Parkes halfback Chad Porter has encouraged Westside to "stick together and you'll ... get through it" after Sunday's season opener at Apex Oval was called off with 20 minutes remaining.
The Spacemen piled on 86 unanswered points against the Rabbitohs, who were only able to take the field because 10 members of their reserve grade side backed up for another 60 minutes following their 34-22 loss.
But Porter, who scored a hat-trick as well as 13 goals to finish with 38 points, urged the Rabbitohs to "keep your heads up".
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"We've heard how they've sort of been struggling a bit so it's good to see them still here having a go," Porter said.
"I reckon they should stick around, if they can obviously.
"It's only their first game, they're only going to get better ... it's a long season but if you stick together you'll work it out and get through it."
It wasn't all bad news for Westside; at 34-0 they wrestled the momentum off Parkes and held them out for 10 minutes, but were unable to convert the pressure into points.
And they certainly illustrated more discipline than in seasons past, something coach Paul Hausia put down to the "three Ds: discipline, defence and decision-making".
"I said to them ... 'What's happened in the past, I can't control but what's on the field, you can control. From here on you will play the three Ds' and they did that today," Hausia said.
"It was played in good spirits ... With a scoreline like that, when it blows out you tend to have tempers flare but I said to the guys 'it's the first game of the season'.
"'It's going to be a long season but we'll just go game by game with what we can improve from here'."
What a half. Parkes lead 50-0 with Porter nabbing a hat-trick and Brandon Paige crossing twice. But Westside showing plenty of heart and almost scoring during a 10 minute period when the momentum definitely swung their way.#Group11#PKSvWSTpic.twitter.com/iJiRuChCci— Jennifer Hoar (@JenniferHoar) April 28, 2019
Ten of the 23 reserve grade players backed up in the first grade match, making up almost two-thirds of the 16-man side.
When asked if the club would last the season with fewer than 30 players in their ranks, Hausia admitted "it's definitely going to be hard".
"As I said to [the players], I have no plans to go anywhere in a hurry," he said.
"if we do need to look outside the square to start recruiting then that's what we'll do but I'm not focused on the what-ifs.
"It's what we can do with who we've got."
There were plenty of positives for Parkes, who maintained their intensity. They piled on 36 points in the final 20 minutes of the game after leading 50-0 at the break.
In addition to Porter's hat-trick, which included one field-length try, Brandon Paige, Jake Porter and Paul Kronenberg all scored doubles while Jay Slavin, Brandon Tago and Jordan Pope wreaked havoc through the middle.
Meanwhile the outside backs used the width of the field to find gaps and broke tackles at will to leave Westside's defence in their wake.
But there were handling errors which Porter acknowledged would be punished by the competition's stronger sides. W
"We were just pushing passes," he said.
"In games like that sometimes you go for the offload and when it's not on we just can't be complacent. We've got to complete.
"We've got a lot to work on, it's only early days, first game of the year so we'll go back next week and work on what we need to fix and we'll be better next week."
- PARKES SPACEMEN 86 (Chad Porter 3, Brandon Paige 2, Jake Porter 2, Paul Kronenberg 2, Jacob Smede, David White, Sam Dwyer, Ben Davis, Epi Sordrodro, Joseph Dwyer tries; Chad Porter 13 conversions) def WESTSIDE RABBITOHS 0