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Continuing to watch these games with great interest I send you notes from the Marist/Invercargill game where Marist was surprisingly beaten in a sterling forward effort by Blues.
Blues finally clicked in this game and it was an all round great effort from the whole team that led to the win. The players worked together so well that it had the Marist team playing a defensive game for the first time in six weeks. Blues did not have it all their way and Marist realising that time was not on their side launched a desperate rally at about the 60th minute. For about a 10 min period Marist was in top gear but unfortunately could not get any points on the board for their brave effort.
Shaw in particular for Blues established themselves as the best forward pack in the competition by the way they played. The Marist pack led by the powerful O'Neills, were overshadowed in this game in which it was all about the forwards.
Much of the hard earned ball won by Blues was kicked away by their backs but with the Forwards in complete control of the game this mattered little. Trevor Troon's left foot field kicks and one up to 75 yds were valuable at times but Tom Edie's punts were not. Most of them flew straight to Barry Reilly, the Marist full back who always found the line with strategically placed kicks. His other skill of fielding high balls was excellent. Max Hern the Blue's No 8 was in fine form. Fearless on attack and defense he won admiration for his head-first charges into the thick of the oncoming Marist forwards. He scored his try in this manner by ramming three defenders who blocked his path to the line and scored a try for his efforts. Only 12.6 he took some hard knocks but did not slacken his efforts in rucking, covering and following up. Other players who showed up for Blues was Geoff Erskine, who troubled the Marist half back with his quick break-aways from the side of the scrum, Jim Dawson, the half back whose passing was first class and general overall work rate was impressive, and Russell Thwaites, centre who scored a dazzling try after baffling three defenders with a 'dummy'. John Hanning back in the Marist side after an injury was dangerous whenever he touched the ball. In the first half he dived across the goal line but lost the ball when a try looked certain. Mr L. Ramsay was the referee in this game.
The teams were as follows:
Blues: R Malcolm, M. Johnston, R Thwaites, B. Cullen, T. Edie., T. Troon., J. Dawson., M. Hern, W. Tood, R. Heathcote., A.L. Borland, G. Erskine., M. Shaw., J. Borland., J. Henderson.
Marist: B. Reilly., R. Flynn., R. Bewley., J. Hanning., J. Hawke., R. Wills., J. Ward., P. McAtamney., A. Fahey., B. O'Neill., M. O'Neill., B. O'Connell., H. O'Neill., W. Hawke., P. Sheenan. (replaced by P. O'Neill)
Referee was Mr LRamsay
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