The Narooma Devils enjoyed the opening round of Group 16 contact Nines in Pambula on Saturday, but were handed an opening loss by the Bega Roosters.
Despite some massive performances through the middle, the speedsters from the tri-colours found a few options out wide through the likes of Madison Parbery and Alanna Dummett to secure scoring opportunities.
After superb back and forth sections of play it was the Roosters carding the win 18-6 after leading 10-0 at the break. The Devils welcomed the return of league-tag superstar Lily Rose-Bennett who made some stellar runs including a left edge line break to score Narooma's try and also featured in a few charge-down tackles after the Roosters managed to slip through the line.
Meanwhile, Wrylka Colburn hammered out big metres for the Devils in the forward lines and also made some incredible defensive tackles.
Narooma's half-back also drew praise from the sideline with an impressive kicking game and great read of the ball.
The Devils made good ground through the middle, but had few chances to finish off scoring opportunities, while it was the Roosters exploiting gaps in the Devils' defence that tipped the result.
In the second senior clash, Cooma proved too strong for an understrength Snowy River Bears outfit.
The Bears had welcomed the assistance of three players from the Roosters to fill out their ranks, but the Stallions were classy around the fringes to repeatedly break the Bears' line and post a dominant 46-4 result.
With ages from the under 12s through to open-age ladies play, the event will continue as a gala day roadshow this year with six rounds to be held across four grounds in the next month.
Both Moruya and Narooma will host double headers, while round two matches will be held in Eden at the George Brown Memorial Oval this weekend.
The Devils are among one of the biggest contenders in 2020 with teams registered in all four grades.
The girls suffered a first round loss to Pambula in the under 12s, while the under 16s dominated their round against Cooma, running out a 20-0 result.
This years competition will be just as strong as previously with 18 teams to contest the four grades with the under 16s the strongest of the bunch, featuring six teams from Pambula, Bega, Cooma, Narooma, Moruya and the Snowy River Bears.
Senior men's tackle also returned to the Valley over the weekend with a four-team pub comp starting in Bega on Friday.
The Wolumla Wombats defeated Bermagui-Cobargo 22-20, while the Commercial Hotel Magpies won the second game. Round two of women's tackle is in Eden Saturday, while round four of the Narooma touch comp played on Tuesday night.