Round six saw Neddies return to The Foreshore on Saturday to take on Kalamunda in what was a proverbial game of two halves.
Neddies struck early when one of the forwards rumbled over the line from close range. Most of the backslapping appeared to be directed at prop Travis Church, so we’ll presume it was “The Pope” who scored the try.
Davis Tavita – playing at centre to cover the absence of several players through injury and unavailability – added the extras to give the home team a 7-0 lead. But tragically, that was to be Davis’s last scoring act of the day – and quite some time to come – after he was helped from the field with a badly dislocated shoulder. All indications are that Davis will be back on deck at some stage during the second round and the club wishes him all the best with his recovery.
While Neddies squandered a couple of tries when the final pass was grassed, it was pretty much all the Bulls from that point on.
Kalamunda chipped away at the deficit with a penalty goal and when the visitors goaled with a second penalty from one of many Neddies infringements, it was suddenly a one-point ball game.
As time ticked by, Kalamunda added a third penalty goal to take the lead for the first time.
With a minute or so left, Neddies were awarded a penalty within kicking range. But with goal-kicker Davis in hospital by that stage, Neddies rolled the dice with a scrum. Ultimately the ball was turned over and it was the Bulls who emerged with what was a deserved 9-7 victory to leave Cottesloe the only unbeaten team.
From all accounts, coach Tony Ball will have a few of his missing front-line players back for Saturday’s round seven match against Uni at the Foreshore, which will contest the Mike Denton Memorial Trophy.
Let’s just hope there’s a bit more scoring action in The Third Half corner.
Like the Premier Grade, the Reserve grade has many changes to their side to take on Kalamunda. Again, they looked good early, but were unable to put the finishing touches on some of their back line moves, which cost them valuable points that would have put Kalamunda to the sword. In a penalty ridden game, they managed to hold on 17-15. Player of the day was fill in Half Back and ex First Grade player, Alvin Lau.
Nedlands U/20s struggled to get numbers at the start of the game with only just getting 15 onto the pitch. This struggle went on during the game as Kalamunda scored try after try due to missed tackles.
The second half the boys came out with a lot of intent and had 15 minutes of solid rugby in the Kalamunda 22. A floated intercept pass deflated the team and the try’s were piled on again my Kalamunda nearing the end of the game.
Keith got man of the match with a strong performance at half back and taking a punch to his face for his efforts.
My Mum always used to say, if you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Maybe the Thirds are following her advice, we did not receive a match report for their first loss of the season. They went down 9-8.
Kalamunda was another challenge with several changes to the playing group, but in what has become a common thing for us the troops stepped up when we needed them. Top games from guys who were called up for thirds and then backed up for fourths, like Nico “Mara” D’Addonna and the Stig. Nico was once again a tireless worker and took out the 3 points on the day, followed closely by Grant Allison who was everywhere and the Stig always making life tough for the Kala defence, for minor points. The game started well for Nedlands with some classic rugby resulting in a fine wingers try to James Timoney who found calling for the ball a bit easier now that the swollen face has gone down. Sticking to a pattern and hitting rucks hard gave us the edge for most of the first half, but something, maybe tiredness or a drop in concentration saw Kala get back at us later in the half.
In a rare feat on the rugby field, Gadget was able to provide Kala with an intercept then run the poor bugger down getting him about 5 out from the line. Poor pass, but great effort to chase back and nail him. We won the lineout and kept them out again. From the ensuing play upfield and another great driving effort with consecutive thrusts close to the ruck saw Nico emulate the great Argie forward tradition to crash his way over – and Neds had two tries into the wind.
A big positive from this game was how well the replacements slotted in and got on with the job. There were a few lapses in effort at times, but overall it was a great team performance to stick at it and get the bonus point win. Special mention for Richard Jenkins who stepped into the hot #10 spot and gave us good service and go forward – maybe a bit more work on the left foot kick though? Great to see Max Smith back in the engine room and Muzz reckons he has never seen him run faster. Maybe the late start was due to some secret training or possibly sessions with Stephen Dank? Along with TK and Tank they made sure we owned the scrums. Haydos crossed the white stripe and now is free to part with the beard, if he can bring himself to do so.
Big thanks to Muzz McLean for filling the temporary gap left by Pete Malcolm’s absence conquering the international business world. The old skills were on display and he was even able to repay some old favours to long lost mates with the injection of Kieran “bloody” Wilson into the game. Another pleasing result in what has been a very enjoyable season so far.
The Cavaliers had to forfeit to Cottesloe due to numbers, in particularly Front Rowers. If you have any friends that are interested in playing, especially if they are highly intelligent larger gentlemen, give them a push and tell them to come down to training (I use that term loosely) on Thursday night and join in the Cavaliers tradition.