CLASS and experience carried the day for Goondiwindi as it grafted its way to a Wagners Wellcamp Risdon Cup round-one win over Toowoomba Bears at Heritage Oval today.
A novice Bears outfit made the visitors work hard for the win, but in the end the Emus packed too much power to rack up a 31-3 victory.
Goondiwindi fielded a side close to the line-up that pushed Dalby to the brink in last year's grand final, but looked to be carrying some early season rust.
A try to representative second-rower Sam Tweedy in the 13th minute and another to coach Brett Corish in the corner 15 minutes later saw the Emus take a 10-3 advantage into half-time.
Goondiwindi strung together some tidy back-line play in the second session with tries to winger Tom Jobling, his brother Sam and fullback Dan Cover at regular intervals slowly taking the enthusiastic Bears out of the game.
Bears to their credit pressed Goondiwindi in a fiery final 10 minutes of the match, which saw Tweedy red carded, but the Emus were able to keep their try-line intact for the day.
Goondiwindi captain Jack Cook said his team's sluggish season start leaves them with plenty to work on in coming weeks.
"It was always going to be scrappy today,” Cook said.
"It's the first time this year we've all had a run together.
"It's good to get that first one out of the way and we'll only get better from here.”
Bears' coach Bryan Battersby took plenty of positives from his inexperienced team's debut, despite the 28-point scoreboard deficit.
"I'm pretty happy with our effort to be honest,” Battersby said after his first match back in charge of the A grade outfit following several season's break.
"I didn't come here today expecting to see us win, but I was pleased with the intent we showed.
"We had only one player out there today from our A grade side last year.
"We need some extra fitness and our backs need a lot more cohesion.
"But I reckon in five or six weeks that will come together for us. I'm quite impressed.”
GOONDIWINDI 31 (Sam Tweedy, Brett Corish, Tom Jobling, Sam Jobling, Dan Cover tries; Will Gilbert 3 conversions) d TOOWOOMBA BEARS 3 (Will Jackson penalty goal).
OTHER RESULTS: Dalby 37 def Condamine 10, Roma 34 def Highfields 10, USQ 33 def UQ Gatton 19.