Wests Tigers skipper Aaron Woods was impressed with his side's ability to turn off all distractions in the lead-up to their 14-point Telstra Premiership victory over the Rabbitohs at ANZ Stadium on Friday night.
After a much anticipated build up between the two sides in the off-season, sublime performances right across the board steered the Tigers to their fourth-straight win over the Rabbitohs since 2015, with James Tedesco and debutant Moses Suli clear standouts.
Coming up against former teammate Robbie Farah for the first time did not seem to phase the joint venture club, and despite Bunnies winger Bryson Goodwin opening the scoring just five minutes in, the Tigers were in total control for the remainder of the match.
"I think the boys did really well, it was a distraction all week but we said if we focus all our attention on Robbie we wont go out and play good footy so we just wanted to worry about ourselves and do a job," Woods said post-game.
"I don't want him to get the better of me and he didn't want me to get the better of him.
"It's been a long build up but it's just footy."
While a knee injury to Rabbitohs fullback Greg Inglis was another major talking point to come out of the fiery clash, Woods said the side could have targeted the Australian international more while he was hobbling out on the wing.
"I was disappointed we didn't go to him more, he was playing on one leg and scored a try walking over the line so it was frustrating but it's not good for the game, you want to see Greg play at his best," he said.
"It was good for 60-65 minutes so it gives us something to work on this week at training.
"We completed 12 consecutive sets after half-time and it put Souths under pressure.
"We just tried to suffocate them and we did a really good job at it.
"We've had a long pre-season so it's just good to see little things come off and we didn’t do too many big plays, we just played simple footy really."
Wests Tigers coach Jason Taylor was pleased to get the season off to a good start, but admitted there were some areas the side will need to work on.
"We were a bit patchy… there were a few sloppy periods," Taylor said after the game.
"We made it hard for ourselves at the start of the first half and at the end of the first half but found some rhythm in the middle and then the way we started the second half was the key.
"That try we scored [after half-time] was really impressive and we put some good stuff together.
"We probably put the game beyond doubt the way we played the first 20 minutes of the second half, which was great.
"Souths are a big forward pack, they dominated the Dragons in the Charity Shield and we had to be good there.
"It was disappointing those last tries [from Goodwin] but we did enough across the course of the game to defend like we did."
 Telstra Premiership: Aaron Woods
Minutes Played, All Run Metres, Tackles, Line Breaks.