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Gerald Dermody proud moment of captaining Southland to play the All Blacks in Invercargill in 1972.......
It was the first and last time that an All Black team had visited Invercargill and played Southland. It was May 20th 1972 and was one of the most anticipated games for a long time. Someone out there may know if this was the one and only time Southland had ever played the All Blacks.
It was the power, technique and class that the 12,000 crowd came to see at Rugby Park in Invercargill. They were not disappointed and they were privy to a game that will probably never happen again when the All Blacks played their provincial side - Southland.
It may have been the occasion that saw the AB's go out to a 22-3 lead at half time, but Southland soon realised that they did not deserve to be treated like this and came out a better team in the second half. Only going down 30-9 at full time.
All Blacks ran in five tries to nil and if it was not for the brillant tackling of the Southland team it could have been a lot worse.
The only respite came in the way of Frank Oliver's secure ball from the lineout but unfortunately this was either not backed up by the forwards, or half back, Alan Blackler could not get it out to his backs.
Although the Southlanders were on the back foot most of the day it was Oliver and Gerald Dermody (captain) that stood out for the Maroons and the selectors must have been taking a good hard look.
Blacker ran well from the base of the scrum and was supported well by his first five eight John Polson, who used his skills to keep the opposite back line at bay.
Alun Pennicott and Lin Booth on the wings kept looking for work all day and with Russell Hardie and Trevor Keelty, they tackled their hearts out.
Full-Back Doug Nicol, for some reason could not get his punting game going, but was sound on defence.
Murray Ballantyne replaced Leciester Rutledge and had his best game in the Maroon jersey.
The tight of Bob Barber, Phillip Butt and Ken McRae only conceded one tighthead.
Hori Miller spent a lot more time in the dark places than normal, but was reliable.
The referee was Bill Adlam of Wanganui and touch judges were Wattie McKinnell and Bob Carlaw.
The teams were:
Southland: Doug Nicol, Lin Booth, Russell Hardie, Graham Sutherland, Trevor Keelty, Alun Pennicott, John Polson, Alan Blackler, Barry Low, Hori Miller, Leicester Rutledge, Frank Oliver, Gerarld Dermody (captain), Bob Barber, Phillip Butt, Ken McRae. John Kincaid, Murray Ballantyne.
All Blacks: Trevor Morris, Bryan Williams, Bruce Robertson, Ken Carrington, Duncan Hales, Bob Burgess, Sid Going, Bevan Holmes, Alan McNaughton, Ian Eliason, Alan Sutherland, Ian Kirkpatrick (captain), Keith Murdoch, Ron Urlich, Graham Whiting.
Reference: 30-9 Win For All Blacks Amid Fine Southland Tackling. The Southland Times. May 1972.
Central Southland College: C. Thomson, N. Forde, Dave McHugh, G. Lindsay, W. French, N. Kirkwood (captain), G. Seymour, P. Payne, J. McDowell, D. Ward, W. Milne, J. Turner, D. McDonald, A. Johnstone, J. Dixon, D. Nicoll, D. Johnstone, R. Donald, M. Brown.
Marist College: P. Corkery, N. Corkery, A. Watts (Captain), P. Corkery, John Radich, V. Ryan, P. Clark, G. Vallely, M. Enright, M. Hogan, N. Smith, K. Grace, P. Molloy, John Houlihan, R. Heffernan, C. Fogarty, M. Molloy, W. Ahern, K. Weatherburn.