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This moment would be one that players for Tokanui would never forget - in a lifetime. They beat Invercargill 9-7 to win the Galbraith Shield in 1978. It has been a huge week for some of the Tokanui players that had played for Southland and beaten Australia in the same week. The previews before the game were that both teams were even on paper and although Tokanui might have the advantage by playing a lot of sub-union rugby, they could also be tired from all of this.
Tokanui knew that they had to play smart rugby to reverse the result from last season when they were beaten by Invercargill in the final. The game was thrilling to watch and finally after seven years of getting themselves into the Premier grade they deservedly came away with the shield.
Although the defense was tight from Tokanui, it was really Jeff Gardiner that kept his side in the game with long raking kicks and even though Invercargill camped on Tokanui's line in the last ten minutes it was Gardiner's boot that kept sending them back to halfway.
A late charge on Les O'Donnell saw Fergus Dermody kick a penalty.
Miles Herdman took the ball off his opposite David Wray to score a try.
Steven Pokere penalised for being within the 10 metre area of the lineout - Fergus Dermody converted.
Half time 6-4
Jeff Gardiner kicked a 47 mtr penalty
A lineout infringement from Tokanui saw Pokere kick a penalty.
Full time 9-7.
Spencer Golden kept Invercargill centre, Ian Donaldson under wraps, in particularly in the last ten minutes Golden's tackling was deadly.
Right on full time Pokere, in desperation attempted a drop goal but it was charged down.
Stuart Dermody, Lex Chisholm and Dave Morrison matched Invercargill's front row and Gerald Dermody with his locking pal of Dave Lamb were invaluable in the lineouts and in the loose.
Fergus Dermody led his team by example and played hard and won some great two handed lineout ball.
Bruce Lamb was exceptional in the loose and although not the fastest one on the paddock he made up for it by his physical dominance.
Half back David Wray caused all sort of headaches for his opposite Miles Herdman, while Les O'Donnell was the master of the Tokanui backline.
Wingers, Ash Blair and Shane O'Donnell were not really given the chance to run the ball but when they did they found Invercargill's defence too tight to get through.
For Invercargill Barry Low showed he was over his injury and was effective at the front of the lineout along with Jim Fortune who supported him well.
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