Round 2 of the competition saw Neddies head north to Joondalup to take on a confident Brothers team who have set themselves the goal of a top-four finish in 2016.
There were plenty of new faces in the Neddies line-up including inside centre Ammon Matuauto, as well as a few prodigal sons returning to the fold like centre Garth “Ziggy” Ziegler (resuming his career after a 3-year break from rugby) and big prop Lei Aholelei.
The honours were shared going into the premier grade game after Neddies had won reserves and third grade but going down to the home team in fourths and colts.
Things got off to a rusty start for Neddies when Joondalup scored a runaway try to take a 7-7 lead. But two tries to Ammon on debut saw the scores level at 14-14 at the break after Kauri Cudd continued his good kicking form with two successful conversions.
The home team took the initiative in the second half with an early try to jump out to a 21-14 lead. It was about this stage when the question was being posed: were Joondalup about to emulate ARKs (vintage 1987) by toppling Neddies in just their second season in premier grade? The Joondalup faithful dared to dream – and the handling errors and penalties conceded by Neddies were threatening to turn that dream into a reality.
Ultimately, it was Kauri who saved the day with a penalty goal and a try which enable Neddies to eke out a 22-21 win – but not after a few heart palpitations among the elderly Third Half supporters.
Like the previous week against Wests, Neddies left plenty of points on the park at HBF Arena. Coaches Dogga and Tommy will no doubt be looking to cash in on those opportunities when the boys take on Cottesloe in round 3 at Harvey Field on Saturday.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. GO NEDDIES!!