Culcairn’s big off season investment in some high-profile recruits started perfectly, when they defeated highly fancied Lockhart at Culcairn.
Trent Perczyk, who played previously at Osborne, starred up forward booting seven goals to be best on ground.
Other recruits Jye and Kane Shields from Tallangatta FL club Kiewa Sandy Creek and the Hallinan brothers Tim and Dane starred for their new club.
Veteran coach Brendan Way led superbly, with great support from Drew Mortlock and Nick Finlayson to win by 14 points.
Lockhart, under the coaching of Shane Lenon, would have left disappointed with its result considering the hype around its 2016 prospects.
Jesse Margosis continued on from his solid 2015 season with a terrific game, ably supported by Matt Lewington and Oscar Smyth.
Culcairn looked in trouble after the visitors kicked the first three goals, but they settled superbly to lead by five goals at half-time.
Billabong Crows lived up to its expected improvement, by overcoming the young Holbrook outfit at Urana, winning by 26 points.
The Crows maintained a two-goal break for most of the day, before ramming home two late goals to stretch the margin and earn a well-deserved victory.
The Crows have one of the best defences in the competition with Al Austin and Jon Simpson leading the way in shutting down the Brookers key forwards.
Fellow recruits Luke Kuschert, James O’Connell, Michael O’Riordan all made an impact along with returning locals Will Haberecht and Hayden Dalitz.
In blustery and windy conditions on the wide expanses of the Urana Sporstground, it was the Crows’ better ball use that clinched the win.
Midfielders Josh Jones, Lachlan Trethowan and debutant Will Holmes were amongst the Brookers’ best along with defender Alec Sullivan.
Jindera showed they will be one of the teams to beat, when they travelled to Howlong and inflicted a heavy 70 point defeat to the locals.
Kris Holman was in stunning form racking up nearly 40 possessions and when his brother Nic returns from suspension they will be a genuine force.
Sam Crawshaw, who crossed over from the now defunct Walla prior to the merger, starred with three goals in his dangerous small forward role. Kirk Wilson, a former premiership player at the club, added plenty of strength and grunt up forward kicking four goals to assist Crawshaw.
The first quarter gave no suggestion of the final margin after both teams were locked at 27 all at quarter-time.
Jindera will get a clearer picture of its fortunes this week, when they travel to Osborne who will have former AFL star Adam Schneider back with Osborne for a one off game.