It’s a long way from the popular Nusa Dua tourist strip to The Foreshore. But former Neddies prop turned Bali restaurateur Warren Mead picked a good day for a rare visit to his old stomping ground on Saturday as Neddies hosted the unbeaten Soaks in a crucial Round 9 match. For starters, the RugbyWA Cup was on the line. And then there was the milestone of halfback Nate Roberts’ 150th premier grade game for Neddies.
Amid ever-threatening skies, Nate lead his team onto the field after wins in thirds and women’s and losses in reserves and fourths. It must have also been Father’s Day at Neddies because the players all had colourful new socks.
They weren’t lucky socks however because after the first 30 or so minutes of play, Neddies were down 9 points to nil with only 14 players left after star fullback Kauri Cudd copped a yellow card.
This seemed to stir the boys into action. On the stroke of halftime, Neddies hit back with a slashing try to the experienced Ammon Matuauto, back in the midfield after a long stretch on the sideline recovering from injury.
Neddies hit the lead for the first time with a penalty goal early in the second half. But that was short-lived, as Soaks hit back with an unconverted try to edge ahead 14-10. It was about this time the skies darkened as the match started resembling a night game – though with no lights apart from a candle Kevin Ball found in the glove-box of his Ute wedged between two Milli Vanilli cassettes.
With so much on the line, it was a matter of whose defence would crack first. And as Neddies hammered the Soaks line, it was Ammon who found a way over for his second try to give Neddies what turned out to be a thrilling 17-14 win.
After a couple of below par performances in recent weeks, this was a heart-warmer for The Third Half. The win left Neddies within striking distance of top spot – and with the RugbyWA Cup back at The Foreshore. That was certainly worthy of the season’s first rendition of Singing in The Rain by club legend Rex Julian in the changing rooms.
There will be no defence of the RugbyWA Cup on Saturday however as Neddies head to Morley to take on Baysie.
You know the drill.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. Go Milli Vanilli. GO NEDDIES!