THE Ararat Rats set the bar high for the 2019 season on Saturday, when they won every football match against the Warrack Eagles.
The Seniors game almost came down to the wire but the Rats ultimately prevailed with 113 points to 93.
Rats coach Shane Fisher said it was a pleasing win.
"Round one is obviously a nervous one as a coach," he said.
"You get the monkey off your back and we travel to Stawell next week, which we're looking forward to."
Playing at Alexandra Oval, the Rats appeared to be on shaky ground for the first two quarters, with the Eagles forcing them to work for the ball.
The first goal of the game was kicked by Eagles' Connor Inkster in the first two minutes.
By the eight minute mark the Rats picked up steam, scoring four goals interrupted only by a behind from the Eagles.
Tension picked up before half time when the Eagles began climbing back up, Fisher said.
"We probably felt that in the second quarter, they got right back on top of the game," he said.
"We were a little bit lackadaisy in our defense transition at times and we let Warracknabeal run away.
"But it's pleasing that probably about 55 per cent of the time we had the footy, we were really slick and we used the ball well."
However, the Rats shone in the third quarter, with a final tally of 87 points to the Eagles' 55 points.
But Eagles appeared to re-energize, pushing ahead to 67 while the Rats sat on their 87 points.
By mid-way through the fourth quarter the Rats were well and truly on top even as the Eagles continued to fight hard.
Warrack Eagles president Chris Taylor was philosophical about the losses of the day.
"From our perspective we only won the under 13 netball today out of netball and football but we're far from disappointed with that," he said.
"We've come up against some very good competition against the Ararat guys and we're very proud to have our junior footballers in particular and our senior football stand up to the mark and be as close as we were at the end of the day.
"We're very proud of our players and supporters and the amount of people came here and supported us today."
Fisher said the Ararat Rats would now turn its focus to the Good Friday game, when it faces off against Stawell.
"It will be a ripper contest," he said.
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