The Black Hawk
The University Blacks showed glimpses of their potential on Saturday, but would have been disappointed to let a sizable lead slip as they went down by two points to Old Trinity on the Uni Main.
Fielding a mix of new faces and and seasoned campaigners, the Blacks dominated the early exchanges to slam on seven-straight goals after Trinity kicked the first major of the match.
Lochie Dornauf was ominous up forward, booting three classy goals in the first term and showing a continuation of his terrific form from last year. He had plenty of help from his team mates as debutante Mitch Carney, Joel Ernest and Jordan Quaile hit the scoreboard to capitalise on the authority the home side had on the contest.
Dry conditions allowed the Blacks to play a highly skilled brand of football and control the tempo of the match, which has been a real focus for the players and coaching staff over the pre-season.
The midfield brigade was lead by youth, with Quaile, Hugh Curnow and Harry Allen particularly impressive in the clinches against mature opposition.
A further three goals were added before half time to set up a lead of 41 points, the Blacks heading to the change rooms content with their work to that point.
With the weather quickly deteriorating after half time, Old Trinity showed the kind of form which took them to last year’s grand final by stringing together four majors to haul themselves back into the match.
Dornauf kicked a steadying goal just before the final change and with the rain starting to tumble down, the Blacks would need to kick against a stiff wind in the last quarter to hold on for a season-opening victory.
With conditions and momentum against them, the Blacks weren't to recapture their first half form as Trinity kicked another four goals while holding the home side goalless.
While the end result may have been a disappointing one, the signs are there that the Blacks will cause headaches in the Premier division this season and some young players look primed to take the next step in their development.
Dornauf was easily the best Blacker on the ground, providing his usual mix of flair and theatrics on his way to a bag of six majors - backing up his 43 goal tally in 2016. Remarkably, he's gone goalless on just one occasion in his 19 matches for the club.
With the Easter weekend providing a somewhat stuttered start to the season, the Blacks will travel to Harry Trott Oval in a couple of weeks looking to open their account against Collegians.
Goals: Dornauf 6, Carney 2, Quaile 2, Ernest 2
Best: Dornauf, Robbins, Allen, Toohey, Quaile, Curnow