It was a glorious day at The Foreshore on Saturday, starting with the first Third Half lunch for season 2020 and finishing with Neddies defeating Palmyra 29-12 to claim the new Gary Mickle Cup.
And it was also a day which showcased to the rugby community how the development of Colts players has been at the heart of the club’s success over the years.
Consider these stats: all up, there were 14 players in Saturday’s premier grade squad who either graduated through the Neddies Colts, or were still eligible to play Colts this season. Those players were props Jamie Hawgood, Damo Pacecca, Dev Morris and Reupena Enari, second-rowers Sam Offer and Mike Egan, loose forwards Ken MacPherson and David Bailey, halfbacks Mike Botes and Hershelle Classen, fullbacks Kauri Cudd and Peter Fitzgerald and wingers Callum Thomas and promising debutant Finn O’Callaghan. On the same afternoon, two other Neddies colts graduates – Tevin Ferris and Tom Sheminant – were representing the Western Force against the Brumbies.
What’s more, the current crop of new Neddies Colts (who had a bye over the weekend) made up the bulk of the Neddies reserve grade team in a game in which former Colt Ali Henderson made his 100th appearance for the club.
That’s a fantastic effort which speaks volumes about the Neddies’ culture of developing our talented youngsters into premier grade players. And long may it continue.