An impressive Glenorchy outfit and an equally unrelenting gastro outbreak has handed North Launceston its first loss of the season.
Already without Tarryn Thomas and Rhyan Mansell who were on Mariners duty, the Bombers lost five of their back six and seven of their 22-player squad to food poisoning before the game.
Untried quartet Ollie Sanders, Leiwyn Jones, Blake Holmes and Jack Mazengarb all showed promise in their debuts, but could not stop the Magpies running out 16.7 (103) to 7.9 (51) winners.
MORE PHOTOS: North Launceston v Glenorchy
North coach Taylor Whitford said his side had competed well in the absence of some of its most established players.
“They were good I thought the boys that came in, it’s a really good experience to play against the best side in the state,” Whitford said.
“Our stoppage work and ability to win contested ball was good but I didn’t think we had the polish on the outside today to go with a side like Glenorchy.”
Skipper Brad Cox-Goodyer was forced to spend most of his time in the middle despite returning from a hamstring injury but managed to be one of North’s best players, winning plenty of clearances and nailing a 60m bomb in the final term.
Tom Bennett capped off a three-goal game with a last-term miracle from deep in the pocket, while Jack Avent was steady down back.
Jake Pearce was forced into the ruck in the final term with Alex Lee (ankle) and Bart McCulloch (ill) sitting out the final stages.
“Al’s ankle is ok, there’s no point risking it in round three,” Whitford said. “Other than that I think we’re pretty good after a pretty tough game of footy in the wet.”
The victory kept the Magpies’ perfect record intact and came with plenty of positives for new coach Paul Kennedy.
Ex-Hawthorn rookie Zac Webster gave plenty of grunt through the middle and chipped in with two goals, while Jaye Bowden played all over the ground in a typically dominant performance.
Mitch Rainbird (three goals) and Callen Daly were both livewires in the Magpies’ forward line, the latter topping the highlights reel by taking a one-handed slips catch with a ball still sopping from torrential rain in the first quarter.
“You can’t ask for a better test than that to start the season,” Kennedy said.
“On a day like today to execute the way we did and still play some really nice clean footy at times too... I’m really happy with the boys.”