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I remember this shield final was played on a Tuesday which I think was the first mid-week final - am I right? As I remember the teams were very evenly spread which was going to make it an interesting final.
This made me go and look up some details about what was said pre-game and this is what I found out. A close game was predicted and it was presumed that it would be a close score.
The Invercargill backs were generally known to be very competent and Invercargill were resting on the experience of Miles Herdman who was the perfect link between the backs and the forwards and could clear the ball quickly to his outside backs. There was Ian Donaldson who had scored an amazing 18 tries for the 1982 season - he was not only a try scoring machine but some-one who covered the full-back, Grant Soper . Soper with 169 points so far had a record for club rugby. Steven Pokere will play 1st five eight, but has had a quiet year in only scoring two tries but never under-estimate his genius.
Roger Ramsay will be looking to secure another shield win and his scrimmaging skills could never be questioned. On the other hand Pirates have done well to get to the final as Paul Macfie broke his hand midway through the season which was a disruption to the team. Macfie is a player that boosts a team and his control of the game is always sound getting those outside him running with the ball at the right time. Pirates had a great battle to win over Star last weekend but even so, it played the game exactly right and will be asked this of them for Tuesday. It was interesting to note that Bruce Pascoe went to wing and Kevin Burns at full-back who has had his most consistent season to date. Rex Duncan although the smallest player in the competition but this is no odd to him as his effort is no less and his battling attitude is valuable to the team. One area that Pirates will struggle will be the forwards which will be boosted by the return of Sam Anderson - a tireless worker he will set the standard and John Grice and Jeff Rogers have responded to the challenge. Geoff Clark and John Pankhurst are locking partners and have lifted their game. Trevor Popham has come on for the team while Don Sutherland is quick at getting round the field. His tackling against Star was outstanding.
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