As commentator Murray Mexted would say, it was déjà vu all over again. After blowing a 23-3 half-time lead against Associates the previous week to lose their unbeaten record, Saturday’s game against Palmyra went to the same script.In brilliant conditions at The Foreshore, Neddies again looked menacing in the first 40 minutes despite running towards the river for the first time that Third Half regular Murray “The Hit Man” Hawgood could remember.While Paly registered first points with a penalty goal, Neddies replied with no fewer than four tries to Ben “No stop for smoko” Titoko, Ryan “For crying out” McLeod and a pair to that man Richie “Rat” Naylor. All of which meant that by halftime, Neddies were cruising with a 23-6 lead and a bonus point in the bag. The margin would have been a fair bit bigger had five-eighth Mike “Take no notice” Botes been wearing the same kicking boots as the previous week when he slotted five from five in the first half. But Paly stalwart and prominent Perth City Councillor Tash Butler made it clear in the gents during the break that he was not ready to throw in the towel. And neither was Paly.The visitors were first to score in the second spell to reduce the margin to 23-13. However, when “Twin overhead” Cam Crowley cut through for Neddies fifth try of the afternoon, the margin was back out to two converted tries at 27-13.Which was all well and good except Paly then proceeded to score three converted tries to stun Neddies 34-27 and snatch the chocolates. While stopping the game at halftime might be one way of reversing the trend of the last two weeks, coach Tony Ball will probably be more concerned with a mounting injury toll which has already seen former PG Hampshire winner “Irate” Nate Roberts sidelined for the rest of the season.Meanwhile, further to last week’s mention of Third Half members Hulkster and Rocket Jones setting off on the milk run to a two-bob resort in Vietnam, we have obtained photographic proof of the devious pair jumping the fence for a swim in the pool of a more respectable joint next door, drinking home brew bought from a back-alley street vendor.
The hangover from the start of the London Olympics had wreaked havoc on the attentiveness and sharpness of the Thirsty Thirds as they ambled about for the pregame warm up, players missing, teams being selected on the spot all added up to a pregame shambles.
The pregame rev up fell on ears filled with Olympic Opening Ceremony drivel and the words of the coaches went mostly unheeded.
For the first 15 minutes the boys played with purpose and had paly frustrated as they secured ruck after ruck for some reasonable quality ball to be fed to the backs. However some poor decision making going into contact snuffed out a couple of good breaks. However we didnt keep up this good work and as such the big bullocking Paly Pack had the Thirds forward pack on the back foot from the moment they got possession, their clever tactic of flooding the breakdown with pace and purpose made good effect and had the Thirds fwds rattled.
With some lapses in defense around the rucks the Paly fwds started to make the gain line and our laziness resulted in Palmyra crossing at 19 min from some good phase play and the heads were down, luckily the try was not converted score 0-5 to Paly. The boys took the task back to paly with some crunching tackles from the centre pairing and some more hard work got Neddies a penalty at 26 min right in front of the goals which was kicked to bring the score back to 3-5 to Paly.
A yellow card to our No 8 did not help our cause as we needed all hands on deck in this Battle of the foreshore clubs. The half time break was subdued with everyone agreeing on the patterns and style of play that would recover us from the train wreck of a first half.
Well all the half time talk seemed to matter not a zot as 3 min into the 2nd half Palmyra opened the scoring with a well deserved try and with the conversion had a wretched score of 3-12 to Paly. The following 20 mins of play was a seesawing battle with some of the Fwds refusing to be bullied into submission resulting in a few “hand bags at 10 paces” moments with most of the Paly Fwd pack trying unsuccessfully to land a decent punch on T-Rex Thomas who despite not throwing a punch was warned by the ref about causing trouble after that fracas.
At the 60 min mark with Aussie Bob’s hair going saltier with the stress and sindo’s hair just missing, our valiant kicker banged another penalty through for a 6-12 scoreline to Paly. The remaining 10 mins of the game had Paly struggling to get hold of the ball and the Thirds struggling to get over the try line when finally in the dying stages of the game Donnavin Robertson falling back on his days as a fwd scooped up the ball from the back of the ruck and running diagonally crossed for a try right on fulltime, with the conversion slotted by our kicker we had won the game at the death knell score 13-12 to Nedlands.
Another beautiful summer day graced the Nedlands Nomads as they took to the field to face of Paly in their second round match up. Any thoughts the boys may have had of another comfortable win soon disappeared as it became clear that Paly was much better prepared this time. For the first 20 minutes the two teams appeared evenly matched with neither able to land a scoring shot but then, after 21 minutes of play, Nomads forced a penalty 5m from the Paly try line. Leading by example, Marty ‘ Captain Courageous’ FitzSimon took a quick tap and ran straight into the Paly defense line smashing in to 4 Paly players and dragged them, along with the ball, over the try line to score the first try for the Nomads. Marty’s try was converted successfully by Hayden Smith. Soon after Paly managed to sneak in a try of their own after a simple defensive pattern error in the Nomad’s backline, however that was to be the last of Paly’s scoring for the day as the Nomads made sure no such mistakes were made again. After his long awaited return, Andrew ‘Gadget’ Knight decided to put his name up in the score sheet in the 27th minute as he used his blinding speed and a classic ‘in and away’ move to blaze past the opposition backline to score a try at the corner flag. Score at half time, 12 – 7 to Nedlands.
With some fresh legs on in the second half, the Nomads went on to finish the job as flanker Grant Allison made a blitz move to stun the side lines to score the Nomad’s 3rd try in the first minute of the second half. Hillary ‘the Beast’ Kavambura made impressive runs from the moment he went on causing panic in the Paly defence. The Nomads kept hammering on through the forwards which eventually resulted in Luke ‘ The Fonz’ Fonseka adding our 4th try to the score sheet in the 36th minute, try successfully converted by Simon Ruri. An excellent string of passes by the back line put then put winger James Timmoney through a gap but excellent scramble defence by Paly hauled James down just short of the line. At first it seemed the try was gone but amazing support play from Brett ‘ The Bullet’ Topham paid off as he received the pop pass from James and dashed across to score in the 47th minute, leaving a gaggle of Paly defenders in his wake just smelling the smoke trail. Once again the Nomads picked up the pace with some excellent running by Andrew Simmons who kept the ball in play despite 3 defenders trying to push him out and more hard hitting action from Mark ‘ The Machine’ Tawhai. Mark was rewarded for his efforts with an excellent try in the 49th minute. Paly managed to hold off a veritable horde of Nomad attackers in the last 10 minutes, but by then the game was effectively over.
Final Score 38- 7 to the Nomads.
This week the foreshore was graced with the mighty cavaliers presence for a game against paly, and with good weather it was a good day for our care free style of play. Although our numbers in recent weeks have been more up and down than a pair of pants on someone with bali belly, we managed to scrape together a team thanks to some of the nomads that stood by. It didnt take long to get on the board with ted bundy scoring the first of his first half hat trick inside the first couple of minutes. His second was a carbon copy of the first running 45m and standing up the fullback like an ugly prom date to score. Going into half time up by 4 tries, for paly it was like a boot scooting class in belmont you just dont come back from that. it was a young gutsy paly that took the game to us in the second half with our boys putting the cue back in the rack at half time and starting to think about the kiwi comedy night at pattersons stadium after the game. final score 38-10 to make 13 from 13. With a road trip to mandurah this week we need all hands on deck or the cooking oil is coming out, Stay black stay deadly.