MANNING Ratz started the Lower North Coast Rugby Union season in rousing fashion when thrashing an under-strength Old Bar side 83-3 in the opening round match at Taree Rugby Park.
It was a good day for the home club, with the Ratz winning the women's 10-a-side match 40-17 against a committed Old Bar side.
"Unfortunately Old Bar only had 12 players,'' Ratz president Jim Boyce said of the men's' encounter.
"But I was talking to their officials and they are hopeful of signing a few more players before the comp resumes after Easter. Good on them for getting a side together to play the game. ''
The game was little more than a training gallop for the Ratz. Dave and Steve Rees were virtually unstoppable in the forwards while Ricky Campbell had a seamless return to rugby at five-eighth, getting some quality ball to his outside supports.
Boyce said the women's match, played in 10 minute quarters, was a willing affair.
"It was the game of the day for sure,'' he said.
"We have a number of players new to rugby this year and the players from both sides seemed to enjoy the 10s format. There's talk of eventually playing 15-a-side and that may happen next year.''
The Ratz will play Forster-Tuncurry at Tuncurry in the second round and Boyce said this will be a sterner test for the side. Forster had the bye in the opening round.