It was a spectacular day down at The Foreshore on Saturday as Neddies celebrated the opening of our new club house (and Life Member Steve Takiari’s 70th birthday).And as councillors, politicians, building magnates and rugby officials mingled in the VIP area, there was plenty of spectacular action on the field as a non-stop feast of 18 games culminated in the Neddies Premier Grade team taking on Kalamunda in the first home game of the season.It was a game of three halves.Running into the bright sunshine in the first half, Neddies encountered some stiff resistance from Kalamunda. The scores were locked at 10-10 shortly before half time after tries to skipper Luke “Dogga” Doherty and crowd favourite Ben “No stop for smoko” Titoko. A late try to hard-running centre Ryan “For crying out” McLeod enabled Neddies to go to the break with a 15-10 lead.The second half was a much different story altogether. Playing with the sun at their backs, Neddies turned up the tempo to rattle off another 47 points. This included a second try to Ben Titoko, two to young fullback Henare Hira and one each to winger Saul Chase, Riche “Rat” Naylor, Matt “Boots” Venter and prop Travis “the Pope” Church, who has been a rock in the Neddies front row this season. Ben Titoko now leads the try scoring list for Neddies with five tries from as many outings.The bonus-point 62-17 score line left Neddies unbeaten at the top of the ladder as the team prepares for Saturday’s away game against Perth-Bayswater.Then there was The Third Half, otherwise known as the Neddies supporters club, which was signing up new members at a furious pace on Saturday. If you haven’t already signed up, make sure you see Rocket Jones and Hulkster to join this most elite organisation. According to the Hulkster, WAGS are especially welcome. You will see Third Half camped near the try line area which has now been dubbed Titoko Corner. Great to see so many familiar Neddies faces down at The Foreshore on Saturday, including Jake Stevens and “Snarlin” Marlon Walker, who have just returned from overseas.All up, it was an awesome day which posed one unanswered mystery, summed up by Lara Bingle: “Where the bloody hell were you Rex Julian?”
The Reserves were keen for another winning effort to start off their first home game of the season and launch the opening of the new clubhouse. The large crowd, basking in the foreshore sun, witnessed Kalamunda open the scoring with a penalty from out in front and then Neddies reply with A Rob Boulle penalty shortly after. The early exchanges had both sides battle for territory in a seesaw period, resulting with the trading of penalty conversions. The accuracy of Boulle’s boot keeping the hosts in front 9-6 after the first quarter. The Neddies pack then began to take the ascendancy with some controlled possession up front that allowed midfielder Smokin’ Joe Malinavitihevu the stroll over after some determined phase play. Flyhalf Cam Sinden continued to direct play well and was backed up by an effective forward pack set piece effort. Second rowers Danny McAuliffe and Mike Egan with loose forwards Fud Ashford and Ollie Baissac were particularly dynamic around the park with ball in hand and leading the defensive line. A line break from midfielder Nase Christian created a scoring opportunity on the Bulls line late in the half. Halfback Sicho Nielson seized the prospect of a five pointer and dotted down untouched. The conversion gave Neds a 23-6 lead into the break.
The sun continued beat down for the second half and it was clear that the heat would play a factor late into the game. Neddies started with some positive intent with an assault into the Kalamunda twenty two. Some stout defence from the Bulls kept their line in tact, counter attacking out of their half through some wearing blue tacklers. Neddies managed to also keep tryline from being crossed as both sides again battled to hang on to the ball and gain the upper hand. Replacement winger Matt Ventor broke the shackles when he received the ball inside his half and raced away. Opportunities were available for the home team for much of the second half; unfortunately the handling gremlins that had blemished previous performances raised their heads again. Off a handling error and against the run of play the visitors ran holes to score and give them an outside chance of a comeback. Both benches were emptied as most players’ tanks were for the final quarter. Neds defence held as they did some passes, and Ventor again was rewarded with a try. The conversion closed out another good day for Boulle with the boot, and Neddies with a 37-13 win at home. The best for the Lions on the day were attacking fullback Bryce Penny, and the hard toiling rookie second row duo of McAuliffe and Egan.
It was a warm day down on the foreshore that saw the struggling Nedlands under 20’s come up against a strong Kalamunda side. The first half was a low scoring affair with Nedlands leading at the half 8-3. Strong running From Mathew McGowan in the forwards coupled with good ball from halfback Matt smith contributed greatly to this good first half performance.
The main goals for the team this weak was goal line Defence. And Normal defence, with strong emphasis on three key points: Attitude, line speed and aggression. As the score line will reflect we managed to maintain that performance throughout the first half but faltered in the second half.
Special mention goes to the outside centre, ‘H’ as he likes to be called. He was responsible for all 13 points Nedlands scored with 2 tries and a penalty. Strong play from the forwards lead to the Kalamunda defence being drawn in before Matt Smith did one of his many good feeds to the fly halves allowing quick movement of the ball to the wing where H and Keith linked up doing an excellent ‘1-2’ play resulting in H receiving an offload back from Keith and scoring in the corner.
Unfortunately with a number of players away or injured we did not have the depth in the bench that Kalamunda did. With the very warm conditions they seemed to be the impact that Kalamunda needed to topple our excellent defence. After 60 minutes of play we were leading 13-10. But in the final stages of the game our defence faltered and those substitutes were able to run around us with a few lucky bounces of the ball and score three tries in quick succession defeating us 27-13.
Key points that we need to work on include further work on our defence and our fitness to prevent a collapse like what happened in this game. As well as working hard on sorting out an offensive strategy that will work for us in the near future to allow our strong runners such as H and our new recruit izzy plenty of ball
The Thirsty Thirds
With the premiership winning coaching partnership of ‘Aussie Bob’ Somerville and Pete ‘Sindo’ Sinden both finally back from their international travels the Thirsty Thirds had prepared well for this week’s clash with second placed Kalamunda. All week Sindo had been predicting a tough game and the team entered the field of battle with his final words still ringing in their ears. “You won’t put 70 points on the opposition this week boys … these blokes can play”. However, being the contrary bunch they are, the Thirsty Thirds swiftly set to work to prove him wrong. Within the first minute Chris ‘Wagga’ Doherty had sliced through for the first of his three tries, and this was followed in swift succession by two tries to Alvin ‘Stardust’ Lau and three to Chris ‘Nailz’ Naylor. Next came a sublime team try to Tom ‘Whisky’ Ballantine. A strong series of ‘hit ups’ by the forwards, with Matt ‘Barney’ Suter leading the way, eventually produced quick ball to the backs. This allowed for some silky interplay between Tim ‘Don’t call Me Timmy’ Badham, ‘Stardust’ Lau and ‘George’ Lavery which ultimately put ‘Whisky’ over beneath the sticks. Wagga duly kicked the conversion and at half time the score was a crushing 42-0 in favour of Nedlands. Several replacements were made at half time and the fresh legs showed as the boys came out firing early in the second half. Four further tries were scored to give Nedlands what was an amazingly comfortable victory considering the quality of the talented and determined opposition. At times the Thirsty Thirds showed periods of cohesive brilliance that left the spectators (and the opposition) gasping in admiration, but once again they showed a tendency to concede unnecessary penalties at the breakdown and to take the pressure off the opposition a little once a handy lead had been established. These are habits that must be overcome before the finals begin. Nonetheless this was another great result for the Thirsty Thirds who now sit eight points clear at the top of their competition table.Player of the Day (and the coveted ‘King’ hat and sunnies) went to ‘Wagga’ Doherty (3 points). He was closely followed by “Nailz’ Naylor (2 points) and ‘Stardust’ Lau (1 point).
The Crazy Horse Nomads were looking more at ease on this fine day, as they warmed up for their impending game against Kalamunda. After almost 9 months the boys in blue were very happy to be finally playing a competition back home at the Nedlands Foreshore. It was a special occasion as the club hosted a carnival of 14 games to mark the opening of our newly renovated club house. A much better disciplined Nomads team took the field this week. They let Kalamunda do all the “talking back to the referee” and, instead of engaging in that fruitless exercise, they got off to a blistering start as Andrew ‘Gadget’ Knight scored the first try just 19 seconds after the kick off! After this rude awakening for Kalamunda, re-grouped and began to ask some serious questions of our defence. Kalamunda were dominating the scrums as we remained unstable for most parts of the first half. However, twenty minutes into the half, Trefor ‘The Terminator’ Thomas was called on again to stabilise the forwards and bring some momentum back to the team. Kalamunda began to panic as Trefor was tearing up their defense at the base of the rucks. What was pretty much a stalemate with only one try scored in the half was slowly becoming a try fest for Neddies. With 5 minutes to go in the first half, fly-half Simon ‘Kojak’ Ruri weaved in and out cutting up the Kala back line as he scored under the posts. The try was successfully converted by Tony ‘the Brat’ Mladnovski and at 12-0 going into half time, the Royal Blues were more revved up than ever. The boys began the second half intent on converting their pressure into points. Once again Trefor was leading the pack phase after phase as the Nomads inched ever closer to the Kala try line. Hayden ‘the Hammer’ Smith made a break through mid field and dashed towards the posts however some good scramble defence by Kala stopped him just short of the try line. But guess who was there, on the spot, in support for Hayden? Non other the Trefor himself, who picked up the ball and smashed his way through to score our third try at the 41st minute. With that, the flood gates began to open with the next try coming just 3 minutes later with ‘the Brat’ sneaking in a try of his own. Next to enter his name in the list of try scorers was Barry ‘ too cool’ Kelly who scored in the 47th minute. Paving the way for the next try was Marty ‘Captain Courageous” FitzSimon as he kept running riot from one break down to the next. A cheeky second try from ‘Kojak Ruri followed. He found the Neddiess forwards powering towards the try line, stayed with them and took a quick blind side option with Hillary ‘the Beast’ Kavumbura in support. This made four tries in 10 minutes! But the Nomads were still not done yet. Warren ‘ Kick Ass’ Dale proved to his many doubters that he still has what it takes as he tore down the side line at his blinding speed to clock up Neddies 7th try in the 55th minute . With a minute left in the game, and Kalamunda on the ropes, Andrew ‘ gimme more’ Knight re-entered the field to play at flanker. With his first touch of the ball he used his blinding pace to sidestep veritable horde of Kala players (and the goal post) to notch up his second and the final try for the day. Final score 50 – 0 to the Crazy Horse Nomads! What more is there to be said?
Saturdays first home game was a default by the opposition. What would of been a return to our favoured time slot of 11:25am, which usually means the job is done, we are showered up and on it under our beloved tree by lunch time and playing possum by 1pm. But what seems a good idea to us, to the rest of the club having the Cavs playing in the morning is the biggest mistake since a lovely little german woman decided to give birth to a baby boy called adolf. With thursday being the last day for the payments of subs there hasn’t been so many of the cavs part with there hard earned since langtrees after we won the flag in ’08’. Big congrats to tash and manager Dan ’37’ shaw for the birth of Ashton ’36’ shaw and we look forward to wetting the head next week with a shot of cooking oil for the dad for just standing and watching while Tash did all the work. 25-0 by default to the cavs