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Country day in 1970 saw Town have an impressive win over Eastern 22-6. Brillantly led by Bob Burgess, Eastern held its own for the first half and the score was 6-6 at halftime and there was very little between the two forward packs throughout the game.
The difference in the two teams was Bob Burgess and he led by example to give Town its biggest win over Eastern for many years.
His rugby brain and the way he generalled his troops kept Eastern off balance as both teams had even share of the ball but it was more about what Town did with it.
Burgess knack of reading the game, his pace and acceleration ensure that the Eastern pack were constantly on their back foot.
Outside him, Don Thompson and the unpredictability of Trevor Keelty (who replaced Lin Booth) had some brillant runs.
The Eastern team with their hands full only had one or two chances to score, Russell Hardy, for Eastern, impressed at centre, but the only real chance he got was soon smothered by Keelty tackle.
Full backs Doug Nichol (town) and Graeme Townsend (Eastern) gave some anxious moments for their teams under high ball and Burgess realising Townsend apprehensive under the high ball made sure he kept sending him well orchestrated high up and unders. The ball seldom reached the wingers and Murray Crooks and Alistair McKenzie (town) had few chances to show their skills.
Neville Gibson and John Williamson (eastern) wingers, suffered similar lack of ball and Williamson was replaced by Alun Dennis in the second half due to an injury.
The Eastern forwards started out in the way expected of them, with where big, promising Barry McGowan, won a lot of lineout ball, in the first half. But Town being astute moved Frank Oliver up to mark him, which quietened him down.
McGowan's locking partner, Gus McAllister, also won some good ball and Eastern missed him when he left the field injured. He was replaced by John McAuley.
Former Southland hooker, Ken McRae, gave Town the advantage in set scrums and he got two tightheads off Eastern's Ivan Gutsell. The Town props, Brian Beardsley and Nelson Gutsell, were too strong for Alan Smith and Donald Hay.
Beardsley was in top form and his goal kicking netted Town ten points and his fast chasing of the ball, gave him a well deserved try. The town locks of Frank Oliver and Philip Butt were not only strong but their pace was a surprise which Oliver showed in a crunching run which resulted in Beardsley's try. Butt was always in the thick of it and did not shy from any work.
In the back of the Town scrum George Lawrence did a lot of tidying up and had the foresight to leave the chasing to the youngsters in the team, Brian Warren and Kevin Stevens, both of who covered a lot of ground and tackled well.
Veteran flanker, Harold Miller worked hard until he left the field and was replaced by former Pirate's captain Neville McEwan.
Behind the forwards Alan Blackler (town) outplayed half back for Eastern, Colin Hay. Blacker's passing was more slick and he was faster round the field.
The three Southland selectors, A.J. Tait, J.S Borland and K.F. Laidlaw would have been more than happy with the game, but would have been a bit disappointed with the fitness of some of the players.
TOWN: D. Nicol, A. McKenzie., T. Keelty., M. Crooks., D. Thompson., R. Burgess., A. Blackler., O. Lawrence., K. Stevens., P. Butt., F. Oliver., R. Warren., B. Beardsley., K. McRae., N. Gutsell. (captain).
EASTERN: G. Townsend., N. Gibson., R. Hardie., J. Williamson., N. Hazlett., L. Meikle., C. Hay., M. Shankland., R. McDonald., G. McAllister., B. McGowan., H. Miller., A. Smith., I. Gutsell., D. Hay.
REFEREE: Mr G. McDonald (Northern).
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