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Central came into its own in 1967 when they gave Eastern a "taste of their own medicine' by beating them convincingly 32-6. This was the decider of the Sports Trust Cup and there was a huge Eastern contingent which went away disillusioned as Eastern did not even look like crossing the Central line.
It was the Central forwards, which led by Hec Mitchell, who played a stupendous game at prop, and was well supported by hooker, John Kincaid who took two tight-heads off Bill Stewart of Eastern.
Dave Saunders, Rutledge and John Hall for Central outplayed their opposites Colin McDonald, Cliff Cochran and Russell Dyet with Rutledge having an exceptional game after coming back from injury.
His all round play was outstanding, but in particular at the back of the lineouts where he dominated.
His understanding with John Patterson at half-back was bang on. The Central forwards were domineering at set play and not only won 90 percent of the rucks and mauls but drove the Eastern forwards back time and time again.
Eastern's defence was oppressed by Patterson and his flankers and their backs were starved of any ball.
Because of the easy ride, given to him by his forwards, John Ellis was able to make a feast of the great ball he received and consequently dictated the game.
Central full-back Ross Mangles played a great positional game with long ranging kicks driving Eastern back time and time again. Mangles used his pace on attack and in particular joining in the backline which more often than not made an overlap for his wingers, Forrester Norman and Leo Boyle.
Kevin Munro and Graham Spittle in the mid-field for Central fed off the great ball they got from Patterson and Ellis.
Murray Mitchell of Eastern was the best of his backs and shimmed past Boyle once, and a try looked eminent but failed due to poor passing.
To try and combat the Central attacking, Eastern put Graham McKinnell at first five-eight, where he grew with confidence, and him along with Neville Broderick gave Eastern a bit of hope.
Donald Hay at lock, worked hard all day, along with his prop, John Agnew.
Although Eastern had five injuries during the course of the game, it did not add to their demise, but did slow them down on occasions until they got another combination going.
Reference: Eastern Trounced by Central. The Southland Times August 1967
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