KOSTA Sykiotis opened the 2021 Hunter Rugby Union season with five tries as Merewether Carlton made light work of Lake Macquarie at Walters Park on Saturday.
The Greens winger racked up 25 individual points and goal kicker Sam Bright 22 with 11 successful conversions as the visitors ran out winners by 82-3 in round one.
Jason Milligan crossed twice for Merewether while debutant Jack Miller, Sam Rouse, Will Frost, Thomas Newman and Eli McCulloch also made the score sheet.
Miller was later named players' player.
The competition was resuming after an 18 months hiatus, cancelled last year because of the global coronavirus pandemic.
"It's unfortunate it wasn't more competitive, but our guys have been working hard for the last six months and were jumping out of their skin to play," Merewether coach Jamie Lind said.
He's expecting a tougher contest in round two, with the Greens hosting rivals Wanderers at Townson Oval this Saturday.
"We've got a big one to prepare for this week. I think that will give us a better evaluation of how we're going," Lind said.
The Merewether mentor described Sykiotis as "pretty strong, with a bit of toe and only young".
"It felt like every time I looked up he was putting the ball down," Lind said.
Elsewhere on Saturday and Wanderers overcame Nelson Bay 24-13, Maitland eventually got the better of Singleton 22-13 while Southern Beaches secured a bonus point in beating University 27-0. Hamilton had the bye.
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