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The 1976 President's Cup games went something like this, with the new club system, which has been well accepted, from most of the senior coaches of the town teams as they feel it has added some incentive to the competition.
Several new faces have emerged and a great deal of interest will be focussed on these new players and how their performances affect the teams they represent. The teams look something like this...............
BLUFF - following three good preseason wins, Bluff looks likely to go better this season than it has over the past few years.
The team is very much the same as last year, 1975 according to sole coach, John Stroud. Grant Mead or Pat Areaiti will be the hookers, with Mark Meads will fill one of the propping positions.
John Edminston, Bill Tini and Tony Armstrong will lock the scrum. Armstrong is an island player an though young he is six foot two inches and has impressed in early games.
One of last year's key players for Bluff, Bob Blair will be playing again after having recovered from a broken leg that occurred last season. Coming back into the forwards at number eight after a couple of seasons on the wing is Clive Westwood. Aaron Low is another player who will play off the side of the scrum and John Osmond will fill a utility role in the pack.
Rex Fraser is at half-back again with Geoff Young outside him. At second five-eight is former Collegiate player Paul Rahui.
E. Malophie will be back at centre and will have Ken Dimond fighting for the position as well. On the wings are Ray Price, Murray O'Connor and B. Brown. A. Thompson will be at full-back.
Bluff has the bye in tomorrow's round of the President Cup but it will meet the team with the bye from the other section - Woodlands.
COLLEGIATE- some new faces will be seen among the Collegiate team this year that will be under the control of coach Bob Mossop. At this stage it is not known if fullback in past seasons, Bill Wilson will be playing, and at the moment Brian Lawson who played games at fullback last year, will share the berth with Keith Rowan who is back playing again after a season or two off. Mana Davis and Gordon Rodgers will be on the wings as they were last year. Inside them though there are several new faces to the side.
Howard Tamariki and Ken Williams are listed as centres while Russell Weeds has come south and will be playing his first season with Collegiate as a second five-eight. At first five eight and back in the line up is Gordon Murphy.
Two players of similar style will fill the half-back position, usual player Terry Butson and a Scotsman by the name of Roger Chadwick will ensure good service to their outsides.
Occupying one of the prop positions will be John Webster and the other props are Southland representative last season, Alistair Burgess and John Hunt. Hunt can also hook and will deputize for Ox Haines. Dave Rohan is back again at lock and partnering him will be Ray Cleveland. Players occupying the loose forward positions will be Keith Ivey, Gerald Valley , Robert Sammond and Norman Rodgers. The last two are both able to play at number eight.
INVERCARGILL - It took a while for Invercargill to name their final squad , but gave early signs that they will be a team to respect with convincing wins in the recent D.B. Southland Champion club series. Injuries have caused some problems but Invercargill are lucky that these can be easily covered. Winger, John Eddy, has had some hamstring trouble while John Steentjes still has an injured back.
Gary Muir did not play in last weekend's final in the club series but is expected to be back playing next week. Brian Beardsley will not be playing and will be a big loss to the team. However, his goal kicking role may well be taken over by Peter Hildyard.
Glen Smith who plays at number eight, played and captained Union in Dunedin last season. His goal kicking ability was seen last weekend when he kicked a good penalty goal for his side from about 45 metres.
Roger Ramsay, Slim Low, Kevin Duke, Murray Leach and Brent Lamond are playing again and they provide the team with a solid core of experience. Barry Robertson at prop made a great impression two weeks ago in the first of the championship games. Barry Lindsay is another that can fill the same position.
In the backs, Bruce Hay looks likely to be half-back, and played second grade for the club last year. Muir will be outside him while Philip Stevenson will also be at first five-eight.
Several wingers are available for the team and leading the way are Evan McLellan, Trevor Keelty and Eddy when he is fit.
Robert Hoffman, a second grader last year will play tomorrow and will be a likely member of the final squad.
The coaching team will be Colin Galt and John Healey who did so well last year when the team won the Galbraith Shield.
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