Saturday’s all-important Premiership Division Round 4 game against Wests at Bennett Park was an epic encounter. It may, however, have serious judicial ramifications: the pitch-invading dog should get at least three weeks – possibly mitigated by the fact his sheepish owner took remedial action in what might be considered a reasonable timeframe.
The rest of the action on the field was top shelf. The afternoon didn’t start well for Neddies, with the thirds going down 35-12 and the reserves on the wrong end of a 21-12 score line.
Watched on by note-taking Cottesloe stalwart Jacko Cotter, Neddies took to the field against Wests with no fewer than eight former colts in Tom Sheminant, Grayson Knapp, skipper Mike Egan, Tevin Ferris, Mike Botes, Christoff Cronje and Kauri Cudd, closely followed by Drake Robson.
And there was an early omen, with Neddies scoring first through halfback Mike Botes to take a 7-0 lead to reverse the recent trend of conceding the first try. Wests replied with a try before Ammon Matuauto scored from a blistering break from a galloping Grayson Knapp.
But just as Neddies looked destined to go to the break 12-5 ahead, Wests struck back with a converted try on the stroke of half time to tie things up at 12-12 apiece.
The time-honoured adage of the team scoring first after half time in a close game rang true. First livewire flanker Kaleb Whakataka crossed to put Neddies out to 19-12, and when Mike Botes crossed for his second, Neddies had a handy 14 point buffer at 26-12. With a yellow card reducing Neddies to 14 players, Wests rallied with a converted try to reduce the margin to 26-19. The final minutes were nerve-wracking as Neddies withstood all that the desperate home team threw at them to defend their lead.
There was relief when the final whistle blew as Neddies broke a run of late losses to Wests in recent seasons to take the critical competition points. Despite so much being on the line, it is a mark of the close relationship between Neddies and Wests that fans from both sides watched this great game together, sharing good banter and comradery throughout. The win was capped off by a spirited rendition of Singing In The Rain by Rex Julian in the changing rooms.
The result means that Neddies can secure the all-important top spot on the Premiership Division ladder (and the Minor Premiership flag) with a win over the Roo Dogs at Neddies on Saturday. And if coach Ra and the boys can achieve that, a home semi-final awaits for Neddies at The Foreshore on Saturday August 17. In other words, cancel all appointments.
Saturday will see another significant milestone achieved at Neddies when the legendary Joe “Peanut” Richie plays his 100th premier grade game for the club. There’ll be plenty of action after the game as well, with Hulkster calling the mouse races.
Be there. Be loud. Be proud. Go the Nut. GO NEDDIES!!
🚧🚗 For the last round of the #Fortescue Senior Rugby season, RugbyWA would like to promote the road safety message again with its second#BeltUp round of the year! 👌🏻🏉 Get on down to The Foreshore and watch us take on @WannerooRugby in our final regular season match of the year! Kick-Off 3:30 pm. 🚗🚧 #BeltUp @InsuranceCommissionofWA
This week we induct another club legend on the honours board with Joseph “nut” Richie bringing up 100 first grade appearances get down and clap on this cult hero of the foreshore. Eric Brain will also play his 100th match for #NEDDIES this weekend. Great achievement over 20 years
Western Force is giving back to the Community.
Each ticket redeemed from a voucher/code when scanned at the gate will return $2.50 to the club.
Use the Code NEDDIES when you get your tickets to the game through Ticket Master. Be there. Be loud. Be proud. GO NEDDIES!!