That was the message from Rams coach Tony Woolnough to his ever-improving Western outfit ahead of its Andrew Johns Cup top-of-the-table showdown with Monaro on Sunday.
And start better they did.
On the back of a powerful display from the Western pack, the hosts thundered to an 18-0 lead after 11 minutes, effectively blowing the Colts out of the water early at Parkes on Sunday.
Monaro fought back gallantly through tries to Damien Chamberlain and super impressive fullback Ty Dowdle to reduce Western's lead to eight but Brandan Hamilton's sixth try of the under 16s country championship proved to be a dagger as the hosts raced to a commanding 52-10 triumph over the Colts at Pioneer Oval.
HUGE START FOR WESTERN— Nick McGrath (@nickmcgrath4) March 10, 2019
Led by the Rams' pack, @WesternRams has skipped to a handy lead at the break at Pioneer Oval, prop Jackson Gersbach brilliant in the opening 30.
This top of the table clash is all green and white at the moment #johsncuppic.twitter.com/fbmfIN5be7
"We've had a couple of games where we let in the first try and we wanted to start well and we did that … I didn't quite expect that well though," Woolnough said with a grin, his side sewing up top spot in the championship's southern pool.
The Warren-based mentor was equally thrilled the young Rams were able to stave off a mini-Monaro fightback in the first term.
"I just told them they're only in the game because of us letting them back in it. I think we did well in the second half to move on from that," he added.
Our pack was the key ... our defence in the middle is brutal and that's what I want.Western's Johns Cup coach Tony Woolnough.
The Rams' backs lapped up the spoils, with South Dubbo star Hamilton and St John's centre Zac Williams crossing, while Cooper Egan, Kyle Mawhinney, Josh Belfanti and Wellington's Mitch Wilson also scored four-pointers in the nine-tries-to-two victory.
But it was Western's pack that set the tone.
Jackson Gersbach and skipper Finnley Neilson were tremendous for the hosts, the former scoring the opening try of the match and then producing the line break that led to Western's second four-pointer to Matt Noakes.
"Our pack was the key, has been for the last three games. Our defence in the middle is brutal and that's what I want," Woolnough said.
"They did play well. I'm very pleased. We've still got a bit of work to do but hopefully we get some confidence out of that leading into the semis."
Western rounds out its Johns Cup regular season campaign at Bathurst next Saturday against the Greater Southern Region Wests Tigers, kicking off from 10am.
- WESTERN RAMS 52 (Mitch Wilson, Josh Belfanti, Zac Williams, Brandan Hamilton, Kyle Mawhinney, Cooper Egan, Jackson Gerbach, Fletcher Haycock, Matt Noakes tries; Matt Noakes 6 goals) def MONARO 10 (Ty Dowdle, Damien Chamberlain tries; Connor Harrison goal)