."
Gerard McTaggart, who started at inside centre, shifted in to help cover Day, who picked up a groin complaint.
However Andreou was pleased with how they eventually responded to ensure a winning start to the season.
The debut of Hayes, who is only 17, was one of the real highlights of the clash.
However the set piece is something Andreou is looking to improve.
"Defensively we need to get better off the set piece but that will come with time," he said.
Goal kicking is another Waratahs will be looking to address, after scoring five tries to three.
Waratahs have plenty of time to work on their game with their next game not until April 23 when they travel to Albury while Tumut will be looking to hit back when they host Ag College on Saturday.
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Courtney is a sports journalist from The Daily Advertiser focusing on Group Nine, Southern Inland, cricket, harness racing and greyhound racing.
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