SOARING: Nathan Trace flies high to take a grab in the first quarter.
SOARING: Nathan Trace flies high to take a grab in the first quarter. Callum Dick

Saints eclipse Suns in friendly

Australian Football: The South Burnett Saints overcame a slow start to trounce the Chinchilla Suns in their pre-season trial match in Chinchilla last Friday.

The more fancied Saints, who have never lost to the Suns in competition, found themselves two goals behind early in the first quarter as their hosts showed the benefit of preparation.

But led by the young combination of Matthew Patroni and Nathan Trace through the middle, the visiting Saints responded in impressive fashion to hit the front by the end of the first term and go on to extend their lead at every change.

Patroni looks to have taken his game to another level following a watershed season for the Saints last year, while Trace put his hand up for captaincy in a dominant performance with multiple goals from midfield.

It will be on the younger brigade to help the Saints take the next step this season, as the Saints prepare for perhaps their toughest season yet in the newly-minted AFL Darling Downs division one competition.

Just how much they have improved on last season is a question we will not have to wait long to answer, when they meet finals conquerors Coolaroo in the opening round on April 22.

The Saints' first home game is also against Coolaroo, at Lyle Vidler Oval on May 13.