The Rockingham Rams bounced back from a disappointing round one loss in style when an inspiring display from captain Rocky Collins led them to a 43-point win over Mandurah at Anniversary Park on Saturday.
The 2016 Ross Elliot medallist was up to his old tricks dominating through the middle of the ground to buoy the Rams past the Mustangs 13.16 (94) to 7.9 (51).
Rockingham controlled the tempo of the game all day, increasing their lead in all quarters bar the fourth.
They launched to an early lead with the help of four goals in the first quarter, before taking complete control of the game in the second to assume a 35-point break at half time.
Mandurah struggled to cut into the lead finding themselves down eight goals heading into the fourth, before finally discovering some form and restricting the Rams to just one goal in the final term.
Collins was a force for Rockingham, earning him high praise from coach Scott Franklin.
“We’re really, really happy to see Rocky back in that kind of form and leading by example on the field,” he said.
“He’s a great captain for our club and our young guys really look up to him, so for them to see him performing so well, it just sets the bar for the whole team.
“Rocky was a bit unlucky with injuries last year so we’re rapt for him to be back at his best.”
Franklin had plaudits for the entire team, saying the even spread of contributions they received is exactly the winning formula the club is looking for out of its league team.
“We didn’t have any passengers, and that’s the only way you’re going to win in this league now,” he said.
“I was really happy with the way our boys approached the game – the tackle pressure was good, we used the ball well and we had four guys kick two goals.
“The competition is probably the closest its been for some years, so if you’re just five per cent off your A-game you’re going to get rolled.”
Mandurah wasn’t without encouraging signs though, with Stuart Puls’ three goals leading the way for the red and white.