Nedlands Secure Top Spot

Round 14 saw Nedlands leap-frog Cottesloe to the top of the ladder with a 24-20 win over Rockingham in what was another drama-filled afternoon at The Foreshore.
Nedlands took the field with an injury-depleted backline but did welcome back two former Neddies stars in fullback Jake Stevens and the prodigal Will Brock, who showed his versatility by playing in the centres.
Things started well for Neddies with Richie “Rat” Naylor setting up Jake Wilson with a try under the sticks. But Mike Botes’ conversion had hardly cleared the bar before Rocky struck back with a try of their own to levels the scores.
By halftime, the match was tied up at 17-17 after both teams had scored a second try and a penalty goal. Neddies second went to fullback Stevens, who looked to be back at his deceptive best.
Neddies surged back into the lead when prop Travis “The Pope” Church rumbled over for a try within a minute of the break, with the Botes conversion making it 24-17.
A Rockingham penalty goal reduced the margin to 24-20 and that was pretty much where the rugby finished up for the afternoon. The rest of the game degenerated into something of a farce, with the referee issuing so many coloured cards that Hulk thought it was Valentine’s Day. The least said about that the better.
Despite not securing the four-try bonus point, the win elevated Neddies to the top of the table after Cottesloe stumbled at home to the resurgent Palmyra. With four games left to be played, the competition for the final two spots in the semi-finals is intense, with Palmyra, University, Kalamunda, Wests and Associates all still in the hunt.
Saturday sees Neddies head to Kalamunda to take on a Bulls team desperate to keep its finals hopes alive. Hopefully, rugby will be the winner this time.