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The format had changed in the Galbraith Shield competition in 1976 which saw the first round playing for the President's cup which hopefully would have seen teams given time to gel and get a combination going.
Invercargill gets a fright from Tokanui in first game for 1976....
Invercargill that had won the Galbraith Shield in 1974 and 1975 got a hell of fright from Tokanui, who sent out a message loud and clear - 'watch us'.
Tokanui would have been disappointed in the 3-3 draw as they really had the better of the game.
The Tokanui forwards were the talk of the town after the main game. Invercargill looking good in a new uniform had the wind behind them in the first half and had a couple of opportunities to score but the Tokonui defence was rock solid - and it only got better as the game went on. The half time score was 0-0.
Against the run of play, Invercargill's Glen Smith was successful with a penalty, and not to be outdone, Fergus Dermody for Tokanui replied 14 minutes from the end of the game.
Trevor Keelty, winger for Invercargill made a couple of good breaks but was well tackled.
Bruce Lamb was the pick of the Tokanui team. Of course the brothers, Gerald Dermody, Fergus Dermody and Stuart Dermody and Rex Kingdon had the upper hand in the lineouts, with Fergus dominating at the back against his opposite Glen Smith.
David Wray was introduced to senior rugby and coverred well. Jeff Gardiner also played well in his first club game for Tokanui. He has represented; Western North Otago, Southland and Eastern.
For Invercargill Kevin Duke and Roger Ramsay made it hard for their opposites. Alan Jones played well positionally and was a strong tackler and runner with ball in hand.
Referee; D. Donovan.
Reference: Tokanui Unlucky Not To Beat Invercargill, The Southland Times April 1976
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