HAMILTON Kangaroos' round one hoodoo is over.
The merged outfit entered its battle against Hampden league rival Port Fairy on Saturday never having won its season-opener as a joint entity.
It left having created history. Perhaps it was the influence of several top-line recruits, or the impact of its legendary mentor.
Whatever is was, the result was never in doubt.
The Melville Oval-based club stormed to a 12.10 (82) to 5.12 (42) triumph in front of a packed house.
A first quarter blitz - which yielded six goals to the Seagulls' none - sprung the Kangaroos to life in coach Gerard FitzGerald's first competitive hit-out in blue and white.
I want the community to say 'this is our club. We're proud of our club'.Gerard FitzGerald
Port Fairy sliced the margin to 21 points in the third term but a sharp passage of play which resulted in a Hugh Douglas goal all but put the game to bed.
FitzGerald said the result was a step in the right direction.
He said he wanted the town to embrace the club as its own.
"I want the club to grow in the image of the community," FitzGerald said.
"I want the community to say 'this is our club. We're proud of our club'.
"That's what I want to see in the time I'm here. I thought there was a really good crowd and there was genuine emotion (from players and supporters). I thought this past year was a reminder to us on how precious it is."
FitzGerald said his side's efficiency in the first quarter laid the foundation for the triumph.
"At half-time, there wasn't that much difference between the teams but we were able to convert," he said.
"It's like anything in that it's very, very important to be efficient.
"I thought when Port Fairy got within 21 points, there were two things to it. You had momentum, and time and the favoured end.
"I'm happy we were able to make some changes quickly to provide some stability and I was pleased we were able to get that to happen quickly."
Port Fairy coach Winis Imbi said his side was learning on the run and took positives out of the clash.
He said the Seagulls' slow start was the decisive factor in the loss.
"We were pleased certain individuals played well, but were were disappointed that our lines weren't as functional as we'd like them to be," Imbi said.
"You can't have individuals playing well, in this competition. You need all of your lines firing. Our connection throughout was disappointing. But as I said before, it takes time to build chemistry and there are certain systems we want to get in place.
"We expect to be better next week, and the week after that."
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