Wanneroo v Nedlands at Kingsway 22nd May 2021
1 Marcus Cutler
2 Scott Cornell
3 Andre Roux
22 Kyle Seear
5 Stefano Launiuvao
6 Andrew King (C)
7 Darcy Hinckley
8 Mark Cornell
9 Rob Stortz
10 Ethan Riley
4 Rick Le Roux
12 Jordan Gratton
13 Grason Makara
14 Porikapa Tukaki
15 Jeremy Wallace
16 Chase Geary
17 James Brown
19 Brayden Karangaroa
20 Luke Burnett
21 Sylvo Iro
11 Jared Deacon
24 Hanno Van de Merwe
Wanneroo started with purpose, and a powerful drive at the first scrum earned them a penalty on the 22 almost in front of the posts. Unfortunately, the ever-reliable boot of Jordan Grattan slipped in the rain and the ball skied off the side of his boot for no score.
Nedlands were stung into action and worked their way into the Roo Dogs 22 where the ref awarded them a penalty in almost the same position as Wanneroo’s. Amazingly they too missed the kick.
Neddies resumed their momentum, but Wanneroo matched them hit for hit and gradually forced them to kick to relieve the pressure. The ensuing play saw both sides make unforced errors that resulted in stalemate.
Wanneroo created a good passage of play from a line out after captain Andrew King soared high and gave the ball off the top scrum half Rob Stortz. He fed his backs quickly and Grason Makara weaved his way through the first line of defence to set the ball up for his pack. They carried it on for three phases before releasing Marcus Cutler. He finished the move off by crashing through several tackles to forge a good 20 metres into Neddies defence zone, before a big hit resulted in the ball being lost in the tackle.
Nedlands took their opportunity and attacked left and then right, before they too lost possession after some punishing defence by Jordan and Bones. Workaholic Scott Cornell snaffled the loose ball and raced 15 metres before slipping it to brother his Mark, who hammered his way forward before offloading to Bones. He wore the tackle and laid the ball back perfectly for a speculative punt down field that resulted in a scrum to Neddies.
Their set piece advantage was nullified when flanker Darcy Hinkley launched himself from the side of the scrum and his scavenging hit resulted in a penalty to Wanneroo. Ethan Reilly kicked for a line out about 10 metres from Neddies try line. Scott’s pinpoint throw in was taken cleanly by Bones and he fed Kingy, who crashed over for the opening try of the game. Jordan added the bonus points.
Wanneroo 7 – Nedlands 0
Bones caught the drop out ball, fed Andre (Beats) Roux and his punishing run set quality ball for Ethan. He sent it downfield and Neddies counter attacked with a surging run. The green defenders pulled them down but were penalised at the breakdown on the halfway. Nedlands took the line out option and sent a quick ball out to their inside centre, who surged through a disjointed Wanneroo defence to score a converted try.
Wanneroo 7 – Nedlands 7
After the restart, both sides indulged in some aimless kicking that eventually saw Wanneroo penalised for not releasing the ball in the tackle. Nedlands took the three points.
Wanneroo 7 – Nedlands 10
Soul Brother No 1, James Brown, replaced Marcus Cutler who had sustained a hand injury. Wanneroo maintained a high work rate, but their rhythm and structure seemed to be out of sync and errors enabled Neddies to steal two of the Dogs lineout throws. Some loose kicking also gave the visitors unearned attacking opportunities.
A resurgent Blues team forced the greens back into their own red zone and their follow up play earned them a scrum feed. The Dogs did well to stop a drive off the scrum and three subsequent hit ups, but only at the expense of conceding another scrum feed to Nedlands. Blues scrum half, Nathan Roberts, broke from the base and had a go at the line, where Ethan stopped him with a thumping tackle. Both sides hurled themselves into the breakdown, where Wanneroo were penalised again. Neddies took the scrum option and scored a converted try.
Wanneroo 7 – Nedlands 17
WANNEROO 7 – NEDLANDS 17
The first half was played in heavy rain, but the second half saw the heavens open. It was to both team’s credit that they still managed to play some good, attacking, entertaining rugby under the atrocious conditions.
Soul Brother Brown caught the drop out ball and ran straight at the blue wall. Andrew King followed up, swiftly, secured the ball and laid it back. Ethan punted it into the middle of the park and Neddies responded with a kick for touch, giving Wanneroo a line out on their own 22. The throw in was secured and the ball moved quickly to Jordan at inside centre, who ran it boldly and sucked in defenders. His support followed up and laid the ball back cleanly once again. Ethan kicked, Neddies countered, Wanneroo got penalised. Neddies kicked a penalty from 30 metres.
Wanneroo 7 – Nedlands 20
Ethan’s long drop out was fumbled and spilled by Neddies. Porikapa Tukaki hurled himself at the ball at the same time as Neddies piled in to try and clean their mess up. He sustained an injury in the melee and was replaced by Chase Geary. I didn’t see the subsequent play, but I’m told Wanneroo ran the ball, Nedlands were penalised, and Ethan kicked for a line out. The Dogs pack made no mistake this time. They took clean ball and set up a drive for the line. Nedlands managed to hold the green machine, until Beats did a pick and go and barged his way through several defenders for a try out wide on the right. The conversion missed.
Wanneroo 12 – Nedlands 20
The game resumed in driving rain and the weather was undoubtedly a major factor in affecting the play. Some classic running and handling was interspersed with tactical, team and individual errors. Neddies managed to spoil another Wanneroo line throw and the Dogs did well to remain calm and respond with tenacity and aggression. Mark, Scott, Kingy and replacement Brayden were prominent up front. But their efforts were followed by a mish mash of good and bad - from both sides.
Jeremy & Rob were replaced by Sylvo Iro and Jared Deacon. Sylvo hadn’t been on for more than a minute, when he was given a run-onto ball inside the Blues 22. He set his sights on the try line and did his level best to reach it. He got stopped about 5 metres out, but instant support saw Wanneroo continue his momentum with multiple runners all wanting the ball. After some frenetic crash & bash stuff, Ethan made a sniping break and almost got to the line before being held. No matter. The green pack swamped him and Andre (Beets) Roux repeated his earlier effort with a fine pick & go that gave him his double for the day. Jordan added the chocolates.
Wanneroo 19 – Nedlands 20
Now it was game on, with no quarter given or asked for. James Brown took the drop out ball and immediately belted his way forward. When he got tackled, Stefano Launiuvao, took over and hit the ball up, only to lose it in the ensuing ruck. Neddies ran the ball into Wanneroo’s backyard, where the Dogs urgency at the breakdown saw them cop a penalty. Nedlands kicked a very welcome three points.
Wanneroo 19 – Nedlands 23
Ethan’s drop out was fielded by Neddies who kicked for touch. Wanneroo’s attacking line out was spoiled when the Blues managed to get a hand to the throw in ball again. But their good work was ruined when the ref pinged them for hanging onto the ball at the breakdown. With Wanneroo needing a try and Nedlands just needing to close the game out, it was going to be a tense closing spell.
Nedlands regained possession and had a dash up their left wing, but Wanneroo’s fired up defence smashed the ball carrier into touch. Andrew King took Scott’s line out throw perfectly, played it off the top and Ethan had a run that breached the Blue’s defence. Stefano, Mark, Sylvo and Beats followed up with punishing runs that took them deep into Nedlands territory. Ethan changed tack when he sold Neddies a dummy on his way towards the goal line. Nedlands managed to bring him down about 10 metres from their line, where both sides fought like demons for possession. Wanneroo must have tried a bit too hard because the ref penalised them.
Nedlands relief was palpable, and they took the sensible option of a kick to touch. But nerves must have got the better of them because their hooker got pinged for not straight and Wanneroo got a scrum feed.
The Green pack wobbled and Jared was harried at the base, but he managed to get the ball to Ethan who took it forward. His run was the precursor to wave after wave of surging green attacks. Nedlands were on their bootstraps, only just hanging in and eventually had to give away a penalty to stop the assault on their line.
Ethan kicked for a line out on Neddies five metre line. Wanneroo was primed and ready and Bones soared high to take the throw in. No mistakes this time. He set the ball perfectly and the green machine formed up and rumbled on. The visitors threw themselves at anything and everything that moved, and their valiant efforts managed to slow the green’s progress, but they couldn’t stop it. The game was well beyond the 80 minute whistle by this time, but Wanneroo retained possession and the mayhem went on for six phases. Their ferocious and sustained attack eventually gouged a hole in the thin blue line, and they planted the ball over the line for a well-constructed and well-deserved team try.
The Dogs were jubilant and promptly celebrated their monumental win - until the ref said the ball had been held up. It was nectar for Nedlands, but a bitter pill for the Roo Dogs to swallow after such a magnificent finish.
WANNEROO 19 – NEDLANDS 23
This wasn’t a game for the purists, who could point out mistakes, bad decisions and wrong options. But it was a magnificent effort by two determined teams to put on a good display of entertaining rugby under abominable weather conditions.
Wanneroo showed today, and in previous weeks, that they have the wherewithal to compete successfully with the best. I’m not trying to make excuses for them, but it’s fair to say they have a considerable injury list. Our coaching staff, backroom staff and players have given 100% commitment to our Prems. So, it is reasonable to assume that if they get their full squad together and bring their number one game to the table consistently, there is no reason they shouldn’t play finals rugby this season.
The club is right behind you guys.
Ladies: Wanneroo 49 - Kalamunda Kweens 0
Reserve grade: Wanneroo 7 – Nedlands 24
Third grade: Wanneroo 17 - Nedlands 47
Fourth grade: Wanneroo 0 - Nedlands 33