Merrivale's recruits led the way at home in round one as the Tigers produced a commanding win over Kolora-Noorat to start their Warrnambool and District league campaign on a high note.
Returning Merrivale midfielders Sam Gleeson (Diamond Creek), Tate Porter and Jalen Porter (both North Warrnambool Eagles) were influential in the 10.9 (69) to 3.3 (21) triumph, that saw the Tigers reverse the result of last year's semi final against the Power.
Former South Warrnambool forward Dylan Weir (three goals) also played well alongside another Eagle returning to Merrivale - Billy Hancocks - who impressed on the wing and kicked a major. Star ruckman Manny Sandow was his usual dominant self in the air, as the Tigers strong contested work was on full display.
Tigers coach Josh Sobey was delighted to see his side's 16-week pre-season training block pay off.
He said he was impressed with his sides ability to maintain their game plan.
"We know there's going to be mistakes, especially early days and just having that self belief to move the ball in a balanced way, whether it be by hand or foot," he said.
"I thought we did that, we've certainly got to tidy some areas up where we let ourselves down to really go whack, just with some clean possessions but overall you've got to be pretty pleased with it.
"We're going to have to tidy up our efficiency, there's no question about that. You don't expect it to be perfect round one but there were certainly some unforced errors that didn't need to take place."
Unfortunately for the home side Nathan Krepp and Dylan Scoble left the field late with ankle injuries which could lead to some time on the sidelines.
Power mentor Nick Bourke said his side knew it wouldn't be an easy contest against the Tigers.
"We knew coming in that they were certainly going to be one of the teams to beat," he said.
"They're always hard to play here, no matter where they are positioned on the ladder. They are a quality outfit and we were just beaten by a better side today."
Bourke added that the Power would "take a lot away" from the match.
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