Saturday at The Foreshore was one of those days that made you warmer inside than the scene in The Revenant where Leonardo DiCaprio wraps himself in the horse carcass.
The future, the present and the past were all on display. The future was the mighty Neddies Under-9s, who took on their Soaks counterparts as a curtain-raiser to the premier grade game (and again at half time). This team of young terries includes the offspring of several former Neddies luminaries including Rodney Ball, Matt Caporn, Mark “Rocket” Davies, Eric Brain and Glen Williams. Most of them showed considerably more pace than their dads.
The past (or in some cases past it) were the true-blue Neddies supporters signing up with Perth’s most legendary supporters’ club, The Third Half.
And then there was the present. The premier grade took to the field for the season-opener after solid wins in reserves and thirds (including four tries and a conversion to Keith Henderson) and a bit of a touch-up in fourths.
There were some new faces wearing the Neddies strip for the first time along with plenty of Colts graduates including the likes of Hershelle Classen, skipper Mike Egan, Grayson Knapp, Kauri Cudd, Liam Van Der Westhuizen, Christoff Cronje, Damo Pacecca and Callum Thomas (after fellow former Neddies Colts Tevin Ferris and Tom Sheminant had played for the Force the night before).
Things were pretty tight at half time, when the excitement of the first game of the season distracted your correspondent from taking any notes. But with the sun at their backs, Neddies went on a second half scoring blitz to finish up 45-12 victors. There were plenty of highlights, including a scintillating long-range try from star forward Aiden “the Horse” Laxton, who has picked up where he left off last season. It was a performance fitting of a rendition of Singing In the Rain in the changing rooms, only lead vocalist Rex Julian was away at a wedding.
Firstly up for the day was the Chris Naylor led Thirsty Thirds who had obviously built up a massive celebratory thirst over the off-season to rack up a 38-12 scoreline to start the tally off for the day. We hope Keith Henderson has been saving up his money as a hat-trick is a carton, what is the shout for four tries in one game 2 cartons! and he converted one of his own tries, that makes three cartons for a busy afternoon. This for the first game sets the tone for the rest of the season. Well Done Keith!
Our reserve grade boys started off shakey (no he reffed 4ths) and showed in fits and starts that they will be a force to be reckoned with later in the year as they traded tries with Associates but the result was carved in stone by the 33 min mark with a territorial arm wrestle in the 2nd Half. 24 -14
Starting a game with 13 players was never going to end well and the rugby gods did not smile on Blackies brave troops who put up a good show but went down narrowly for 81 – 0 scoreline. Rumour has it that half the Cloudbreak mine workforce will be back in town next weekend so numbers should be better.
Saturday sees Neddies head across the Swan River to take on Paly.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. GO NEDDIES!!