Vikings coach Sean Barrett has urged his side to back up Saturday's win over Shamrocks with another quality performance against Campbelltown next week.
The 2018 semi-finalists claimed a 22-15 victory over fierce rivals Shamrocks at Vikings Rugby Ground to open their year with a win in what Barrett described as a quality performance.
Barrett identified plenty of areas to work on, however, and he's challenged his team to produce an improved performance against the Harlequins next Saturday.
"It was a good start for us as a club, all three grades winning," Barrett said. "We have a few things to work on, but we have that consistent shape and structure.
"We just have to keep marching on now, we're up to Campbelltown next week, it's always hard up there. They have decent firepower out wide and power forwards up the middle, so we'll have to adapt.
"The win sets us up, we wanted to start well. It's really important to get points on the board early in the season so if you do drop games later on, it doesn't affect your standing too much."
Saturday's match was a tough encounter, with Vikings jumping out to an early lead before Shamrocks fought back throughout the final 20 minutes as they threatened to run over the top of their opponents.
The late bid for victory fell short, however, with the Vikings defence holding firm to secure the six-point victory.
Barrett was pleased with the way his side held off their fast-finishing opponents.
"Our defence was quite big, we had really focused on that. There was a bit of a lull in the game and one of our guys turned it with a big tackle, that stemmed the flow.
"Shamrocks are a good side, when they got into our territory they knew what to do. They came back with two late tries, but couldn't get us. They'll win a lot of games at the back end, they're so fit."
Shamrocks may have fallen, but there were plenty of positives for the visitors to take out of the match.
The form team at the back end of 2018, Shamrocks won eight of their last nine matches, picking up wins over grand finalists Bowral and Avondale.
Their finals chances were crippled, however, by a poor start to the season, with Shamrocks ultimately finishing in fifth-place.
Based on Saturday's performance, Barrett expects Shamrocks to once again match it with the top teams in the competition in 2019.
"Shamrocks are in good shape moving forward. They're well coached by Paul Ridgeway and have good, young players that are going to trouble their opponents. They are fit, fast, young and took their opportunities.
In other matches this weekend, Bowral opened their Illawarra Rugby Union premiership defence with a comfortable victory over Tech Tahs at Saunders Oval on Saturday.
The Blacks claimed a 43-13 win over their opponents, with Henry Yuill crossing for a double.
Bowral's 2018 grand final opponents Avondale had a tougher day out, falling to a committed University side 20-17 in a physical contest at Gerry Cappetta Oval.
Kiama's season is off to a tough start, with the side falling to a Camden side hoping to improve on a disappointing 2018. The Rams defeated Kiama 34-19.
Finally, Shoalhaven opened their account with a 31-0 win over Campbelltown.
Illawarra Rugby Union Round One
VIKINGS 22 defeat SHAMROCK 15
SHOALHAVEN 31 defeat CAMPBELLTOWN 0
TECH WARATAHS 13 defeated by BOWRAL 43
AVONDALE 17 defeated by UNIVERSITY 20
CAMDEN 34 defeated KIAMA 19
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