The Maitland Pickers ran out 28-6 winners after a 60-minute arm wrestle with a committed Lakes United at Cahill Oval on Saturday.
The Pickers opened the scoring with a try Gary Anderson who rose high to catch a Brock Lamb kick for a 4-0 lead two minutes into the game.
Lakes fullback Matthew Cooper gave his side the lead in the 11th minute when he crossed for a converted try.
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Man of the match Faitotoa Faitotoa gave the Pickers the lead with a try, converted by Lamb, at the 27 minute mark.
An arm wrestle ensured and the scores remained 10-6 at half time. Lakes kept their line intact despite weight of possession building in the Pickers favour.
Their resistance finally broke when Daniel Langbridge crossed just after 60 minutes. Chad O'Donnell and Matt Soper-Lawler followed suit and with Lamb converting all three the score blew out to 28-6.
Speaking after the game with Matty John on the Pickers Facebook page, O'Donnell said the final scoreline didn't reflect Lakes' efforts on the day.
"They came out strong and tested us a fair bit and gave us a bit of a scare," O'Donnell said. "They were shooting out of the line and putting plenty of pressure on us.
"It was very physical, they have a good pack in the middle there and some good edges as well.
"I think in the second half we built a lot of pressure. There was a stage when we had six or seven repeat sets and whenever we have that amount of possession it's where the scoreboard pressure starts."
Pickers coach Matt Lantry was pleased with his side's performance describing it as a tough win.
"Again we're building on our performances we were a bit better than last week.
"It was 10-6 at half-time and a fair way into the second half, but I think the weight of possession told in the end.
"We had a fair bit of the ball in the first half and it was probably a more even share in the second but around that 65 minutes onwards we started to run in a few."
Lantry said he was very happy with the continued good form of Faitotoa Faitotoa who shared the players' player award with Matt Soper-Lawler and also earned the coaches award.
"Toa had a really good game. He had some great carries of the footy, some solid defence. He has been a real consistent performer for us over the first month of footy," he said.
Lantry also praised the Pickers' latest debutant Harry Whitfield.
The 21-year-old from Cessnock played the final 20 minutes after being a late addition to the team with Ethan Edwards ill and Ben Ireland still recovering under concussion protocols.
"He came across to us this year. We sort of targeted Harry as someone we could build a club around in three to five years time," Lantry said.
"He is a tremendous person and really ticks every box we're after here at Maitland.
"He got his shot a bit earlier than we anticipated. Benny Ireland is still out with concussion and Ethan Edwards was ill.
"We wouldn't have picked him if he wasn't ready and in 20 minutes of footy he got through seven carries for 63 metres, so he certainly grabbed his opportunity and made the most of his time in first grade."
Lantry said it was pleasing to get their four win on the board as they built a platform for the season.
"We don't want to be that team that gets to June and starts to build. We want to make sure that we start the season well and don't put any undue pressure on ourselves to chase wins mid-part of the year," he said.
"The next period of four games you'd like to see combinations evolve and things start to really click within the group over the next month of footy to take us through to round eight.
"We've got a lot of improvement in us, but we are heading down the right track."
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