Blueys coach Luke McGuire left Tarrawanna Oval disappointed his side couldn't claim all three points against premiers Port Kembla on Saturday.
Tarrawanna drew 1-1 but could have easily won the match in the second half.
Heroic keeping from Port's David Poeira late in the second stanza kept the Blueys at bay and denied McGuire's men the chance to start the season in ideal fashion.
"Probably going into the game, I would have been happy with a point but after the game I was pretty gutted with a point actually," McGuire said.
"Although we didn't play that great, I think the only shot they really had was the penalty and Dave, their keeper, pulled off probably four or five world-class saves in the last 20 minutes.
"It was one of those days where we created chances but were foiled by some amazing goalkeeping," he said.
The Blueys were able to put one past Poeira thanks to Ilija Prenzoski in the 46th minute.
Darren Stone linked up with Ricky Goodchild then whipped in a cross to the near post where Prenzoski waited to finish.
But Tarrawanna's hopes were dashed with 15 minutes to go when Daniel Aliffi scored from the penalty spot.
Both sides pressed for an equaliser but had to be content sharing the spoils.
"From our point of view I think we really stuck it to them," McGuire said.
"Them being the champions and us being a team that, if everything goes our way, we could sneak into the top five. It was a great effort from us.
"I think the boys will take a fair bit of confidence out of it. I don't think anyone really expected us to do any good against Port."
After 67 goals last campaign, Port Kembla coach Stuart Beedie was underwhelmed by his team's start in the attacking third.
"I thought we were a bit poor in the final third with our execution," he said.
"Certainly we were getting ourselves in good positions but we didn't really make Christian Pretto make too many saves.
"We could have probably had the game won. It is still early and to be far we haven't been able to do a lot of that on our pitch so far," Beedie said.
The match was the only fixture to survive the wild weekend weather; all other round-one matches were rescheduled.