Round 10 saw Neddies head to Bennett Park for a top-of-the-table clash with second placed Wests.
Neddies took the park missing a few familiar faces in premier grade after earlier wins in colts, thirds and fourths and a narrow loss in reserve grade.
In a see-saw match, both teams scored two tries each in the first half, with centre Neihana Christian and inspirational skipper Mike “Roo” Ruru crossing for Neddies. However, it was Wests kicking accuracy which gave the home team a 23-14 edge at half time.
Neddies fought back strongly in the second half , with tries to Roo and Richie “Rat” Naylor putting Neddies within striking distance at 30-28 as the clock wound down and the skies darkened. The game was on a knife edge.
However, a late penalty goal to Wests gave the home team a 33-28 win which was enough to leap-frog Neddies at the top of the ladder.
While Neddies outscored Wests four tries to three, mistakes and penalties (the last one in particular) proved too costly in the end.
While a lot can happen in the second round, there were plenty on the sideline predicting the same two teams would probably square off again in a repeat of last year’s grand final.
Next Saturday sees Neddies return to The Foreshore to take on Joondalup. It will be another test of depth for coach Luke “Dogga” Doherty, with Roo, Ammon Matuauto and young guns Tevin Ferris and Tom Sheminant off in Mauritius representing the Western Force in the World Cup 10s.
Be there (The Foreshore that is, not Mauritius). Be loud. Be proud. GO NEDDIES!!