ROUND ONE: The South Burnett Saints fell to rivals Coolaroo in the opening round of the AFLDD competition.
ROUND ONE: The South Burnett Saints fell to rivals Coolaroo in the opening round of the AFLDD competition. Jessica Langton

Saints fall away in opener

Australian Football: The South Burnett Saints may have lost their opening round clash against Coolaroo, but the scoreboard did not reflect the contest according to president Daniel Clacy.

The Saints travelled to Toowoomba's Gold Park on Saturday to renew hostilities with their semi-final conquerors of last season, and despite the 60-point deficit at the end of four quarters, Clacy was impressed with how his side acquitted themselves.

"It's the best game we've ever played against them,” Clacy said.

"If you look at our history, even last year in the semi-final it was 150 to 60-odd so in that respect it was fantastic.

"The feel from both clubs was that we'd earned their respect.”

With more than 10 starters already unavailable through work and illness, the Saints dug deep in the third term to peg the margin back.

But further injuries in the last quarter meant they finished the game 17 versus 18, and allowed the hosts to run in five late goals to put the game beyond doubt.

"The first half wasn't bad, but we didn't take full advantage of our opportunities,” Clacy said.

"There was a lot of nerves going into the game and I think that showed on the field with a few rushed decisions under pressure.”

Clacy chose to remain optimistic about the Saints' chances this season.

The reverse fixture against Coolaroo is scheduled for three weeks time, and with a full strength side and on their home deck Clacy believes they have every chance to make it a closer contest.