The Woden Valley Rams have started their title defence with a win after holding off a resurgent Yass Magpies outfit to claim at 33-16 win at Phillip Oval.
The Rams started the match brightly as Brad Martin crossed the line courtesy of a set piece from a scrum.
The Rams added another four points as Dan Prior was sent over the line from captain Jeff Morgan. Shortly afterwards Morgan crashed over the line after he was tackled low but used his strength to scores.
Yass worked their way back into the game closer to halftime but errors prevented them from causing a serious threat to Woden’s defence.
After taking a 16-0 lead at halftime, Woden started the second half brightly at Lincoln Withers in his first match as player coach scored under the posts.
Brendon Houston scored the Magpies’ first try of the season after Yass finally put Woden under serious pressure with repeat sets. The winger planted the ball in the corner after Carl Johnson and Willie Peace linked up nicely.
Saipani Aiolupo crashed over shortly afterwards but the momentum was truly with the Magpies when Isaih Niumata scored to narrow the margin to six points. The utility scored under the posts after Mitch Turner made a break downfield and with only Daine Spencer to beat, passed to the man backing up on his inside.
However, Woden hit back strongly and had a try when Yass fullback Phil Sparnon lost the ball in a tackle and Adam Lucas pounced on the ball to score.
Caleb Malisaukas added extra points late on for Woden before Lincoln Withers finished the game with a field goal.
Woden Valley Rams 33 (Tries: B Martin, D Prior, J Morgan, L Withers, A Lucas, C Malisauskas; Goals: L Withers 4; Field Goal) d Yass Magpies 16 (Tries: B Houston, S Aiolupo, I Niumata; Goals: S Davis 3)