STEPHAN Blair had the chance to mark his Wauchope Thunder lower Mid North Coast rugby union competition debut in fine style on Saturday at Andrews Park.
The former Macleay Valley Mustangs and Port City Breakers five-eighth crossed out wide to level the scores with Manning River Ratz at 19-all.
His subsequent sideline conversion after the siren was unsuccessful allowing the Thunder and Ratz to share the points in an entertaining season opener.
Thunder coach Travis Moore admitted it was a fair result of the game.
"It was back and forwards all game and played with a high intensity," he said.
"Good hit out first-out for the boys; there was a lot of eagerness with a couple of yellow cards, but it was played in a good spirit.
"A 19-all draw is well-deserved."
The Thunder opened the scoring inside the first five minutes before they found themselves camped inside their own half until the break.
"We were probably a bit too over-confident and once Manning River got a roll on we backed into our shell and got a bit jittery," Moore said.
"But once we pushed through that stage we settled back into our groove and played the footy we wanted to play."
Loose forwards Ollie Pascoe, Logan Marshall and Brett Starkey were three of the Thunder's best.
"They're not the biggest blokes around, but made good decisions defensively and were aggressive," Moore said.
The Thunder hit the road this weekend to tackle Wallamba.