The All Blacks secured a win at home during their top of the table clash with Tarrawingee, sending them straight to the top of the Ovens and King League ladder.
The win was a hard fought one for the All Blacks who had several key players out due to injury.
After being down a goal at the start of the last quarter, the Panthers were able to claw their way in front and take the game, with the final score 12.9-81 to 10.8-68.
Some of the best performer’s included Al Jacka, Joel Eastwood, Ben Pretty, Riley Moran, Justin Gervasoni and Chris Lockhart.
All Blacks coach Harry Moran said that despite having eight players out of the side they were able to pull together and capitalise on opportunities.
‘‘We had to restructure the way we went forward as we’ve got lots of players out, we had to try a few different things and they paid off,’’ he said.
‘‘There were lots of good individual efforts but as a whole the boys played as a team.
‘‘To get the win against an undefeated team was pretty important, especially with lots of guys out.’’
Moran himself is one of the casualties to injury, needing a season ending knee reconstruction following last week’s clash with Greta.
‘‘It’s pretty disappointing but there’s not much I can do about it now,’’ he said.
‘‘I’m fortunate that I’m still heavily involved in the club as coach and grateful that I can try and coach them to a premiership this year.’’
Despite some knock backs, Moran said he’s happy with where the team is sitting after the first six rounds.
‘‘To be in a position where we’re 5-1 after round six is a great position, especially having played all the heavy weight top sides over these opening rounds,’’ he said.
‘‘We played all three top sides and had one loss so that’s a promising sign.
‘‘‘We’ll look to try and keep the momentum going no matter who we play and hopefully keep going with our form.’’
The All Blacks will now be looking to have week off for the bye round, as the Oven and King League take on the Hume League for the annual Interleague clash.
‘‘After that we have North Wangaratta so it’ll be handy to have a bye to refresh and refocus,’’ said Moran.
Three All Blacks players have been named in the Oven and King Interleague squad in Al Jacka, Riley Moran and Andrew Trede.
Although Jacka won’t be playing, co-captain Riley Moran said he’s keen to get a run for the Interleague game.
‘‘It’s a first experience for me so I’m very keen,’’ he said.
Moran is also pleased with the chiromancer of the side so far this season.
‘‘We’ve had a pretty good start to the season so happy with where we’re at at the moment,’’ he said.