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The 1981 Central/Western Rugby Finals went something like this - Central Pirates beat Riverton to win the championship, Ohai Nightcaps beat Limehills and Otautau beat Waiau Star which has been a very successful season. It is so good to see this competition as strong as ever - it is good for all communities as wherever there is a strong community there is a strong rugby club.
Central Pirates V Riverton
I remember in 1981 Central Pirates went on to win the Central Western Competition with a decisive win over Riverton. Central Pirates also won the Hamilton Shield for the Central sub-union competition. They lost only two games and their sound defence reflects the fact they had only 8 tries scored against them in 16 games, with the fewest amount of point at 91. Otautau ended up winning the Western Banner for the top-team in the Western sub-union.
The game between Riverton and Central Pirates was played at CP’s home ground at Wilson’s Crossing. The score at one time was 3-3 when CP touched down two tries within minutes of each other, which were scored through handling mistakes made by Riverton. Although the final score was 17-3, Riverton gave a spirited performance but just could not match the skill of Central Pirates.
CP’S full-back Jim Phair continued with his great season, and gave his backs the chance to open the attack, by his fine running skills. But it was the forwards that laid down the gauntlet in the likes of Tom Fairbairn, hooker, who won a couple of tightheads at crucial times, and by Colin Redman, who put the black jersey on for the last time. It did not go all CP’s way with close defence by Riverton, and if was not for the courage they showed, the score could have been a lot higher.
Scorers for Central Pirates were Tony McKenzie a try, a conversion and a penalty, Wayne Adams (1) and Jim Phair (1).
Ohai Nightcaps V Limehills.
Limehills opened the scoring in this game in a movement that started at the 50M where winger Greg Boyle received the ball after going through the backline and touched down . Ohai Nightcaps replied by scoring a try from a move that Billy Molloy cleared from a scrum from their 5M line and kicked the ball across the goal mouth to Peter Booth, who off loaded the ball to Terry Laidlaw who raced to the half-way mark and then passed the ball to Mark Smith who ran the final 50 minutes to score. Kevin Laidlaw (coach) said this was the finest tries of the season and highlighted the game which was played in a fast and open manner. The score at halftime as 8-8. With Dave Saunders in the forwards with the help of Malcolm Day and David Scott, for Limehills, their forwards had an edge over ON forwards, John Lindsay and Greg Boyle were the best of the Limehill’s backs. Flanker for ON, David Guttrey, worked hard and covered any breaks from Limehills and pressured the scrum all day. Tough talking by Kevin Laidlaw at half time was what the team needed as the backs lit up in the second half with second five eight Paul Laidlaw setting the backs up with strong running and fine ball skills.
The game was marred by poor kicking from ON as the statistics showed that in the past five games the team had scored 15 tries and converted nil. Scorers for Ohai Nightcaps were Billy Molloy, Kevin Molloy, Raymond Booth and Mark Smith (1). Limehills Greg Boyle two tries.
Otautau V Waiau Star
The home team, Waiau Star, who was playing at Tuatapere led twice in the game, with the large forwards with the like of Ted Guttrey and flanker, Roger Edgerton worked hard all game, they won plenty of ball and put a ton of pressure on the Otautau line and forced many a handling error and stretched the forwards abilities. Peter Devery, halfback, WS put his team in the lead in the second half at 7-6, but unfortunately was injured soon after, and the team missed his guidance and skills around the scrum. Otautau smelling a win launched attack after attack which paid off when Stewart Clarke scored a good try. The Otautau backs missed many an opportunity with poor ball handling and wrong decision making. Donald Clark, flanker then moved to No 8 was one of the best forwards for Otautau being first to the breakdown and never giving up on the might of the Waiau Star forwards. Edsel Forde was best of the Waiau Star Backs and ran strongly on the wing.
Otautau- Stuart Clarke (1) Alan Dickson PG (1) DG (1)
Waiau Star – Peter Devery (1) Wayne Laurie PG (1)
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