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Eastern had a close game against South Otago for their first hit out of the season in 1983. Eastern ended up winning 14-9 and score reflected the closeness of the game and the fact is it could have gone either way.
South Otago started with a hiss and a roar and it looked like they were going to just walk over anyone in their way. Eastern had to use some desperate defence, but they held up and with South Otago's Neville Muir missing the first penalty goal, Eastern managed to make their way up field and got into their territory
At the 23 minutes No 8 Bruce Robertson detatched himself from the scrum and off loaded to half-back
Les Roberts who exploded through a gap and passed to Bill McKenzie who went over for the try.
Three minutes later Eastern scored again when flanker, David Anderson drove forward with the ball who sent the ball through the back line. Craig Pullar who was playing at full-back entered the back-line at blistering pace and fed Jimmy Cormack whose change of speed beat the defence.
For 80% of the second half South Otago camped in Eastern's territory but all they got for their effort was two penalty goals.
Hooker, Bain McCall was exceptional for Eastern and was well supported by prop's Robin Braithwaite and captain, Jeff Lamb.
In the loose, Grant McDonald's tackling was impressive and Anderson and Roberts both had solid games with the latter passing and running well and looked every bit a Southland representative.
Selwyn Winter, John Chittock and Brian Dickison all put in a ton of tackles.
It was a good move having Pullar at full-back as he injected pace to the back-line.
Eastern: Jimmy Cormack, (1) (1PG) Bill McKenzie (1) Pullar (1PG)
South Otago: Muir (3PG)
Reference: Eastern holds out South Otago. The Southland Times May 1983
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