The Belfast Trojans strolled to a 40-7 win over the West Dublin Rhinos on Sunday to move to 2-0 on the 2019 season.
It was plain sailing from first whistle to last as the visitors dominated the newly-promoted Rhinos in a straight-forward victory.
The Trojans offence set the tone on the first drive. Jake Warry and Gareth Millar got the start in the backfield and both churned out tough yardage on the ground, while Dave Richardson’s four catches on the opening drive led the way. Millar would go in from close range to cap an outstanding opening drive as he scored his first touchdown in a green shirt.
Despite allowing some early yards the Belfast defence buckled down inside the red zone and came up with a turnover when a Rhino snap went awry, to hand the ball back to the Trojan offence.
More strong running would set up good field position before Mark McVeigh found Tom Morris down the left sideline and the second-year Trojan did the rest, handing off a defender as he went all the way.
It was soon 21-0 as Jona Siri got his season off to a perfect start after the missing the opener in Limerick. He carried three would-be tacklers over the goal line from close range to extend the lead.
Morris would add his second touchdown before the interval, a perfect back shoulder pass from McVeigh was on target and Morris did the rest.
The Trojan defence came out firing in the second half, another three and out would force a punt, a punt which was foolishly kicked towards Siri. As he has done countless times over the past few years he avoided a number of tacklers to follow his blocks for another house call. As rotation kicked in, some sloppiness crept into the Trojans game with penalties killing drives. However Peter Roberts was able to scramble in for the sixth Belfast score late in the third quarter.
A consolation touchdown for the Rhinos midway through the final quarter did break the shutout, something the Trojan defence will no doubt be seething about, but all told it was a fantastic day at the office for the former champions.
The hard work continues off the pitch in preparation for the first serious test of the campaign. The Trojans welcome UCD to Deramore Park for the home opener on Saturday 27 April in what could be a potential playoff game further down the line.