A Chris Dunne-led Leongatha got their premiership defence underway in style on Good Friday with a dominant 49-point win over Wonthaggi in the first week of the split round, 17.7 (115) to 10.6 (66).
Incoming coach Paul Carbis had his work cut out for him in the opening term, as Wonthaggi emerged a changed side from the one that finished eighth in 2017 to trail by 15 points at the first break.
The Parrots kicked away in the second term and added four goals to the Power’s one to give themselves a handy 31-point buffer at half-time.
The margin stretched to 51 at the last break and Leongatha was afforded some breathing room thanks to a handful of multiple goalkickers.
Leongatha’s defence was watertight and the shutdown efforts of Josh Schelling and company allowed Wonthaggi just five goals after quarter-time.
Josh Hopkins enjoyed a field day in the middle for the Parrots and featured in the best-on-ground votes alongside debutant Dylan Garnham who looked at home in the forward pocket and booted three.
Chris Dunne’s five goal-haul from the other pocket was enough to land him on the best-on list while on-baller Tom Marriott and half-forward Brok Davidson kicked two each.
Young gun Mitchell Bentvelzen showed plenty of promise for the Parrots and took the six votes for player of the day.
Despite the second-half blowout, Wonthaggi looked a markedly improved outfit from 2017 and should take solace from their first-half performance ahead of next weekend’s round two clash with Warragul.Kate Withers
Warragul thumped Morwell by 60 points at home, also on Friday.
Leading by just three points at quarter-time, the Gulls kicked eight goals to one in the second term and booted three unanswered majors in the third on their way to a 13.16 (94) to 4.10 (34) victory.
Jake Horstman set-up play for the Gulls onballers Kim Drew and Nate Paredes with his ruck work, with Traralgon recruit Luke Di Ciero kicking five goals.
With plenty to do, Kane Grinstead-Jones and Anthony Rosato played well in defence for the Tigers.David Braithwaite
Excerpts taken from articles written by Kate Withers reporting for Latrobe Valley Express and David Braithwaite reporting for Gippsland Times. For full articles visit http://www.latrobevalleyexpress.com.au/story/5318711/predatory-parrots-pummel-power/?cs=1588 (Latrobe Valley Express) & http://www.gippslandtimes.com.au/story/5318203/premiers-win/?cs=1576 (Gippsland Times)
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