Regional Sports News
While it was the crop of former Colts who helped deliver victory for Neddies at the Foreshore last week, it was a couple of old heads playing lead roles in Saturday’s epic away win over Wests at Bennett Park.
Taking to the field in glorious conditions after wins in reserves and thirds and a narrow loss in fourths, the Neddies premier grade team struck early with a brilliant individual try to Kauri Cudd, now back in the 15 jumper.
But if playing into the sun and wind wasn’t hard enough, things got much tougher soon after when a red card to prop Hadlee Hay-Horton reduced Neddies to 14 players with more than 70 minutes left to play.
That forced one of the old heads, prop Travis Church, onto the field early. And despite being reduced to a seven man scrum, the Neddies pack stood resolute. Behind that pack was the evergreen Nathan Roberts, whose performance at halfback was reminiscent of his form 11 years earlier when (with significantly less tattoos) he became the 12th Neddies player to win the coveted PG Hampshire Trophy.
Tries to Heath Tessmann and winger Liam Van Der Westhuizen saw Neddies go to the break with 17-10 lead.
With the game very much in the balance and a player down, Neddies had to step up in the second half. And step up they did to a man, perhaps epitomised most by the efforts of dynamic flanker Aiden Laxton. They call this bloke the horse, so whatever you do back him each-way at his next start.
When Wests scored to tie things up at 17-apiece, it was the turn of ice man Louis Saunders-Loder to step up when it mattered, nailing a critical long range penalty to give Neddies a 20-17 lead.
When Tevin Ferris scored under the posts, Neddies were out to a 27-17 lead. And while Wests crossed the line for a late try, Neddies were deserved 27-22 winners.
This was a game which many of the hardened Third Half supporters rated as the best they had seen for many moons. And it spoke volumes about the stuff Tony Ball’s troops are made of.
Another Neddies product showing the same courage and determination later that night was Mike Ruru, who was inspirational for the Rebels against the Bulls in South Africa.
Saturday sees the action return to the Foreshore as Neddies host ARKs, who are back in premier grade this season. Trivia note: Neddies supporters with long memories will recall that back in 1987, ARKs came away with a boil-over 18-17 win over a star-studded Neddies team (ET, Bam, Snake Kani, Tonk Tuoro, Gavin Bermingham, Reg Walters, Spotty etc) at the Foreshore. Leading the charge for ARKs that day was the rugged Nudge Edwards, who went on to become one of the best loose forwards to wear the Royal Blue of Neddies and whose son Tane also played premier grade at the Foreshore.
Remember, if you don’t go to catch up with your mates at the rugby, you risk missing out on games like Saturday’s epic encounter at Bennett Park.
So be there. Be loud. Be proud. GO NEDDIES!!
The post Round 3 Review – The horse, the ice man and the PG Hampshire winner appeared first on Nedlands Rugby Union Football Club.
Geoffrey Stooke OAM
At the recent Annual General Meeting of RugbyWA, I had the privilege of being elected to the position of Joint Patron of RugbyWA. It is also a privilege that I share the position with my fellow Joint Patron, Malcolm McCusker AC CVO- a distinguished Western Australian and passionate rugby supporter.
The events of the past twelve months have been very difficult and challenging for the Western Australian rugby community and the Western Australian community in general. The loss of the Western Force from the Super Rugby competition was a devastating blow to rugby in Western Australia and it resulted in rugby losing any legitimacy to having a truly national footprint.
A feeling of loss was felt by many and my feeling of loss was profound, given I was Chairman of RugbyWA for twenty-three years and Chaired the Committee that successfully bid in 2004 for the fourth Australian Super Rugby team to be based in Perth. I also resigned from the Board of the Australian Rugby Union (now Rugby Australia) following the announcement on 11 August 2017 to remove the Western Force. Importantly, this because I believed the process to remove a team was manifestly flawed and not simply because of the outcome.
However, that is now history and we in Western Australia must move on and we must ensure the future of rugby in Western Australia. This includes the future of elite rugby in Western Australia and the development and maintenance of rugby pathways for all rugby participants in our state- men, women, boys and girls. We can’t simply get angry about what has occurred, we must fight back!
This ‘fight back’ can be demonstrated in various ways but one significant way is to all get behind and support the ‘new’ Western Force.
Through the generous support of Andrew and Nicola Forrest and the Minderoo Foundation, the ‘new’ Western Force has been established. A core of elite players has been recruited and they will be complimented by outstanding local talent. The team will provide the pathway to elite rugby for local players and those through the Future Force Foundation.
The team will be competing in World Series Rugby matches over the next few months. These matches will be against international and elite teams from Australia, Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, New Zealand and Japan. It is going to be exciting and entertaining rugby.
All matches will be at nib Stadium and our support of these matches could largely determine the future of elite rugby in Western Australia. Please be there to support your Western Force!
Whilst the Western Force did not deserve to be removed from Super Rugby, the dwindling support for the team was certainly a factor that did not assist in its retention. Our attendances at home games had dropped from an average of 25,000 per game in 2006 to around 10,000 per game in recent times. Too many people who were angry and upset when the team was removed, had not attended many games at nib Stadium. We cannot allow this to happen again.
The future of the Western Force will largely depend on the support it receives from the Western Australian rugby community!
The Super Rugby competition continues to struggle with poor crowd attendances and poor television ratings. Some crowds have been less than 6,000 and few over 10,000. The structure of
elite rugby in Australia, after the end of the current broadcasting agreement, is likely to be a lot different to what exists at present with the Super Rugby competition. An opportunity exists for World Series Rugby, the Western Force and Western Australia to play a lead role in developing Australia’s future elite rugby competitions. However, to do this Western Australia needs to demonstrate that the necessary support is here.
That simply means supporting all World Series Rugby games at nib Stadium this year!
The first game is against Fiji on Friday 4 May 2018, with the kick off at 6.30pm. Please join the captain, Ian Prior, the coach, Tim Sampson, and the team as they commence an exciting new phase of elite rugby in Western Australia. Join the now famous ‘Sea of Blue’ and demonstrate to Australian rugby that the game is alive & well in Western Australia- the Member Union with the third largest playing population in Australia! Demonstrate that elite rugby can succeed in Western Australia, despite the treatment Western Australia has received in recent times.
With apologies to Uncle Sam and JFK, I leave you with the following:
‘YOUR TEAM AND STATE NEEDS YOU!!’
We look forward to seeing you at the games.
Yours in Rugby,
It was the Colts who stole the show when rugby returned to the Foreshore in glorious conditions on Saturday, even though Neddies was unfortunately unable to field a team in that grade this season.
After a bye in the first round, a quick head count of the premier grade team which took the field against Paly on Saturday (after a win in thirds and a Peanut-inspired win in seconds) revealed no few than 10 starting players who had come through the Colts. How’s that for a stat.
And there was a couple in particular who caught the eye. In his debut game, rangy No 8 Jake McKellar (who is still eligible to play Colts) looked right at home in premier grade. You might hear a lot more of that name. The Hulkster reckoned young Jake reminded him of a bloke back in Morrinsville called Duane Monkley.
And out in the centres there was the welcome return of Louis Saunders-Loder, who showed he had lost none of his skills or pace after a season or so off.
Another notable former Colt was prop Tommy Sheminant, who has returned to Perth from the Shute Shield after being elected in the Force squad.
Back to the game, and it didn’t take Neddies long to kick into gear, with the home team scoring four tries in the first spell for a half-time lead of 24-6.
The second half marked the return to the Foreshore of prop Travis Church, back in the Neddies kit after a four year break. And there was a front-row debut for another of the Colts, Calvin Swick.
Two more second half tries saw Neddies in command at 34-13 with minutes left on the clock before Paly closed out the game with a converted try for a final bonus-point scoreline of 34-20.
Saturday sees Neddies hit the road to play Wests at Bennett Park.
You know the drill. Be there. Be loud. Proud. GO NEDDIES!
The post Round 2 Match Report: Jake The Muss Bursts Onto The Premier Grade Scene appeared first on Nedlands Rugby Union Football Club.
Tickets on sale now for our famous Long Lunch, sponsored this year by QBE. It is the first rugby event at Optus Stadium and starts 12noon on Friday 1 June in the River Room. To co-incide with the Irish v Wallaby tour, MC John McGlue of ABC Radio will present speakers including comedian Paul Martell, All Black legend Ali Williams, former Wallaby prop Dan Crowley and more! Seats are $190 or book at table of 10. You can pay by credit card, EFT or over the bar at the club. To download the fillable PDF booking form go to http://goo.gl/VUgSEL