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Western and Norther drew 3-3 in a Sports Trust game in 1975. The weather was terrible with rain and hail but Northern did give a good display of Rugby despite this.
Western played more of a kick and chase game and with the forwards being evenly match it could have been anyone's game. The Northern replacement half back R. Lee sent the ball quickly and accurately to his first five eight P. Langford and more than once the ball went effectively out the backline to the wingers, K. Thompson and P. O'Connell. It was great to see that Northern was not afraid to move the ball around.
Western's Alan Pennicott decided that kicking was the better option, but when they actually did move the ball through the back line and K. Harvey received the ball this seemed more effective and although they did not score they definetly got over the advantage line and came close on a number of occasions.
R. Christie and R. Miller the two Northern locks were dominant in the lineouts and rucks and kept the pressure up right to the final whistle.
Ken Stewart, All Black, tried hard at the back of the lineout but was shut down by the Western pack. Locks for Western, D. Clark, and prop A. Murray were two that stood out and they drove well to give their team good scoring opportunities that were not taken. Ken McRae, captain led by example and was more often than not in the dark places.
Western was well represented by Murray Heath who sent out some of his long passes to try and beat the defence but to no avail.
Unfortunately Western's Alan Pennicott did not have his kicking boots on and missed 5 penalty goals which were reasonably easy enough.
Reference: The Southland Times July 1975
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