The Augusta Margaret River Hawks bounced back from a disappointing season opener with a 40 point win over fellow flag-fancies Donnybrook at VC Mitchell Park on Saturday.
Both teams were looking for their first win of the new season, but it was the Hawks who adapted better to the wild weather, which included thunder, lightning and heavy rain all afternoon, to claim the 11.5 (71) to 4.7 (31) win.
With the large amount of rain that had fallen prior to the first bounce, scoring was always going to be difficult. Both teams bombed the ball long into their forward lines but struggled to take a mark.
It took about 15 minutes of physical play before the game saw its first goal courtesy of Augusta Margaret River's Matt Jukes, giving the Hawks a six point lead at quarter time.
With long kicks regularly being turned over throughout the first quarter, the Hawks came out with a change of focus in the second term to much success.
The Hawks midfielders and forwards regularly worked their way into space and chipped their way up the field, taking a large number of uncontested chest marks.
We had a real intent to win the contest and I think we were pretty strong. We had a mindset to create opportunities from good defensive pressure and that was evident.Matt Jamieson, AMR coach
The tactic saw the Hawks kick the first three goals of the quarter through set shots from Mitchell Payne, Jack Hick and Matthew Fokkema, before a head clash between Fokkema and Donnybrook's Samual Lowrie saw the game stopped while both players received medical attention and Fokkema was stretchered off.
After play resumed, the Hawks added two more goals through Jukes and Payne which, combined with another goalless quarter from Donnybrook, gave Augusta Margaret River a 36 point lead and put the game out of reach.
The second half looked to be heading the same way as the first, with the wet weather affecting both team's skills and the Hawk's Beau Morgan adding another goal after receiving a free kick in the forward 50.
However, the tone of the match changed after the goal, with the Dons finally able to lock the ball in their forward half for much of the quarter although they were only able to manage the one goal through Simon Green.
The physicality of the match picked up in the second half, with both teams making it a point to lay big bumps, resulting in several wrestles across the ground.
An impressive goal from Tyler Patterson gave the Dons a dream start to the final quarter, but it was negated shortly after when Hick kicked his second of the day.
Dion Parker and Clayton Dickinson added the next two goals for Donnybrook, teasing an unlikely comeback from the Dons in the final term, as they almost did in round one against HBL.
But it was short lived as three straight goals from Augusta Margaret River's Gus Wrightson, Jukes and Cody Rodgers pushed the margin out to 40 points at the final siren.
Augusta Margaret River coach Matt Jamieson said he was proud of the way the team performed in the conditions.
"We had a real intent to win the contest and I think we were pretty strong. We had a mindset to create opportunities from good defensive pressure and that was evident,” he said.
"[In the second quarter], we tried to isolate the right match ups up forward and I think we got opportunities off the back of that.
"Clean ball use in the wet conditions was important too.
“It was good to kick six [goals] in those conditions and it probably snuffed out the game there and then in the second quarter.”
The loss leaves Donnybrook winless after two rounds and sitting on the bottom of the ladder, ahead of a trip to face the league-leading Collie Eagles on Saturday while the Hawks will look to hold their form when they host South Bunbury.