Geurie coach Paul Hausia insists his side still has a "hell of a lot" of improvement in it despite a convincing win over Wellington in a fiery Oilsplus Cup clash between the two fierce rivals on Saturday.
The Goats led 19-3 after an opening half at Geurie Showground which failed to hit and great heights, but in the second stanza things boiled over.
A melee broke out with just over 20 minutes remaining after Dorin brothers Kym and Dylan began throwing punches.
Kym, playing for Wellington, and Geurie player Dylan were both red carded and given their marching orders while Reuben Williams of the Goats was given a stint in the bin for his involvement.
The referee gave both sides a stern talking to and while there was some heated moments late on there was no other flare-ups.
The damage had been done by the time the fight broke out and the Goats controlled proceedings late on to ensure it was the same result as it was when the two teams met in last season's grand final.
"I knew Wellington would come out firing. It's nothing out of ordinary with the local rivalry between the two and the history between them," Hausia said after the win.
"We've got a lot to take out of this though, we can keep improving and Wellington never gave up until the end."
While the margin on the scoreboard looked dominant, Wellington wasn't without its chance.
In front of another healthy crowd, the Redbacks started the better of the two sides despite the hosts scoring first through elusive fullback Moa Kavaefiafi early on.
The men in maroon and white, missing the likes of goal-kicking fullback Brad McCarroll and the injured Mitch Budge, continued to power into the Geurie defensive line but the loss of captain and flyhalf Keiran Brien to a shoulder injury just after the 20 minute mark stunted the Redbacks' attack
Both sides were guilty of poor handling and also penalties and while the Redbacks landed three points via the boot of Zac McManus after the half hour mark, most of the time they opted to keep the ball in hand.
But the hosts never panicked and the sheer amount of class in the Geurie lineup soon began to show.
A barnstorming run from the outstanding Temisia Nemani just before the break was vital for the Goats and Kavaefiafi's conversion set up a 12-point lead as the sides went into the sheds.
Former NSW Country star Filisione Pauta began to exert his authority on the game more in the second half and he bumped off a number of would-be tacklers on his way to scoring in the corner 10 minutes after the restart.
That took the match away from the Redbacks and after the Dorin brothers traded blows the Goats wrapped up the win with tries to scrumhalf Max Edwards and Vili Manu late on, the latter after yet another powerful run from Nemani.
Redbacks coach Greg 'Snow' Brien was understandably disappointed to see his side follow last week's eye-catching win over Molong with a try-less performance.
"It was a game we thought we might have come away with but a few injuries and blokes away hurt," he said.
"But no excuses. They're a tough side.
"We just lacked a bit of intensity and the rub of the green didn't go with us ... we only kicked one penalty goal in the first half and probably should have taken a few more chances and perhaps try to close the gap that way.
"We didn't and decided to put pressure on them and it didn't pay off in the end but we'll go back and look forward to the return game in Wello."
The likes of Pauta, Kavaefiafi, and co-captain Nash Forgione were among the Goats' best, which is almost always the case, but strong performances right across the park pleased Hausia.
"It's a matter of getting those key players in the key spots but it takes 15 to 25 blokes to win a game and they all play their particular role," he said.
"There's a hell of a lot (of improvement). We've got eight or 10 new guys this season so it's about gelling them in."
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