Werribee has made a very promising start to its 2018 practice-match phase, going down by five points to 2017 grand finalists Richmond at East Melbourne's Swinburne Centre on Saturday.
In a low-scoring, seesawing affair where fortunes largely rode on the breeze, the visitors made the most of their opportunities in front of goal where the hosts failed to capitalise on theirs, twice fighting back from beyond three goals to keep themselves in the hunt.
In the end, they had all the momentum in the last quarter but not enough time, a goal after the siren from ruck recruit Jack Berry closing the margin to within a kick after it had stood at 20 points at the final change.
Werribee senior coach John Lamont said there were plenty of positives to take away from the first-up hitout for the club's new-look standalone side, which featured seven new recruits and lacked a host of established midfield stars.
"It was a really, really pleasing effort. Richmond had our measure across the course of the day, but we ended up kicking more goals," Lamont said.
"It was a bonus game where we were able to start to put into practice the game-plan things that are new for 2018 and also give opportunities to a number of new players."
Among the new recruits in action was former Bannockburn star Jack Brauman, who held his own through something of a baptism by fire that saw him line up alongside a host of Richmond AFL talent.
Former AFL defenders Sam Collins and Nick Coughlan stood tall in their first hitout for their new club, working in well alongside the likes of Ryley Barrack and Harry Boyd, while new forward Kye Declase was lively in front of goal.
Werribee now moves its practice-match campaign to Deakin University's Waurn Ponds campus, where the club will line up against traditional rivals Williamstown on March 10.
Richmond: 3.3 5.5 7.9 7.12 (54)
Werribee: 1.0 4.1 5.1 8.1 (49)
Werribee: Declase 2, Brett, Petterwood, Sharp, Gribble, Miller, Berry