REIGNING premiers Hepburn will rue a horror period in the third term as its Central Highlands Football League title defence got off to a poor start on Saturday.
A bizarre seven-minute stint will haunt Burras coach Clive Raak as his side conceded five 50m penalties to turn the momentum in favour of the Waubra side.
As a result of the indiscretions, the Roos booted four goals to take a nine-point lead into the final term, one that would ultimately prove unassailable for the visitors.
Waubra took the first half to warm into the season as the Burras looked the better of the two teams and established a 10-point buffer at half time.
But six goals to three in the third – aided by those 50m penalties – proved telling in the end result.
Victorious coach Jason Allen, who played an unusual forward role, said it was a pleasing display against a quality opponent.
And he had plenty to smile about with his brother, former St Kilda forward Jarryd, finding his feet with two goals while forming a promising partnership with ex-Hawthorn goal-kicker Tim Boyle.
The pair combined regularly throughout the afternoon, with Boyle ending with four majors.
But it was the unassuming Tim Mullane that landed best-on-ground honours for his busy display around the ground. Mullane kicked two goals and had a hand in many others in a great start to the campaign.
Jason Allen said his team took four quarters to build.
“In the second half we spread a lot better and our delivery into the forward line wasn’t as crowded, so we allowed the forwards to get it a lot easier,” Allen said.
Raak admitted the period in the third term changed the course of the match and was frustrated at his team’s inside 50m advantage could not be turned into goals. By the Burras’ records, they held a 56-38 lead in this key statistic.
“There was a lot of positives to come out of the game, especially with the young kids. People don’t realise how young we still are,” Raak said.
“We’ve got young kids and we accept we are going to make mistakes as well.”
There was plenty of good signs for the Burras, which looked much more forward than this time last year when the Roos won the round one encounter by more
than 10 goals.
Recruit Brad Stringer showed some promising signs for the year ahead, but often wasted possession, defender Daniel Smith battled all day against a potent Waubra forward line, Brendan Sutcliffe was good up forward and in the ruck, while Dan O’Halloran tried hard.
McKay brothers Brad and Mitch also seem to have come on from last year.
Waubra travels to take on a Ballan side featuring Hawthorn premiership player Campbell Brown next Saturday, while Hepburn can unfurl its premiership flag with a home clash against Beaufort.
The Tigers won 41.25 (271) to Smythesdale 0.0 (0).
OTHER ROUND 1 RESULTS
Buninyong 13.16 (94) to Newlyn 7.13 (55)
Bungaree 20.28 (148) d Gordon to 11.6 (72)
Skipton 10.13 (73) d Rokewood-Corindhap 5.16 (46)
Beaufort 9.11(65) d Dunnstown 4.1(25)
Creswick 14.15 (99) d Clunes 10.10 (70)
Learmonth 17.9 (111) d Carngham-Linton 10.8 (68)
Daylesford 16.14 (110) d Ballan 14.12 (96)