In the first highly anticipated Aussie Rules home derby, the Yass Roos claimed a hard-earned first victory of the season over the Murrumbateman Eagles on Saturday.
The Eagles have so far proven to be tough competitors, and last weekend proved no different as they remained close to the 2018 grand finalists all the way through the match, with a final score of 11.12.78 to 7.10.52.
Both sides have struggled early in the season, although Yass's travails have come as more of a surprise to their supporters after the Roos only dropped two games in last year.
Yass coach Adam Curtois said that, while the Roos did have a slow start to the season, it was not helped by the fact that they came up against the only two sides to defeat them last year: the Southern Cats and the Goulburn Swans.
"It was always going to be a hard start to the year, no matter who we play in this competition," Curtois said.
"It looks like the whole competition is going to be very even, so we look forward to having every week as a challenge.
"It's not the start we were after, but I think it's something we really learned a lot from."
After a slow first half, Curtois commended his side for the way they stood up in the second to rip the game away from Murrumbateman.
The Roos have been focused on implementing a new, more flowing type of football to help them acclimatise to the new 6-6-6 rule implemented by the AFL this season.
The rule states that each team must have six players in the defensive 50, in the midfield, and in the forward 50 at every start of play, including the beginning of quarters or immediately after a goal has been scored.
This rule was implemented with the intention of minimising the pack tactics which often see most members of both teams competing for the ball at once, and to help revert the game back to positional play.
"It really makes you have to line up on your opponent on the right part of the ground, so your one-on-one battles are more important this year," Curtois said.
"It does open up the space and [enable] more run and carry. Those handpasses to get you out of packs become really important to the more open side of football."
While he is focusing on implementing the new tactics, Curtois added that Yass will retain the hard-at-the-ball, gritty style of play which defined its success in recent seasons.
This Saturday, Yass will take on Belconnen at Joe O'Connor Park, while Murrumbateman will play the Southern Cats at Murrumbateman. Both matches will start at 2.00pm.