THREE grades, three wins. A dream start.
That was the reality for the Macleay Valley Mustangs on the weekend as the 18's, reserve grade and first grade all claimed victories.
18's ran out 62-0 winners over the Taree Bulls in an incredibly dominant performance while reserves had a 38-4 win.
Then, with eight debutants, the first grade side ran out.
A tit for tat affair as both sides exchanged tries.
In the final stages, the Mustangs were down 26-24 with three minutes to go.
"I had the opportunity to take the two but chose to tap, threw a long ball to Miles [Mongta] who went over to score," coach Ant Cowan recounted.
"We got into the grind after they scored early but we managed to take advantage of their weaknesses.
"We let them back into the game through our uncompleted sets but came through with the last try."
Cowan was ecstatic with how well his youngsters rose to the occasion.
They all stood up, with the game on the line and stuck to their guns.Ant Cowan
"I was impressed by the young blokes, they're real footballers and I couldn't be prouder," he said.
"It shows the community and group that they're ready for senior football - it's only the first round but it's exciting.
"They all stood up, with the game on the line and stuck to their guns.
"It was good to see the smiles on their faces and some emotion."
Three wins for the club on home turf means the Mustangs head to Kendall next weekend full of confidence.
They'll play Wingham Tigers in firsts and reserves while 18's have the bye.
"It's massive [three wins for the club]," Cowan added.
"I watched 18's, they were composed and keeping them to zero was a big win.
"Ressies played with great heart and enthusiasm.
"We'll look to continue our good training sessions, come off our high and re-focus because they'll [Tigers] be tough."
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