Saturday was one of those days when you couldn’t help but reflect on some of the things that make Neddies the great rugby club we all proud to be part of.
Three things stood out in particular. The first was the junior rugby carnival held at The Foreshore on Saturday morning. For those who missed it, this was probably the biggest rugby event staged at Neddies, featuring more than 60 junior teams from all parts of Perth. It showcased what a vibrant and well-run junior club we have. To the junior committee and the band of volunteers who made it all work, we tips our lid.
The second was the turnout of Third Half supporters at Harvey Field on Saturday to cheer on Neddies. The Third Half is becoming such a force that Neddies now has more support at many away games than the home team. If you haven’t joined The Third Half juggernaut, there’s still time to get on board.
The third thing to stand out was how the new premier grade coaching duo at Neddies – first year coach Luke “Dogga” Doherty and his mentor Tom Fearn – is already putting an indelible mark on the team. This was clearly evident in the Round 7 clash with Cottesloe on Saturday in which the Neddies premier grade team aimed to complete a clean-sweep of their beachside rivals after earlier wins in fourths, thirds and seconds.
Neddies, who went into the game undermanned after injuries to several key players, found themselves 3-0 down in the early exchanges after Cottesloe landed a penalty goal.
That was when halfback Mike “Roo” Ruru started showing his class. With his forwards laying the platform, Roo crossed for two first half tries to give Neddies a handy 14-3 lead. But any chance of Roo scoring another four-try bonus point by himself was dashed when he limped off the field with a dodgy hammy.
On the sideline, Colt was also lucky to remain upright after he copped the falcon of the day when a huge punt struck him flush in the swede. To his credit, Colt was shaken but not stirred. Unfortunately, his beer was both shaken and stirred. Colt is hoping to get the hearing back in his right ear before Christmas.
Back on the field, the momentum shifted in the second half as the home team stormed back to reduce the margin to 14-13 with a converted try and a penalty goal.
Neddies had to stand up – and did just that.
With about 10 minutes left on the clock, Joe “Peanut” Ritchie (whose age happens to coincide with the number of consecutive finals Neddies have been in) scored in the corner to give Neddies some breathing space at 19-13. With the game drawing to a close, Ian Prior nailed a penalty goal to deny Cottesloe a bonus point and give Neddies a 22-13 win, their sixth on the trot.
Saturday looms as another big challenge for Neddies as the boys head north to take on a Joondalup team who are riding high in fourth place on the ladder after a string of impressive performances. The game also gives Neddies the opportunity to get their hands on the RugbyWA Cup, which Joondalup won from Uni at the weekend.
Be there. Be proud. Be loud. GO NEDDIES!!