Round 17 of the premier grade competition saw Neddies regain top position on the ladder with a win over Perth-Bayswater at The Foreshore in a game in which Andrew “Gadget” Knight experienced the highs and lows of first grade rugby.
Speedster Gadget, who was running around (at considerable pace) for the Nomads last season, drew thunderous applause from the Third Half corner when he came on to make his premier grade debut with about 10 minutes to go, by which time Neddies had the game in the bag and a good portion of the crowd were inside watching the Chiefs exploit the Brumbies lack of depth on the bench.
However, just a few minutes later, Gadget decided to explore new territory on the rugby field by venturing into a ruck. Unfortunately when he untangled himself from the pile of limbs, Gadget was greeted by the referee waving a yellow card, thus bringing his premier grade debut to a premature conclusion.
The period before Gadget’s abridged cameo was workmanlike for a Neddies team still missing several key players. Tries to Jake Stevens, Richie “Rat” Naylor and a pair to Mike “Roo” Ruru gave Neddies a bonus point 26-3 lead at halftime after multi-skilled prop Mark “Rocket” Davies had chipped over three conversions.
After setting up a couple of the first half tries, midfield rock Ryan “Macca” McLeod touched down for one of his own in the second half, to extend the lead to 31-3. As coach Tony Ball took the opportunity to empty his bench (including the late unleashing of Gadget), Neddies crossed for two more tries to Ben “No stop for smoko” Titoko and a young winger from the colts for a final score line of 45-3.
A win is a win, as they say, and coach Bally will be happy to have come through the game without any further casualties.
The victory means the minor premiership will be decided on Saturday when Cottesloe and Neddies clash at The Foreshore. The two teams will meet again the following weekend in the major semi-final, with the winner of that game taking the direct route to the grand final.
The reserve grade needed a big win and for results to go there way in order to stay in the hunt for a top four finish. Unfortunately the win wasnt big enough and it looks likely the Reserves will miss out on the finals for the first time in 30 years.
Another win to the 3rd grade
I think they won!