Neddies take 17th Premier Grade Flag

A fitting send off for Coach, Tony Ball
A fitting send off for Coach, Tony Ball

Neddies has cemented its position as one of Australia’s most successful rugby clubs after securing a record 17th Premier Grade flag with a win over Cottesloe in Sunday’s Grand Final.
Playing in the club’s 31st consecutive finals series, Neddies stormed home to defeat Cottesloe 20-14 in what was the club’s third win over the Gulls in four outings this season. It was Neddies second premiership of the weekend after the Third Grade triumphed 33-3 over Palmyra on Saturday to take out their fourth consecutive flag. Earlier on Saturday, the Nomads staged an amazing second-half comeback only to fall  short of University by 33-28.
The Premier Grade victory was a fitting finale for coach Tony Ball, who plans to step down from the role next season. Tony also coached Neddies to its Premier Grade flag in 2010, having earlier guided the reserve grade to back-to-back premierships.
The Grand Final followed what has been a familiar theme for Neddies this season as the boys showed great courage and character to come from behind to take out a close match.
Neddies held a 10-6 lead in the first half after prop Joe “Peanut” Richie – who was among the best for Neddies on the day – stormed over between the posts to score. While five-eighth Fred Tuua added the conversion to his earlier penalty goal, it was his last scoring act of the game as he was helped from the field soon after with a leg injury.
By halftime, Cottesloe had their noses in front by 14-10 after halfback Ryan Louwrens caught the Neddies forwards napping from an indirect penalty under the posts.
The game developed into an arm wrestle in the second half before Neddies began to build phases and step up the tempo in the final quarter. Urged on by a huge band of vocal supporters on the hill, the ball was spun wide to winger Ben “No stop for smoko” Titoko, who lunged over in the corner to score the winning try. With Fred off the field, it was up to prop Mark “Rocket” Davies to take over the goal-kicking duties. And there was no stage fright as Rocket caressed the conversion over the cross-bar from the sideline to put Neddies 17-14 in front.
Neddies immediately stormed back into Cottesloe territory and were rewarded with a penalty within kicking range. Rocket obliged and suddenly Neddies had all the momentum at 20-14.
With minutes left, Neddies repelled a last desperate raid from Cottesloe before the referee sounded full time.
It was an emotional moment for skipper Mason Pomare, who paid tribute to the late Neddies star Mike “Dents” Denton, whose life was cut tragically short in Bali in 2010.
While there were heroes  all over the park for Neddies, workaholic lock Josh Eden-Whatiri was a stand-out for the victors, but was unable to celebrate after the match after being carted off to hospital in a dazed state for repairs.
In a great sign for the future, the Premier Grade Grand Final squad included no fewer than eight players who have graduated from the Neddies colts in Mike Botes, Callum Sauer, Krysten Lawrence, Jake Wilson, Isi Lata, Mike Egan, James Oddie and Rob Carter.

You can view the full replay of the Grand Final here

Thanks to Glenda Martyn and Arrie Brock for taking photos
Please visit our Facebook Page for photo’s taken by Glenda Martyn
and Arrie Brock Photography’s page for photo’s taken by Arrie Brock