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Billy Steel, the young Ohai centre was exceptional for Western against Central and when he was shifted to the right wing he scored three tries to help give his team a 26-13 win on Country day.
Both forward packs looked lethargic on the day and the only difference was the fast slick passing of the Western backs.
Central started strongly winning the first four rucks but then went off the boil and did not look like scoring again until the last few minutes.
Steel was the star of the game, with his acceleration, fending and tackling. The Western captain, Brian Healey, played a fine all round game and gave his team great support physically and mentally. Outside him Brian Frampton, who went off was an efficient link and when Kevin Suddaby went on to replace him there was no difference in the game as he kept up the great work.
The pressure was all on the Central backs with the accurate ball handling from Western.
Central's centre Murray Mitchell and replacement winger, Keith McKenzie, were Central's most innovative backs. Mitchell was always a danger for Western and scored two tries.
There was little between the forward packs and Western's lightweight No. 8 Alan Campbell, was the only man on either side to show out constantly.
Peter Grant, captain for Central and former Southland lock was not the usual force at lock, and Western prop, Jim McKenzie was another quiet player and although winning some good ball at No. 2 in the lineout he did not play his usual robust game.
WESTERN- Wilson, B. Small., W. Steel., K. Suddaby., B. Hampton., B. Healey., (captain)., A. Campbell., W. Clark., W. Manning., G. Hogg., R. Turner., R. McIntyre., D. Excell., J. McKenzie.
CENTRAL- T. Payne., F. Norman., M. Mitchell., O. Edgerton., W. McLeod., W. King., T. Langford., R. Laughton., R. Clark., P. Grant (captain)., J. Hall., W. Lindsay., L. Bailey., D. Saunders.
REFEREE - G. Acker (Town).
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