Round 4 of the competition saw Neddies host new premier grade entrants ARKs who were hoping to emulate their Nudge Edwards-inspired upset at The Foreshore some three decades earlier.
In mid-summer like conditions and with goose-stepping former Wallaby winger David Campese amongst the onlookers (after a morning training clinic with the Juniors), the Neddies premier grade team took to the field after wins in reserves, thirds and fourths and a season opening loss to the women’s team against the Kalamunda Bulleses.
What unfolded was, in Marc Ellis parlance, a classic game of two halves. The first half belonged to ARKs, who, with the sun and breeze at their backs, out-scored Neddies three tries to one for a 17-10 lead.
But a spray from coach Tony Ball which set off car alarms in the Steve’s Hotel parking lot and had dogs barking as far as Mullaloo seemed to do the trick, along with the efforts of Louis Saunders-Loder and old hand Mason Pomare who, like halfback Nathan Roberts, has discovered the elixir of rugby youth. As the Hulkster noted, Mason is stripping fitter than Winx this season and enjoying the hard and fast track.
While Mason was doing his bit to help out with an injury and suspension-derived shortage of cattle in the front row, Louis was doing his best Jonny Wilkinson impersonations at fullback, with a perfect scorecard of six from six from the boot.
Playing into the Third Half Corner in the second half, Neddies rattled off four unanswered second half tries to lock Grayson Knapp, winger Giles “Full Noise” McMeikan, centre Maia King and replacement Tane Manga for a final scoreline of 38-17.
Saturday looks a tougher proposition as Neddies host a resurgent Uni team who have set the early pace in the competition with four wins from four. Word around the traps is that the mighty Peanut might be back, though that could just be fake news.
Either way you know the drill by now.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. Go Winx. Go Peanut. GO NEDDIES!!