The Premier Grade team continued its strong start to the season with a comprehensive 43-11 win over Palmyra at Tompkins Park on Saturday.
And while Neddies scored three tries in each half, it was a gallant effort from the front row which won most of the praise from coach Tony Ball.
After losing Travis “The Pope” Church in the warm-up, Neddies lost fellow prop Mark “Rocket” Davies early in the first quarter (followed soon after by loose forward Richie “Rat” Naylor).
So it was up to reserve grade skipper James Oddie and Joe “Peanut” Richie to anchor the Neddies scrum against an opposition which included Force prop Salesi Manu.
Peanut also managed to bag a try as Neddies went to the break with a match-winning 24-6 lead after second-rower Callum Sauer and centre Cam Crowley had also registered five-pointers.
Uninterrupted by streakers or pitch invaders, the try-scoring action continued in the second spell as Ryan “For crying out” McLeod, halfback Michael Ruru and replacement fullback Dylan Loversidge crossed the chalk. Fred Tuua added 13 points from the boot with five conversions and a penalty goal to cap off a polished display from fullback. Final score was 43 – 11. While it’s a long way until September, there are already mutterings from The Third Half that this Neddies backline is one of the best fielded by the club since Hulk was milking cows in Morrinsville and Rex Julian (with hair) was playing on the flank for Kawerau Red.
Apart from the tries, one of the biggest roars from the Neddies supporters came as prop Damo Pacecca rumbled on to the field late in the game for a cameo performance.
Next week see Neddies head back to The Foreshore to take on the visiting Rood Dogs, who are coming off two losses
After countless penalties and fading away to a narrow loss after a solid first half against last years premiers in round 1, the focus of this week was discipline and playing until the final whistle against an always competitive Palmyra outfit. Again the boys held strong in the opening encounters and managed to steadily accumulate points through try scorer Isi Lata and the boot of Mike Botes. Unfortunately the first half was cut short due to serious circumstances with a possible neck injury to no. 8 Tamaiti Horua. Half time was called and the boys went into the break looking strong leading 13-6. Palmyra came out strong in the second half and capitalised on their opportunities managing to cross the try line and convert a penalty soon after to take the lead 14-13 with not long left on the clock. Penalties were then traded with Jayden having the final say by calmly driving one home through the uprights for the boys to hang on for a gutsy win 19-17. With the first win under the belt after games against 2 potential top 4 contenders it will be onwards and upwards from here on building on the promising start to the season.
We all wish Tamaiti a speedy recovery and hope to see him back down the club soon.
A good start by Nedlands dominating both rucks and scrums. Palmyra scoring a try against play. Brian puts the biggest hit on for the game on the wing to send the Palmyra 9 off the field. Just before halftime Palmyra scores again from a Nedlands break down 5m our from our own line.
Second half Nedlands looked good and about to score then an intercept from Palmyra lead to another try. Palmyra lost 2 players to yellow cards in the second half. Nedlands scores with 1 minute to go and Cale misses the conversion.
Overall a good game for Nedlands going down 20 -5, a few handling errors cost them in the end.
A sultry and overcast day met the Thirsty Thirds as they gathered in dribs and drabs after the 12 Noon meeting time.
With no breeze to start with the side lead by the indefatigable Trefor Thomas and a pack of keen forwards were relieved when the Paly kick off went long and it was a scrum restart on half way. Although Palys kicker was off their scrum was on song with the help of their loose head who spent more time running around the corner than Usain Bolt does in a 200m race.
A titanic struggle around the rucks and at the breakdowns slowed Nedlands playing of the ball, but only for a few minutes before they sent it wide for New Singaporean recruit Edwin Chia, to get around the opposition and cross for his first try for Nedlands and the thirsty thirds. Nace Christian converted 7-0
Another 15 min of play elapsed before Matt Suter performed one of his bustling runs through the forward pack to score close to the posts. Nace Christian got a brace 14-0. Our tails were up and we were going for gold however our concentration lapsed and Paly got back into the game by an intercept try 3 mins after Suters try which they converted for a 14-7 Scoreline.
Some more hard graft and solid defense had Neddys pressuring the line after a false try attempt BY Mitch Lake diving over the 5m line caused a good deal of mirth from the sideline. The resulting scrum and mauls saw a lot of burrowing for the line and none were better than the mole himself Tom Ballantine who at the 28 min mark started off his try scoring tally for the rest of the year. Nace got his hat-trick 21-7.
At Half time the big guns Quiff, Naylz and Juicy were introduced into the fray with much spoken about getting the structure and patterns into our play to wear the opposition down.
So good was this half time discussion and so effective were the Big Guns that after 5 mins we broke out and after some great support play by Alvin Lau to be Johnny on the spot he received a great inside pass from Edwin Chia to race away and score next to the posts. Nace got his Quartet 28-7. Again we got over confidant and our concentration lapsed for Paly to turn over the ball and one of their players ran through most of our team before dotting down next to the posts. Conversion successful, 28-14 we aren’t out of the woods yet.
More changes to the playing line up on the field saw some improvement in the style of play, but considering the humidity and the sun came out everyone was starting to wilt. The final play of the game saw some individual brilliance from Stardust Lau to streak through the opposition and dot down under the black dot. Nace was on song for a quintet conversion with the final score 35-14.
20 – 11 to Nedlands
Like English school kids with their frozen lasagna, the Cavs got back on the horse this week. Not since Sonny and Cher’s daughter has there been a quicker transformation in a short amount of time with some new additions. After last week’s loss we got back a few players that couldn’t play round 1 and Chooky came out of a lengthy retirement to help out. We were on the wrong end of a big penalty count and it eventually took its toll when they crossed for their only try, but we got four, so we won. Supporter of the day went to a Paly spectator (215kg fella that looked like he had been on the upside down b for a few days) that decided he would like to attack one of our players, so a short delay in play after he invaded the pitch (bit of a theme for WA rugby on Sat) while we waited for him to leave the area and it was back to business. Final score 24-10 for us, solid games from Marv and Quinn in the forwards and in the backs Chooky and Matty T, with the latter putting on more fancy foot work than walking through a paddock full of sheep shit. With a few more rounds until the Cavs bring up 100 games the celebrations are starting to be planned so until next week. Stay black, stay deadly.