It was back to The Foreshore for round 5 on Saturday where Neddies took a Soaks team who had probably forgotten the words to their team song after a winless start to the season. And as was the case in the previous week, it was the Colts who got the afternoon off to a winning start for Neddies when they smashed Soaks 38-0.
And while premier grade preparations were disrupted by a hamstring injury to the in-form Cam Crowley in the warm-up, Neddies got off to a great start en-route to another bonus-point victory.
It was the jet-setting Riche “Rat” Naylor, back from a seeming endless stream of overseas jaunts, who was first on the scoring sheet when he was the recipient of some great scrum pilfering work from halfback Mike “Roo” Ruru.
When five-eighth Dylan Loversidge sliced through under the posts soon after, Neddies were looking the goods at 12-0.
The lead blew out to 19-0 when Davis Tavita plucked an intercept pass and waltzed in under the posts.
Neddies went off the boil after that, allowing Soaks to snatch back a try to narrow the lead to 19-7 at the break.
Soaks scored another try soon after half-time to make it 19-14 as the game underwent something of a shift in momentum.
However, that was as much of a sniff as Soaks would have as Neddies stepped up the tempo and started rattling off the tries.
First it was Rat crossing for his second of the day, followed closely by Roo as Neddies shot out to 31-14.
Davis capped things off with the last two Neddies tries of the day to give him the first hat-trick of the season – and Neddies a 45-21 victory after Soaks crossed for a consolation try on the whistle.
All up, a great seven-try effort by Neddies to consolidate a top-two placing on the ladder. Round 6 next Saturday sees Neddies head across the Swan to take on a Palmyra team celebrating their 80th anniversary. Be there and wear your colours with pride.
The 2’s started well and dominated the early exchanges but an over reliance of long skip passes produced way too many dropped balls and let all the pressure off the opposition. Soaks kicked two penalties but never looked like scoring a try in the first half while we bombed at least three clear chances to score with poor handling or failure to get support to the tackled player in time to prevent a turn over and it was this inability to convert our chances to score into points on the board that eventually cost us the game. We should have been leading by 20 points by half time but instead we were down 6-0. In the second half we used the following wind to advantage and spent most of the half camped in Soaks territory, but again we failed to convert the pressure into points. To make matters worse, on two occasions lapses in our otherwise excellent defence allowed Soaks to break out and run nearly the length of the field to score. Both tries were converted. We did manage to pick up one try in the second half when Chris Mclean, building on the back of a sustained period of pick and go pressure by the forwards on the Soaks try line, dived over wide out on the left. But it was too little too late and the final whistle came shortly thereafter with the scoreboard showing Soaks still ahead by 15 points. So once again our own basic skill errors caused us to lose a game we could and should have won. Nonetheless there were some encouraging signs. Our defence was, for the most part, excellent. And it is clear that we have a very strong forward pack. The loose forwards, in particular, have been outstanding and have dominated their opposition in all our competition matches to date. But we desperately need to find and settle on an effective backline combination. The talent in the backs is there. However, what with injuries, promotions to the Premier grade team and several players being unavailable for work or study reasons, we still have not been able to field anything like our strongest backline.
Final score: Associates 20 beat Nedlands 6
Best on Ground for Neddies: Joe Skipper (3 points), Reuben O’Connell (2 points) and Ben Titoko (1 point)
The Nedlands colts were looking to carry the momentum of an after the siren victory last week into the clash with a wounded Associates team. Nedlands started strongly getting on the board with two early penalties coming from the boot of Hershelle Classen before really taking control of the game with the lions share of possession and excellent territory through two fanstastic team tries finished off by captain Grayson Knapp and the powerful winger Conall Taggart, which extended the lead to 18-0 at half time.
After the break Associates came out strongly however the Nedlands try line remained unbroken with some stoic defence in the face of repeated attacking efforts. Weathering the storm brought confidence to the Nedlands attack which started finding some big gaps in the Associates line with some rampaging line breaks from vice captain Louis Sander-Loder and Kauri Cudd. In the final 25 minutes of the second half Nedlands ran in a further 4 tries to finish out the game 38-0 victors on the back of powerful attacking rugby.
Special Mention to Conall Taggart who scored his 1st double for Nedlands
The one thing you can be certain about with the 4s is that you can never be certain. An ever-changing line up is always going to be a challenge, but it is one that this team has met well over the first few weeks. Saturday v Soaks was no exception. After a shaky preparation and start to the game the team steeled up and set about wearing down a willing opposition. The club’s favourite Irishman tried to tell the captain early in the game that we had their scrum ___ed. Ne’er a truer word spoken and the scrum became a key weapon with several tightheads and a pushover try to show for it. Soaks scored a late try to make the final score close at 17-13, but in reality the boys had worked hard for a well deserved win. The list of new names is too long to include here, but welcome to all and well done. Hard to split Greg and Givit for top player honours, with Greg getting it by a whisker. Both guys gave huge displays on a day where we needed someone to show the way. That loveable Irishman, McDermott deserves the honours for the one point in best & fairest votes. Regrettably, a couple more injuries to add to our list, although the younger Fitzy should soon be back from la la land and able to resume play. Well done to the blokes who stopped him wandering off into the river. Might be wise to avoid Fremantle hospital this week.
Manager elect Rylan did a sterling job providing the post-match beers and truly earned another week in the role while Pete Malcolm is abroad ensuring the Australian economy stays afloat. Great effort by all and may the fun continue.