Northern Rangers opened their summer cup campaign against Clarence United on Saturday in hot conditions, magnified by the artificial surface.
Gabriel Tams was announced captain for the Cup campaign after a great showing during the pre season, setting the standard for commitment and effort to date.
There are always plenty of players missing this time of year, for one reason or another, Todd Hingston, Marshall Pooley, Ayden Demeijer, Shane Brassington and Pat Lanau-Atkinson were among those missing and expected to feature in the starting line up.
The match was an unattractive affair in the opening half an hour, with some new faces struggling to adopt the plan, but as the game wore on, things improved.
Ash Fisher and John Wani managed to open the scoring for Rangers and kept the 2-0 score line to half time. Discussions around keeping the clean sheet and ensuring no easy goals went through fell on deaf ears as Rangers conceded a sloppy goal to let Clarence back in the game, but moved swiftly to restore the lead and push on.
The fitness of the group seemed the major difference, with Rangers running out 7-2 winners, doubles to John Wani and Ash Fisher, with contributions on the score sheet to Aidan Rigby, Nick Lanau-Atkinson and Gabriel Tams.
A solid start, but all the work to do next week with a tough game against Beachside, who defeated Nelson 5-0 on Sunday.
Photo: John Wani in action during 2013, scored a good double including a delicate finish over the keeper.