Lock 5-8 (38) def by Cougars 10-11 (71)
LOCK hosted Cougars in the much anticipated first match of the year.
The Lock Oval was in great condition and there was a great atmosphere.
There was a lot to learn over the preseason with a large number of rule changes.
The game got off to an intense start, with a lot of tackling and contested ball.
The first five minutes was a hard slog with many ball ups, and neither team gaining too much ground.
Tackling skills were on show, with Lock having a few early opportunities to hit the scoreboard but only achieving behinds.
The Roos held the ball in their half and had majority of the play for most of the quarter with little success in scoring, until finally goaling from the individual effort from Blaze Kay.
The Roos were first to fall victim to the new rule changes, failing to adhere to the new 6-6-6 rule at the ball up after their goal.
Cougars scored quickly after, pulling back any momentum the Roos gained, and then piled on two more goals through a 50m penalty and a poor turnover.
Although Lock had majority of the play converting majors was their Achilles heel.
Dougie Pearce was taken to hospital with a shoulder injury from a heavy collision. Both teams expelled a lot of energy in the opening quarter - Cougars taking the advantage 3-3 (21) to Lock's 1-2 (8).
The second quarter was much of the same but the game was still hotly contested and physical.
Cougars were trying to exert their dominance and Lock were determined to hold their own.
It was a great spectacle for the crowd, with players willing to put their bodies on the line at each contest.
At half time the margin was out to 22 points in Cougars' favour.
Notable players for Cougars were the Cragg-Sapsford boys and Corey Paech. Lock were hanging in thanks to the great defending work of Gonzo Kelly, with Guy Morton and Blaze Kay bearing a majority of the work through the midfield.
A goal apiece was scored in the third quarter. Lock were peppering it forward and trying to score but were unsuccessful.
Both teams were doing all they could to stay competitive, with the tackling not letting up.
The game blew open in Cougars' favour in the last quarter, they scored the first three goals early on, all but putting away the gallant Roos.
After those break away goals, the remainder of the game was still a tightly fought contest.
The Roos scored two goals before Cougars finished off the game with a sealer.
It was a great, physical battle which is to be expected when every team is looking to get the perfect start.
Best: Cougars: D. Cragg-Sapsford, B. Hazelgrove, J. Green; Lock: D. Kelly, F. Slape, L. Heath.