While Roo and Co were strutting their stuff in Mauritius over the weekend, Neddies had Joondalup to contend with in idyllic conditions down at The Foreshore.
With Tevin, Ammon and Tommy Sheminant also away with Roo on tour – and a long list of injuries – it was always going to be a tough assignment for Neddies.
But Third Half supporters with long memories (or at least those with partially intact memories) will recall how Neddies has faced many a club game in the past with most of the team playing for WA in the old Southern States carnival (including the year coach Viv Booker pinched 15 Neddies players).
And tough is the way it panned out. The 10-10 scoreline at half time was a true reflection of the closeness of the game, with all the points coming from Neddies players known by their initials – try scorer Juan “JP” Pretorius and Lawrence “LJ” Joel, who was assuming the kicking duties from one of the sidelined stars, Kauri Cudd.
While another LJ penalty goal put Neddies in the lead for the first time in the match at 13-10, the turning point was a runaway try to centre Neihana Christian, which gave Neddies a 20-10 buffer.
The injection of coach Luke “Dogga” Doherty into the game lifted the tempo (according to Dogga) as halfback Kent Abbott, filling the big boots of World Cup 10s player of the tournament Mike Ruru, showed Roo-like skills to skate over the line to seal the match for the home team.
Joondalup rounded off the scoring for a final scoreline of 27-17, which was enough of a winning margin for Neddies to shade Wests at the top of the ladder on percentage.
Saturday sees Neddies face traditional rival Cottesloe in what promises to be another action-packed day of rugby at The Foreshore. Look out also for the big contingent dressed in red. Not Welsh supporters hoping their team can finally go the distance against the ABs, but those attending the annual Neddies Ladies Day.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. Be red. Behave. GO NEDDIES!!