There were at least four important numbers to come out of Saturday’s round 18 clash with Wanneroo at Kingsway.Those numbers were 1, 30, 18 and 5.One is where the premier grade team finished the home and away competition after belting the Roo Dogs 89-12. 30 is the number of consecutive years Neddies has now been in the premier grade finals. 18 is the number of minutes it took Neddies to secure a bonus point. And 5 (out of 5) is the number of senior Neddies teams who will be contesting the finals in 2012.With nothing to lose and playing on their home turf for the last time in 2012, there were some who thought Neddies might have their work cut out in the last competition game of the season.But after just three minutes, crowd favourite Richie “Rat” Naylor gave Wanneroo an early taste of things to come when he crossed for the first try of the afternoon. The hungry Rat was in again 10 minutes later and by half time, Neddies had galloped to a 35-0 lead as Matt “Boots” Venter (2) and “Twin Overhead” Cam Crowley had also crossed for meat pies. While some of those tries were in the corner, it didn’t worry five-eighth Mike Botes, who nailed all five conversions without flinching.The half time oranges did little to stir the home team back into action. Another three quick tries from Ben “No Stop for Smoko” Titoko, Boots and fullback Jake Stevens took the score to 56-0 after Mike Botes had slotted his eighth successive conversion from as many attempts.Apparently suffering RSI of the right leg, the game then took a twist when Botes then handed the kicking duties to prop Mark “Rocket” Davies. Not to be outdone, Rocket calmly negotiated the next three conversions between the uprights after his front row mate Mason Pomare, the very hungry Rat and skipper Luke “Dogga” Doherty had crossed the chalk.But when Mason rumbled over for his second try, tragedy struck. After 11 successful conversions, Rocket shanked one. For the first time in the match, the score was not divisible by 7. It was like Elle McPherson with a tooth missing. Rocket regained his composure to kick the last conversion of the day after Boots had crossed for his fourth of the afternoon.While it is hard to take too much out of such a lop-sided match, coach Tony Ball will no doubt be satisfied with the structure and composure his team showed as they head into the finals with two bites at the cherry from first position. While there are no club games next weekend as Dingo Deans looks to get his team up off the canvas against the Boks, Neddies will be back in action on Saturday week against Associates in the 1 v 2 final. It’s September again and Neddies are back in the finals. You gotta love it.
Elvis said that “It’s now or never” and so was the case for the 2012 season if the Reserve Grade didn’t come up with a victory against the Roo dogs on Saturday. A bonus point win would cement a top four spot for Neddies but the win was the priority to avoid a night at Heartbreak Hotel.
The Roo dogs played host to what was geographically a “home” game for many Neddies players and supporters. Aside from the regular loyal smiley faces, the sidelines were littered with many past Nedlands players and club off-cuts keen to witness an entertaining and successful performance from the boys in blue.
For the most part Nedlands controlled the game and got off to a good start with some dominant forward play and expansive ball movement. Young colt ‘Jake the Pom’ bedazzled the opposition with his English winter tan and cruised over the line after string of phases went fifty meters. A similarly bronzed winger Rob Boulle slotted the conversion for the early lead.
However Wanneroo sparked into life, having nothing to lose in what would be their last game of the year irrespective of the result, throwing themselves and the ball around with gay abandon. Neddies defence held tighter than Damo in a morph suit to deny the hosts any points. Open side Fud Ashford was at his pilfering best and gained possession on regular occasion. Boulle again nudged over a penalty to take the lead to ten.
The green team persisted to menace the Lions attack, although Neds didn’t do themselves any favours by blowing several red hot opportunities to score. Eventually loose forward Ollie Baissac crashed over after Neddies managed to get up some momentum from quick ball. Boulle converted: 17-0. The Dogs were rewarded for their own enterprise with a converted try just before halftime.
The second half again started well for Neddies with gluttony of possession and territory. The focus was strong in the visiting side who overcame the 16th man, Jandre van der Weistheizen benefiting from a strong game to dot down.
The star of the show in the second half, particularly according to his orange mates in the shade, was the return of loose forward Dan Bailey. DB set the standard through clinical tackling on defence and athletic ball skill ability on attack. He became the catalyst for an improved team performance in the second stanza for which Boulle managed to increase the score by a multiple of seven and give Neddies the fourth try bonus point. Like John Farnham, Wanneroo threatened with another comeback through an opportunist converted try.
The game was put to bed when starting halfback Sicho Nielson returned from the dead at fullback – cutting through the Roo dogs in Izzy Dagg fashion to score. The conversion gave Boulle a hundred percent for the day and Neddies a trip to ….. the Foreshore !! ….. to contest the finals series in a few weeks.
An anonymous club stalwart, and proud Elvis fan, picked three of the Nedlands best for the day which few would argue against – 1 point Ollie “Nothing but a Hound Dog” Baissac, 2 points Captain James “Teddy Bear” Oddie, and 3 points Benjamin “Your the Devil in disguise” Ashford.
The last time the U/20s faced Wanneroo on the foreshore the score was 3:37 so they had a score to settle after their loss to Cotteloe lsst week. It was also their last game of the season. Unfortunately that was not to be. They went onto the field without Ben who was playing 2nds and Jamie Hawgood who was running late. Hooker Rupert Carr played prop as did Guy with Tom Sproul who has just come back from injury playing hooker. The defence and tackling had improved from last week but unfortunately Neds were scoreless at half time nil:22. Although our scrums were great winning one tighthead we lost most of our lineouts due to over throwing or the ball not straight although Toms throwing improved as the game progressed. Unfortunately Guy went off with a shoulder injury followed by Jordan. Many of the Wanneroo tries were scored on the wing which is an area that needs to be worked on next season to make sure there are no overlaps. Half back Taupiri played a great game as did open side winger Keith. Brian who made 3x awesome tackles last week against Cott earned his 1st point of the season. It is great to see this team stay together until the end of the season. Hopefully they will stay together over the summer playing touch together. Many of the older U/20s have played 3rds 2nds and first grade this season which is great to see and they will continue to do this until the grand finals. This is a very cohesive team which are the future of this great club. The boys would like to thank Rexy for all the meals he shouted the boys on thursday nites. Also a big thank you to Soni and Muzz Hawgood for the fab team bonding parties they had at their place. And of course to Phil and Peanut their coaches for the season who provided the boys with rugby knowledge and support. The U/20s wish all the 5x Neds teams in the finals the very best of luck. See you all at the annual prize giving dinner sat 6th oct at our fab new clubrooms. Go neddies!
A glorious day welcomed the combined Thirsty Nomads Squad to Wanneroo to take on their Giant killing (stopped UWA 4ths Gold 3yr unbetaen run) 4th grade Gold side in a combined match to get everyone a final run for the year.
A good start to the game with some fireworks and solid defense from the thirsty Nomads and we could see we were in for a show, an arm wrestle ensued with neither side conceding space and the Wanneroo side getting flusttered that the opposition didnt roll over and let them score. After 8 mins of solid defense at scrum and lineout time the Nedlands backs were able to unleash their full potency and Big Joe put his good mate Percy into space 35m out to score our first try by outpacing the cover defense. Try converted by Wagga score 7-0.
Disappointed that their tryline had been soiled by a great Nedlands try Wanneroo came back with a roar and nearly reciprocated with a reply but it was held up the ensuing scrum held firm with some great ball in hand support play got us back down into the strike zone after lakey survived an interesting rough attempt at cosmetic surgery to his probiscus. Big Joe snuck in off some great build up work to cross over close to the posts. Wagga kicking like a champion, score 14-0.
The next 11 mins saw a lot of pressure being applied by the Wanneroo forwards, but our boys kept on knocking them over, repulsing wave after wave of sustained attack and once again after turning the ball over our backs showed their class by out playing and keeping the ball alive with good support play for the ever elusive percy to cross the line again at 31 mins, Wagga on song try converted, score 21-0. A late slip on half time in defence saw wanneroo cross the line to score out wide, the try wasnt converted score 21-5
Half time due to their 4th grade forfeit we rolled the 3rds off and rolled on the 4ths. And to start with the 4ths gave a great account of themselves. So much so that from some good phase play and the backline pressuring well the lads put Dan Clegg into space and we scored witha great conversion the Simon “The Boot” Ruri, but the dominance of the Wanneroo pack that had been contained and snuffed out by the 3rds started to shine and soon the had scored again and again so with the score 28-24 the Thirsty Nomads went into the last minute of play trying to dominate the big Wanneroo fwds and equally aggressive backline, but with two minutes to go and legs tiring their backs had one last go at going wide against us and it worked they dotted down in the corner scores at 28-29, the kick was missed and Neddies 4ths had one last opportunity to work their way back down the paddock into the strike zone.
Alas it was not to be as the clock wound down and the referee called time we had fallen short on our last home and away game of the year.
Consolation to that the Thirds took out the Minor Premiership see photos in Arries Gallery.
After our first loss of the season last week the cavs were out to inflect as much pain and embarrassment as you would get from waking up beside a ladyboy in bali on our next opponent, which happened to be the roodogs. With the minor premiership in the bag with a win and a rematch with cott in the far off land of mandurah the boys got to work. Being the last round robin game we left some of the years best tries to last with” the bus” missing all his stops to go all the way to the depot to grab a hat trick and ted bundy getting over for two to stay in the hunt for top try scorer with 20 odd, but it was his assist that was most memorable chiming in off the blind side wing then throwing a perfect pass to Dwayne “push me on the swings” Wee to send him in for a quality meat pie. Final score 55-7 minor premiership.
Stay black stay deadly
On behalf of all the cavaliers our thoughts and support go to “the bus” and Tiks that have ill family members.