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Take a bow Alan Blackler, for the standing ovation- you were brillant and led probably one of the best club teams if not ever seen but close to it. You let your players be themselves and use the best of their skills.
Star won the 1972 Galbraith Shield for the first time in 14 years in 1972. They went unbeaten and deserved their win by playing 15 man rugby right through the season. They were good to watch as they were not scared to throw the ball around and try different moves - they were great to watch.
Star, Invercargill and Marist were well ahead of the other teams and the matches between these three teams were some of the best seen in club competition for a long time.
Competition Points 35 For 471 Against 90
The points say the whole picture and how this team performed was a credit to themselves and the club.
Alan Blackler, half-back led the team to this great victory as coach and captain. With three quarters in Murray Mitchell, Lin Booth and Alistair McKenzie, who scored a record 26 tries was used at all times with the inside backs of Brian McKechnie and John Beazley. To complete this fine combination was full-back Howard Harris who was leading points scorer with 110.
Bob Barber was outstanding at lock with his barging runs in the open. Snow Martin and Colin Davis were tall in the lineouts and Phil Butt, Alan Eade, Barry Leonard and hooker Harry Kiel provided the tight core which never buckled to any team.
A key forward was Pete Connor, who was used in much the same role as Rex Smith, of Otago, and he set up a lot of rucks in the loose. The record of 17 wins and a draw is something you dream of.
Club Notes: by "Boots"
The great performance of our Senior team has gracefully slipped into history let me say that this is the best club team I have ever seen in action. Not the tally points scored by Alistair McKenzie and Howard Harris, not the uncanny way Alan Blackler coached the finest effort from his team, not the brillant football of our five Southland reps; Bob Barber, Phillip Butt, Lin Booth, Murray Mitchell and Alistair McKenzie but the open and entertaining football played by every member of the team. If this class of football had been played years earlier Rugby Park would not have held the spectators.
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