RYLEY Batt admitted he'd never been so edgy, co-captain Ryan Scott said it was great to get rid of some nerves and coach Brad Dubberley said he would have been happy with a one-point win.
You get the feeling the Australian Steelers could not be any happier or relieved after thumping world No.3 Canada 64-52 in the first game of their long-awaited Paralympic campaign.
In front of a bumper crowd, including the top-ranked United States team - who watched every move the Australians made - Canada scored first but Australia then led for the rest of the match, yet never by much.
"For us to come out and win by 12 was huge for us," Dubberley said afterwards. "Everyone's strong in this competition, so to get that sort of start is great."
The Steelers held a four-point advantage after the first quarter, they led 31-26 at half time and 45-37 after the third period. They executed their game plans perfectly but were pushed all the way by Canada.
"We expected that from them," Scott said. "They're a fantastic team, they've got some great players, some who have played for 20-plus years, and a fantastic coach. It was no surprise to us. It was what we expected."
Port Macquarie's Batt and Chris Bond, Australia's highest ranked players, played with aggression and class to dominate throughout. They were able to give each other rests and come together to give Australia plenty of momentum.
They were brilliantly supported by the likes of Greg Smith, Cameron Carr and Andrew Harrison, who blocked well, offered support and chimed in with points at vital times.
However, Batt said after the game that he'd never been as nervous as he was throughout the day.
"Coming into that game, I was probably the most nervous I have been in my life," he said.
"That's probably why during that whole game I was a bit tight in the chest. But seeing the whole Australian Paralympic team win all those medals and we've just been sitting back for the last week has been really hard. To come out and actually get that first game over and done with and pull off a performance like that, we couldn't be happier."
Australia will play Sweden tomorrow.
Scott said they would not be taking their next opponents lightly.
"Sweden are underdogs but we've got to watch them," Scott said. "We played them in Canada a month or two ago and we only beat them by two. We've got to watch them."