Emmanuel College has kicked off its School Sport Victoria premier boys season with a convincing 41-point win on Wednesday at the Reid Oval against Melbourne-based outfit Maribyrnong College.
The Chris McLaren-coached side defied some tricky conditions to win 9.15 (69) to 4.4 (28).
"We were really good - it's always such an unknown when you play those Melbourne schools, so there is a degree of apprehension about how we were going to go," the multiple Koroit premiership coach said.
"I think a few of the boys had played against Maribyrnong in the past and got a bit of a touch up but we controlled the game the whole time.
"The surface was unbelievably good, we had a couple of showers in the lead-up so it was a bit slippery but the boys were terrific."
McLaren said it was impressive to see the side come together and play high-quality football against a strong opposition and highlighted some players who really stood up when the heat was on.
"It was quite an even contribution from a team perspective but I thought Ethan Boyd and Reggie Mast, both Warrnambool boys were super down back," he said.
"Reggie aerially was really strong and is only in year 10, so he's quite impressive. Ethan just had great balance between defence and attack for us, he gave us a lot of drive coming out of the backline.
"Luamon Lual was really good early when the pressure was on and probably slowed down in the second-half when we switched some stuff around, Harry Keast and Henry Rowe were all excellent on-ball, and Will White and Connor Byrne, two small forwards, we anticipated rolling them up but they were so dynamic and looked like scoring.
"They're both dangerous small players and quite speedy."
The college is set to welcome another Melbourne-based school on Wednesday, May 18 with Rowville Secondary College to make its way down for the second round. Emmanuel then travels to Melbourne to take on Box Hill Senior Secondary College two weeks after that in the final round.
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