Round 5 Review: Pharrell Williams, the Bangladesh children’s shelter, little Miller and a Speight’s for Dents

Round 5 Review: Pharrell Williams, the Bangladesh children’s shelter, little Miller and a Speight’s for Dents

Sometimes there are things in rugby which are bigger than the game. Your correspondent noted three such things this weekend.
1. Twiggy on Friday night. Those who thought Twiggy’s new rugby competition was a sideshow will be thinking again after NIB stadium hosted Australia’s biggest rugby crowd this season. Twiggy was more passionate than Magnum after winning the 5th grade grand final in 1998.
2. Dents. Some of the new crop of players down at Neddies might not be aware there were more than competition points on the line against Uni on Saturday. At stake was a trophy honouring the late Neddies star Mike Denton, who died tragically in Bali in 2011 from methanol poisoning. The boys did it for Dents. And toasting that win with a Speight’s and a tip of his Highlanders cap to the heavens back in Mike’s home town of Dunedin was his great mate and budding South Island scaffolding mogul Richie “Rat” Naylor.
3. Miller Makavilitogia. Saturday saw the Neddies rugby community rally around little Miller (son of premier grade player Zack) who has rare liver disease. This included most of the first grade team shaving their hair off. Kauri Cudd actually donated to two charities. Not only did the cutting of his waist-length locks raise money for Miller, his hair filled three doonas which have been sent to a children’s shelter in Bangladesh. The scalping also revealed a long-held secret – that Herschelle Classen is actually Pharrell Williams. There was also a suspicion that Grayson Knapp is Ed Sheeran.
Hats off too to all the Uni supporters who also chipped in for such a great cause.
Then there was the game itself between two unbeaten teams. And what a thriller it was. Neddies took to the field with yet another Colts debutant in prop Victor Yong, continuing a great tradition at the Foreshore. Neddies were under the pump in the first half as the students ran in three tries to take a 17-13 lead.
It was all action in the second half, with Uni going into the last 10 minutes with their noses in front 27-21. But the closing stages belonged to the home team, with two late tries to Mason “Winx” Pomare delivering Neddies a 35-27 victory. 20 of those points came from the Ice Man, Louis Saunders-Loder, who scored a try and landed some clutch kicks when they mattered, despite Kevin Ball questioning his Motueka heritage. Mason was also huge, while the form of fellow veteran Nathan Roberts at halfback has some pondering whether he can win another PG Hampshire award 11 years after the last one.
Saturday sees Neddies head north to take on the Joondalup Brothers.
You wouldn’t miss it for quids.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. Go Pharrell Williams. Go Ed Sheeran. GO NEDDIES!!