READ MORE - BFNL Good Friday wrap
STRATHFIELDSAYE coach Troy Coates has labelled his side's defensive component as the most pleasing aspect of the Storm's first two wins of the BFNL season.
The Storm have already accounted for reigning premier Eaglehawk and 2018 preliminary finalist Sandhurst, making a strong early-season statement.
In both wins the Storm have proven difficult to score against, conceding just three first-half goals on the way to victories by 38 points over the Hawks and 46 points against the Dragons at the Queen Elizabeth Oval on Friday.
"Last year we were a very attacking side... we know how to score, it's just making sure we can stop the opposition scoring and it's a whole team effort," Coates said.
"The back seven have been great, but we've got a real team focus on the defensive side of things.
"Sometimes our midfielders might have defensive roles, but overall, defense is one area that we've been working hard to try to improve on this year."
The Storm's best against the Dragons was Ben Lester, who played a key defensive role on Sandhurst recruit Will Holt.
"Ben has been playing a lock-down back role and that comes back to that defensive mindset that we've had," Coates said.
"Ben has been really good in that area and did a really good job on Will Holt, and last week he played a similar role, but also went through the ruck.
"And he can also play as a midfielder with his contested ball work, so he gives us some real flexibility.
"His body is in really good nick, he has a lot more confidence now after two knee reconstructions and has been great for us early on."
The Storm's pair of wins over Eaglehawk (98-60) in the grand final rematch and Sandhurst (89-43) have come in what's a challenging early fixture for the club, with its next two assignments Golden Square and a trip to Gisborne.
Next Saturday's home clash against Golden Square will be Strathfieldsaye's 200th senior match since joining the BFNL in 2009 as a start-up senior club.
Meanwhile, Maryborough coach Ben Lavars told the Bendigo Advertiser on Friday night the club couldn't recall the last time both its senior and reserves teams won on the same day following their pair of Good Friday victories over Castlemaine.
The seniors won by 15 points and reserves by 27 points at Princes Park.
For the record, it was the first time since round 16 of 2014 against South Bendigo at the QEO that both the Magpies' seniors and reserves were victorious on the same day.
That day - Sunday, August 10 - the reserves won by 20 points and the seniors by one point before losing their next 47 games.
But that 47-game losing streak for the senior team that stretched into June of 2017 wasn't as long as what the Magpies' reserves just endured.
Friday's 7.13 (55) to 4.4 (28) win ended a run of 57 losses in a row, with it Maryborough's first win in the reserves since beating South Bendigo by 10 points in round 16 of 2015.
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