NDRL kicked off its 50th year with the first round being played at the home of 2013 premiers Avondale.

In the replay of last year’s grand final, Avondale took on Agnes Water in front of a good home crowd.

Coach Michael O’Sullivan has retained 16 players from last year’s winning team and that showed to be a key part of the Tigers success against the Marlins.

Tigers have started their 2014 campaign as a very fit, well-oiled machine replicating how they finished the end of last season to become premiers. In the early stages of the match it was a close game with the forwards from both teams taking it up and working hard.

Centre Corey Chapman scored four tries for the Tigers with Matt Ross and new comer Malcolm Lambert bagging doubles.

Halfback and captain Andrew Filo kicked 10 from 12 attempts to see the Tigers run out winners 68-18. Under new player/coach Andrew Noy the Marlins have recruited some new players and will improve greatly on this performance.

In the first game of the day to start the new season, Gin Gin took on South Kolan. BRL grand final team coaches from last year have come out to NDRL with ex-Brothers coach Dean Akers taking on the reins at South Kolan and Wests premiership coach Tracey Kuskey taking over at Gin Gin.  What was expected to be a close match between the two rivals was a surprise to all with Gin Gin thrashing South Kolan 108-0.

Brandon Galea opened the match scoring in the sixth minute with new recruit Brent Kuskey converting. 

Four minutes later second-rower Jesse Jenkins crossed the line, followed by Luke Franklin then Toddy Blair.

Straight after the 20 minute drinks break, Jenkins crossed for his second taking the score to 30-0 with Kuskey reliable with the boot adding the extra two, time and time again.

The Hawks were up 58-0 at the break and the Sharks had no answers for the Hawks plays which were well executed. The second half continued for South Kolan with multiple mistakes and turn-overs in the opposition’s half. Some of the other try scorers for the Hawks were Todd and Shane Blair, Brandon Galea and new player Luke Morrison who all scored doubles.

Next week’s games are at Miriam Vale with the Magpies taking on Agnes Water and Gin Gin facing Avondale.