Last weekend was a big one for Neddies winger Jake Wilson. Returning from a couple of weeks in the casualty ward, the young speedster was narrowly shaded in the 90 metre sprint at halftime in Friday night’s Force match at Nib Stadium. And Jake backed that up with a man of the match performance against University in Saturday’s round seven fixture at The Foreshore.
It was an emotional bonus-point win for Neddies to retain the Mike Denton Memorial Trophy. And it was an even more emotional evening after both Dents’ mother Ruth and Lhani Davies, who also lost a son to methanol poisoning, spoke about their efforts to warn young tourists about the life-threatening dangers of drinking spirits in Bali.
On the field, apart from welcoming back a few injured players, the Neddies line-up also included debutant lock Josh Eden-Whatiri, who looks a handy unit. Few would have predicted such an open running game in which no fewer than 11 tries were scored, but that is how it panned out.
After being rocked by a loss to Kalamunda the week before, Neddies found themselves behind early when Uni crossed for the first try. However, Neddies then rattled off three tries to halfback Mike “Roo” Ruru, inside centre Ryan “For crying out” McLeod and five-eighth Fred Tuua (bouncing back from a knock to the head that would have felled a rhino) to go to the break with a 19-8 lead.
The second half was a point scoring spectacle which started when Jake Wilson executed a perfect chip and chase try down the sideline in front of both his ecstatic mother and The Third Half supporters crew. It was last October on the Neddies Borneo sevens trip that young Jake told coach Tony Ball of his goal to cement a premier grade spot in 2013. And the former England under-18 winger has made every post a winner since then to emerge as one of the stars of the Neddies backline and a premier finisher.
Uni and Neddies continued to swap tries for the next half an hour before things got a little tense when the visitors scored to steal back a 34-29 lead. But Neddies was not about to let the Mike Denton Memorial Trophy leave its sacred home on The Foreshore, with Jake and Ryan McLeod making it two each for the match to secure the 43-34 win.
It was one of those days down at The Foreshore which makes us all extremely proud to be part of the Neddies clan.
Next weekend sees Neddies take on Perth-Bayswater at Morley in a round which has been moved to Sunday because of the early kick-off between the Force and Kenny Read’s Highlanders at Nib on Saturday.
The Reserve Grade fired out of the blocks, scoring 2 try’s in the opening 10 minutes of what was going to be an exiting game. As expected University returned fire with a try of their own shortly after. Nedlands weren’t finished and scored another try midway through the 1st half. Jake Stevens was on the unfortunate end of a yellow card in the dying minutes of the first half. It didn’t take University long to capitalise on missing man out wide, putting in a chip kick behind the defensive line allowing the open man to sprint through and put pressure on Fullback Ben Jordan. A seemingly standard tussle to gain possession in goal was interpreted as foul play, delivering a penalty try to the visitors.
The Neddies boys started off the 2nd half strong and it wasn’t long before they scored the bonus point try. As they did in the first half University hit back with a try of their own. The majority of the remaining quater of the game was played in the Nedlands defensive half with the boys holding out until the University Flanker found a hole around the ruck to run in a try untouched. The conversion put Uni in front for the first time in the match with 4mins to play, however the boys in Blue weren’t finished yet, they retained the ball from the kick off and sent the ball wide to Centre Isi Lata, who smashed through 3 tackles and won the race to the try line. The conversion sealed the game, with a well deserved 35-29 win the home team. Player of the day was Isi Lata, who scored a hat trick of try’s. I’m sure the Reserve Grade boys will be hounding him for the 3 try carton!
Nedlands wanted a big game to bounce back from last weeks loss. Uni scored 2 quick tries and then Brian’s big hits fired the boys up and they played well for 10 minutes before Uni crossed again.
The half time score was 33-0 to Uni. Second half did not start well with Uni scoring off the first play of the half. Two red cards got dealt with a few punches being thrown, one of the red cards was Neddies number 5, Wazza.
Good finish to the game by Neddies with Elliott setting up a try for Tom.
Final score being 85-5.
After last weeks unspeakable loss to Kalamunda by 1 point, the travel weary coach Aussie Bob took the side through a quickfire training run and some choice motivational speeches during the Thursday nights session.
These choice speeches delivered with a hint of a gallic twang delivered immediate results come game day. Everyone turned up firstly on time and with their game heads on.
The boys started off well but a slip in concentration and communication let Uni in for a try 5 min in. Thirds Bounced back after that speedbump to score almost straight away. From then on the game was played almost to perfection with everyone putting in to get around the paddock. The support play and energy showed by all players contributed to a great team effort. We were up 27 – 7 at Halftime.
Uni came out after the rest at halftime with vim and vigour but conceded a try pretty much from the kickoff, but they rallied and pressured our line for quite a while. Then it was back to business for the Nedlands pack as the backs and forwards interacted very well to score some classy tries that only teams who support each other can.
In the end the Thirds scored 10 tries, converted 2 and got one penalty for a Full time score of 57 – 7.
Try Scorers were Suter and Naylor 2 each, Lau, Chia, Mc Gregor, Robertson, Christian and The Burglar Jimmy Lee got 1 each. Nace kicked 2 conversions and one penalty goal. POD went to Mark McGregor.
In a word, disappointing, that we didn’t get the points. But in this game there was much to be happy about. Again the team showed a great commitment and character in keeping the opposition out, allowing only one try. Strong defence sets you up to win more games than you lose and the fourths are developing something together that is making hard for the opposition to get through us. This takes trust in each other and being willing to be physical in the tackle. Only conceding one try and forcing the team that has been racking up cricket scores to take penalty kicks for goal showed the benefits of working hard in defence.
Special mention for big Martin “Tank” Tutt who had a cracker with several charging runs on top of a heavy workload up front in the engine room. Great game Tank, just need some more practice on the chip kick, or posibly don’t kick at all. Maybe some joint sessions along with Gadget with the team psychologist on controlling the urge to kick might be in order. On a day where the set pieces were under a lot of pressure from the experienced Uni pack, Tim Badham had a good strong game at halfback, often dealing with ball delivered under pressure and making some telling runs in attack. There were no “Go Gagdet” moments in this one, just a really tough game that kept asking us to front up.
A key factor was how well the team adjusted to the many changes in players during the game. Being successful on the scoreboard and providing game time for the many players on the sideline thirsting for some action is a challenge. This has worked well for us so far because all players are really going for it when they are on the field. Fresh legs can be crucial and lift those around them. This was a good tough challenge that we met pretty well and will make us that much harder to beat from here on in. Well done lads.
The might Cavaliers found themselves back in the winners circle against Palmyra. They must still be celebrating their 45-3 victory, as we are yet to receive a match report.