More cards than Magnum on Valentine’s Day. That was the story again at Lark Hill on Saturday as Neddies held on to beat Rockingham 17-13. On a wet afternoon, the home team registered first points with two early penalty goals. Neddies finally hung on to the ball and strung enough phases together for fullback Henare Hira to score the opening try, which left the score at 6-5. Soon after, Neddies took the lead when halfback Nathan Roberts scored from an offload from prop Travis Church which had shades of NZ Warriors star Feleti Mateo. When Mike Botes knocked over the conversion, Neddies were ahead by 12-6. When hooker Mason Pomare crossed later in the half to increase the lead to 17-6, Neddies looked on course for another bonus-point win to follow the previous week’s season opener against Uni. However, the game pretty much fell into a hole in the second half as the umbrellas – and the cards – came out. When Rockingham scored late in the half to narrow Neddies’ lead to 17-11, memories of the ill-fated 2011 match at Lark Hill were revived. But Neddies hung on to take the points and remain one of only two unbeaten teams in the competition, the other being the Roo Dogs. Among the better performers for Neddies were big-hitting lock Phil Steyne, workhorse flanker Chalkie and inside centre Ryan McLeod, a former Hawkes Bay representative.
The Thirsty Thirds
The game was scheduled for an 11:30 kickoff on the No.1 oval, a treat for the boys as we normally play on the No2 oval. Some last minute reshuffle of the backline to accommodate for those backs who got lost on the way down.
From the kickoff our ruck defence and pressure on their ball carrier resulted in quite a bit of turnover ball with Captain for the day Matt Suter and the ever impressive Tom Ballantine working well together at the breakdowns, they were ably supported by the quickly maturing David Bailey.
With more cohesion and the return of “PIWI” Jody Fauth to the Centres we started to find holes and after a some lightening attacking raids and the ball spun wide to our new recruit Tom Odhiambo the flying Kenyan pinned his ears back and crashed over in the rhs corner to rack up our first and his first try. The conversion by Chris Wagga Dougherty was unsuccessful.
Score NTT(Nedlands Thirsty Thirds) 5 – 0 Rockingham.
Several plays later as neddies were pressing the Rockingham try line Nick Rostin was left unconscious after a brutal contest for the ball with rockinghams ranga flanker. He was subbed with Alex Stephens (AS) with Mike Weir going into 2nd row and AS into loose head prop.
Utilising a move developed after a lot of beers and some blinding revelations on a white board we went right then right again and then the backs swooped around and Chris “Wagga” Dougherty crossed the line untouched after a fantastic display of controlled phase play and communication. Naturally he converted his own try.
Score NTT 12 – 0 Rockingham.
From the restart Neddies once again ran the ball back at the Rockingham forwards who were starting to tire of tackling our rampaging forward pack, great yards were made time and time again. So successful were we at this that in no time we were again threatening the Red zone and with a good overlap and holes appearing in the Rockingham backline, Chris Wagga Dougherty took it upon himself to ask the question of the defence and sprinted through a gap to cross next to the posts untouched once again. It goes without saying that his conversion of his own try was quite easy. Score NTT 17 – 0 Rockingham.
At half time a couple of the backs were subbed off and fresh legs put on in important positions.
One of the more inspired changes was Auben “George” Lavery on at 9, who made a massive hit on the Rockingham fullback that so upset the Rockingham fwd pack who were adamant that a shoulder charge thinly disguised as a tackle was their exclusive domain. Handbags at 10 paces ensued with most of the rockingham fwd pack deciding they didn’t want to be bullied anymore so they would all pick on the gently spoken Auben. Luckily as a true Scott Auben is made of sterner stuff and with abit of neddies fwd backup gave them what for.
The following scrum was smashed by neddies and some quick work by the “Fijian Flyer” Percy Bulisovasova took the ball fwd into the Rockingham half where Percy blew a couple of the Rockingahm fwds off the ball while contesting a breakdown. As he was pulled forward off his feet, once again mimicking a typical Rockingham breakdown technique, three of the Rocky fwds decide to do a soft shoe (moulded sole boots) shuffle up his back and across the back of his head.
This was a disgusting display of blatant rucking that at least deserved a yellow card to two of the Rocky fwds let alone a mandatory Red Card as stipulated in the community rugby game management guidelines. Luckily it is on tape and we can replay it back to Rockingham should the need arise.
The game went a bit strange after this point where it appeared the Rockingham side could do no wrong at lineouts, scrums and the breakdown, Neddies were getting belted by the man in white. Calm heads attempted to rectify the problem and work us back into the Rockingham half, but the tide of penalties was too great and eventually Rockingham scored from lineout and rolling maul. Conversion was unsuccessful
Score NTT 19 – 5 Rockingham
More argby bargy in scrums lineouts and refereeing decisions, the most worrying being that when a team goes to uncontested scrums that side must take a player off, Rocky went uncontested with about 10 minutes to go and despite our protestations they refused to remove a player from the field.
A penalty against rockingham had the goal kicking maestro Wagga Dougherty lining up from dead in front to seal the result at 22- 5 to NTT(Nedlands Thirsty Thirds)
All in all a good effort, some more refinement of the game plan and moves to be used where and when in a game.
Player of the Day went to Tom Ballantine.
The game kicked off right on time with gloomy skies and the wind on our side. A better drilled and fired up Nomads side kicked of their Round 2 game with a bang as they powered on to counter an opposition ruck in their 22m line, causing a turnover to the Nomads which was quickly swung out wide to Chad Collins who ran in for the Nomads first try in the opening minute at the corner flag, conversion unsuccessful by Simon Brett.
Rockingham restarted the game, woken up from a blitz of a try, came back hard at the Nomads. The Nomads did not see much ball throughout the first half. However defensively we continued to harass Rockingham, causing turnovers and moving forward in defense. The Rockies caught the Nomads sleeping when their forwards drove a maul from a line out, 5m from the Nomad’s try line, and scoring at the 15th minute.
The Nomads were back on the throttle as the back row of “Captain fearless” Marty FitzSimon, “Give-it” Mike Smith and Hillary “The Beast” Kavumbura were all over the opposition disrupting their play. The game plan was kept in check as the Nomads played the game at their pace. A well timed pass by Keith Brady saw Andrew “Gadget” Knight blaze the trail on the wing as he smoked the opposition winger to score the Nomad’s second try in the 20th minute with another unsuccessful conversion attempt.
The Nomads were not done yet, coming in to the end of the first half, the forwards picked up their pace. A line out in the opposition 22m and a series of pick and go efforts by the forwards saw flanker Mike Smith crash through a wall of Rockingham bodies to score the Nomad’s third try right on half time, conversion successful taken by Chad Collins. Score at the end of the half 17-7 to the Nomads.
The key message at half time by Captain Fearless Marty FitzSimon, “keep it simple boys, we all know what to do”, and that’s exactly what they did. With some fresh legs on, the Nomads picked up where they left off, with the forwards dominating the start of the second half.
The support and continuity from the forwards was commendable as they inched closer to the Rockingham try line. Luke Fonseka, the hooker, picked up the ball from the base of the ruck, a meter from the try line and dove across to score the Nomad’s fourth try at the 35th minute. A minor lapse in defense and some handling error saw Rockingham score a soft try under the post at the 38th minute.
Score now 22-14 to the nomads. The Nomads weren’t ready to settle, they pressed on defending against the hard running Rockies, shutting down their space to attack, launching counter attacks by the Nomads outside backs James Timoney, Andrew “Gadget” Knight and Andrew Simmons who kept testing the Rockingham defense.
The forwards worked their way up to the Rockies try line and this time Hillary “The Beast” Kavumbura picked up the ball and smashed through to score the Nomad’s fifth try at the 46th minute and converted successfully by Stru McCorkindale. Straight off the back of that try, the backs inflicted more pain on Rockingham with Hadyn (Haydos)Smith and Stru. McCorkindale showing their pace with ball in hand. The sixth try was snuck in by the half back Rabi Ratnesar right under the post at 52nd minute.
Almost done, but not yet as the Nomads kept attacking and the final try saw fly-half Keith Brady receiving a nicely weighted dive pass from half Rabi Ratnesar and run straight under the post with support on his left and right, scoring the Nomad’s 7th
try just on the full time. The nail in the coffin was delivered by prop Paul (the Quif) Baker as he successfully converted the try bringing the full time score to 41-14 to the Nomads.
A wonderful afternoon for the Nomads clocking their first win for the season.
This week the traveling cavalier circus was performing at the goat farm (Curtin uni), and like last week there was no shortage of entertainment, the only concern was when Blair “the bus” Dayley had his shorts pulled down in a tackle revealing what looked like a g string, anyway once a few spectators were treated for shock, play resumed. With the first try coming in the opening minutes going through about 3000 sets of hands Bundy dotted down in the corner for the first of his first half brace. Not long after “the bus” looked more like a train in india with a few passengers hanging on catching a lift to the try line. With a few early tries it signalled what mood the Cavs were in and it didnt stop till the final whistle with the captain Deano and the midfield backs cutting up thanks to a tireless forward back. Cav of the day was Diggers with some big hits (something you wouldnt expect from a man with a foot fetish). Going into half time 30 odd up coach banksie had the luxuary of making 7 changes but not before reminding the boys about there subs.
Curtin never gave up but the Cavs starved them of the pill and made them tackle all day, and for the first time in a long time 4 props graced the team sheet but coach Banksie didnt have to worry about who to replace because two just walked off when they were tired. It was suggested that we freeze one of the props for later. After the game all the boys looked forward to a beer but not before being reminded about there subs once again by their coach. Saturday was also the first cavalier function for the year and in true Cav fasion it was a disaster with a certain team mate not telling his female flatmates that there was going to be some respectable waitresses that dont wear clothes for a living serving us beers in their lounge. Overall a great sat 57-0 and some good team bonding.