Saturday saw the Neddies Premier Grade team hit the road to take on a Perth-Bayswater team who had plenty of motivation to win – ie finishing off the season by knocking off the top team on their turf.
And that motivation was evident as Baysie belied their 8th position on the ladder to give Neddies a tough workout ahead of Saturday’s do-or-die semi-final against Cottesloe at Hartfield Park.
In what was a high scoring affair, Neddies jumped to an early 12-0 lead after tries to flanker Drey and winger Rob “The Big Fella” Maxwell and could have been further in front had they not butchered a couple more scoring opportunities.
By halftime, the Big Fella had crossed for his second of the day as Neddies went to the break with a 19-6 lead.
Penalties continued to keep Baysie in the game in the second half as a couple of successful goals dragged the home team back to 19-12. Slick centre Warren “G” Black then chimed in for a try to give Neddies a bonus point and a 26-12 lead.
The game opened up big time in the last quarter of the game as Baysie hit back with three tries and good lead-up work by Ryan “The Bus” McLeod and Perth Spirit rep Davis Tavita resulted in two more Neddies tries to G and fellow Perth Spirit rep Mike “Roo” Ruru.
That produced a final scoreline of 38-32. Not quite the nail-biter of the Super 15 final that followed, but a good wake-up call for Neddies nonetheless ahead of Saturday’s Grand Final rematch against the Gulls.
Make sure you are there with your colours to support the boys. Be very loud, be very proud….
PS One interesting point from the finals this season. None of the four teams in the Premier Grade finals has a team in the Reserve Grade finals.
Nedlands Reserve Grade finish the season in style!
After a tough 2014 campaign compounded by season ending injuries, absences of players and coaching staff along with the perennial movement upwards of players, the Nedlands Reserve Grade stood tall last Saturday in the penultimate match against Perth Bayswater. Up to then the team had suffered their share of heart breaking losses at the death and two drawn results!
With the bare 15 players available for kick-off, the team’s no-nonsense approach allowed them to cope extremely well once again and get on with the business. Led by Mike Egan and Kent Abbott, the boys got stuck into Perth and posted a healthy score by half time leading 18-3 with tries to Ruben, Chris and Brocky and a penalty to Jayden. In the second half, with the arrival of the cavalry in Nate Roberts, Matt R, Brian Sanders and Colt Tom Sheminant, the boys were able to match the response from the opposition this time and flicked the switch once again to run Perth around with great Nedlands running rugby. The team ran in a further five tries to Sisa, Ruben, Kent, Ranga and Matt R and Jayden chimed in with four conversions to post a 51-3 win.
It was terrific to see the Reserve Grade play such entertaining football and it was heartening for the boys who have been there all season to finish with a flourish. True to form, the players stood by for Premier Grade with many making their debuts in Chris, Matt W, JB, and Sisa.
Well done to the players for dealing with the years challenges so well especially the revolving door of player and coach movements. Special mention has to be made of Matt Chong Sue’s efforts all season in trying to make us understand Fijian and bringing players every week to help the cause including Sisa, JB, Junior and others. Great to have you boys.
My thanks to Sindo, Paul, Willie and Keith for their efforts in coaching the Reserve Grade during the season.
The one constant all year though was the Reserve Grade Manager Jim Garvey, the Irish New Zealander, who provided a new and unique perspective on rugby matters at the Foreshore! Jim’s sense of humour and numerous anecdotes helped keep it all in perspective. Thanks Jim.
Good luck to all the other grades in the upcoming Finals series and congratulations to our Perth Spirit reps in Roo, Davis and Scott.
Nedlands Championship B Grade
Match Report v Mandurah August 2 2014
A high degree of uncertainty about whether this would be the last game for the year, combined with another journey to Mandurah, meant it was not surprising that we struggled for players for this one. After numbers 1-5 were down on the sheet it became a very interesting process with props and hookers wearing 6-8 and outside Reagan at 9 it was anything goes – no previous experience required. So it was with a deal of pride that we battled away in the first half to keep them to two tries.
After finally hanging on to some ball and a bit of mongrel in taking it to them from Briggsy, the team put together some good passes and put one on the board ourselves. A big thanks to Briggsy for answering our SOS and becoming the 15th player on the field and to Moggsy for following suit not long after. If that was Briggsy’s debut as a flanker he should play there more often. A 7-10 score line became 7-17 with another defensive lapse, but that wasn’t the end of the fight. Halftime gave us a chance to rally and refocus (and for Moggsy to get some very welcome oxygen into his lungs) and the second half was a very hard fought affair. When we put together some great phases and hard carries to score again, the sense of the upset was heavy in the air with the score 14-17, thanks to one of George’s hard to track, but effective conversions. They don’t have to look good to count. Having determined the three previous shoulder charges weren’t damaging enough, the whistle man decided he didn’t like Steve’s style and sent him for 10min. Not a great result for us, but in reality it was one of the best periods where we took the game to them manfully.
Unfortunately, Mandurah found a little more late in the game to post the last try and we went down 14-24. For a team put together, just before and adjusted many times during the game this was a good performance. Notable mentions for Simon who did a great job as stand in 10 and at least left a few of them a bit worse for wear with the type of tackles that would have kept them to zero if we could clone them. Big BK led with great drive and toughness again and the Beast recovered from the shoulder charge to keep taking it up to them.
For some reason Rugby WA has determined that it is a good idea to bash away for a couple more weeks and fight to the death for 5th place. So we get one more crack at it this week, thankfully at the Foreshore, but without variety as we face the same mob from Mandurah! If you know anyone who would like to belatedly contribute to the 4th grade 2014 season, direct him to Nedlands this Saturday.
Four Nedlands teams have made it through to their respective finals this weekend after the home and away competition wrapped up on Saturday.
It will also be a big day down at The Foreshore on Saturday as the club hosts a total of six finals matches across the two fields.
The Neddies teams featuring in the finals on Saturday and Sunday are as follows:
Premier Grade: Neddies v Cottesloe, Hartfield Park, 3.20pm.
Championship B Grade: Neddies v Mandurah, The Foreshore, 12 noon.
Colts: Neddies v UWA, Pat O’Hara, 12 noon.
Championship A Grade: Neddies v Rockingham, Pat O’Hara, 3.10pm.