Round 17 saw Neddies host Joondalup at The Foreshore in a game which was highlighted by a Rat-trick, the return of the Roo, a great Third Half lunch and Neddies topping the tables in both premier grade and seconds.
There were plenty of changes in the Neddies team, including the Titoko brothers Ben and Fred in the centres, goal-kicking prop Mark “Rocket” Davies back in the front row and Richie “Rat” Naylor showing his versatility at hooker.
Rat started his Rat-trick with the opening try of the game and by half-time the PG Hampshire-worthy Shane Hemi and Fred Titoko had crossed as Neddies took a 19-3 lead.
When star halfback Mike “Roo” Ruru made his long-awaited return to the field after the break, bets were taken in The Third Half corner on how long it would take him to score. The answer was about two minutes.
The points kept ticking over after that as Rat sniffed out his second and Roo set up debutant back Gavin Laycock for his first try in premier grade. Rat finished things off with the third leg of his Rat-trick after a storming run from prop Jermaine Ainsley for a final scoreline of 45-3.
The bonus point win was enough to give Neddies a one point buffer over Wests at the top of the ladder with just one competition game to go before Neddies head into the club’s 33rd consecutive finals series (Keep an eye out on Rugby HQ on Fox Sports on Thursday night for more on that).
So top spot goes on the line as Neddies heads across the Swan to Tompkins Park on Saturday to take on Palmyra before Bledisloe 1 kicks off in Sydney. And as the Hulkster said, you wouldn’t miss that for Quades.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. GO NEDDIES!