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Bluff deserved their first win of the 1970 season by betting Pirates 11-6. bluff came out firing and except for a period in the middle of the game held the lead. About 10 minutes from full time Pirates went up a gear, and Bluff showed courage by withstanding the pressure and it was probably the best defensive game it had play for some time.
A strong Pirates forward pack met its match in the game and the only time they really dominated was in the last ten minutes and first ten minutes after half time. They were awarded with two fine tries in this time, but for most of the game the Pirates back could not contain the hunger of the port pack, led by Apu Tere in the tight and Robert Blair in the loose.
Bluff's tackling was poor during the game and it was questionable whether it was this or Pirates bad ball handling or backing up that gave Bluff the advantage.
Bluff's backs in Phil Savage, the former Southland winger and the half back Eric Brown, not only had a great understanding but showed great ball skills and rugby thinking by taking the pressure of their forwards.
Robin Welsh, veteran second five-eight for Pirates had his best game of the season with strong and straight running which shaw him time and time again break through the first line of the vulnerable Bluff defence.
Pirates rucking and lineout play was not up to their usual standard, with an exception in Ray Thompson who took the ball cleanly with two hands and delivered it cleanly to his half back. Bluff's Tere was not going to be outdone and he improved as the game went on to combat Thompson's skill which resulted in a healthy battle.
Dick and Jack Ryan, the Bluff forwards rucked with vigor and drove hard into the Pirates slower forwards splitting them up. Sam Anderson, who was bought up from 3rd Grade last year played a valuable part for Pirates by play 80 minute rugby, and had a heart the size of a lion, where he was always at the bottom of every ruck and seemed to be revelling in it. He set up the try scored by Thompson which made the score 3-3. Anderson's pace and drive also paved the way for other moves that cut down the Bluffs attacks.
BLUFF - Robert Blair (1) Clive Eastwood (1) Jack Ryan (1 Pen 1Con)
PIRATES - Ray Thompson (1) Robin Welsh (1)
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