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Here are some of my memories of the 1982 Club season - I was a keen rugby follower in those days and had these notes in my diary.
Invercargill - Grant Soper 169 Points. Came through a hard season as lost lots of experience in 1981. Ian Donaldson's try scoring was a great boost to the team (21 tries). They had only two losses for the season but won the Galbraith Shield final against Pirates in good style.
Pirates - Kevin Burns 155 Points - Most tries Bruce Pascoe (9). Always looked a potential finalist but faltered a bit when they lost Paul Macfie to a broken wrist. Pirates have their centennial year in 1983. The move of Pascoe to the wing was a great success and young players such as Murray Brown (Owen Brown's son) Sean Bellew and Murray Hewitson will give the club a good base for the future.
Star - Brian McKechnie ( 114 points) Most tries - Alan Monaghan (9). Star had a poor start and was halfway through season before they found their form. Their two good wingers in Monaghan and Robbie Hill but their problem lies in their forwards where their hard core who have retired have been sorely missed. Don't ever underestimate Star though - they will always be a powerhouse in club rugby
Mataura - Terry Ashby (105) - Most tries - David Goddard (4). This club was one of the success stories of the competition. It first had to make the first division and then it finished in the top four. They show good guts in set piece movements but have a lot to work on. They should be proud of what they have achieved and will prove to Eastern clubs what can happen with hard work.
Bluff - Rangi Puki - 137 Points - Most Tries - Rangi Puki (7). Bluff had a mixed season. It started the season unsure of who their players would be and very early in the piece hammered Invercargill. Doug Murcott was a big loss through injury and due to rarely having full strength they had to be happy taking the section B Title.
Collegiate - Pope Wilson (74) Most tries Pope Wilson (7) Started the season in fine style with a good win over Star. Qualified for the top eight by having some good wins but also suffered some heavy losses. They did not hit their hobbles often but when they did they were hard to stop. Since coming up from 2nd division its main aim is to consolidate and build from there. They have the potential to do this.
Woodlands - Brent McKenzie (73) Most tries Grant McKenzie (5). Started competition with a hiss and a roar and looked capable of reaching semi-finals. Once they had to contribute their players to the Southern sub union team, the wheels fall off and it never reproduced the earlier season's form. They had a memorable clash with Pirates at Rugby Park and the talent is certainly there but they just need some luck to go their way.
Old Boys - Stephen Black (60) Patrick O'Brien and Peter Howley (3) One of their most disappointing seasons. There is potential in the team but need to get their running game going as tries were not as forthcoming this season as previous. There are several young players there that can make a sound core but again the lack of forwards made it tough but Old Boys are team of striking back in greatness.
Wyndham - John Hellyer (95) Most tries Ricky Gutsell (6). Would have loved to have retained the Galbraith Shield but did not do themselves any justice it was capable of playing well but just could not cross the line. Watch out next year.
Albion - Rex McDougall (83) Most tries Jimmy Cormack (11). Best improvement in competition in scoring . Some new talent in Jimmy Cormack and Michael Cox. Albion did well to reach Wallis Shield final and team is in good heart.
Edendale - Wayne Gibson (121) Gibson (15) Lost several games on trot early in comp but bounced back and dominated proceedings in 2nd division. The development of several young players should help them lift its ranking in the next season or two.
Waikaka - Peter MacKintosh (51) Brian Dickison (5) Developed into a competent team but for injury would have finished higher. Finished in same position as in 1981. Has now solid core of players and it is well placed to reach higher honours next year.
Marist - John McGrath (38) Peter McMinn, Lou Eustace 94). Dropped from 1st Division ended up winning the section D title. Difficult to know where things have gone wrong as still got a number of players from successful campaign two years ago. A lot of work needs done to be the force it once was
Tokanui - Fergus Dermody (85) Shane O'Donnell, Fergus Dermody, Lex Chisholm, Wayne Stronach (4) Was eventually beaten in D final. Tried to play their old forward game but with Lex Chisholm and Fergus Dermody the only two with form it was hard for them to dominate. It has introduced some young players who if they stay in the district will be capable of lifting the team. Scored 27 tries this year compared to 11 last year.
Pioneer - Mark McCarthy (47) Mervyn Robertson (7). Continued to struggle with terms of new competition . Has size in the forwards and talent in the backs but combination has not been fully developed. Has to lift standard or miss the bus as rest of sub-unions have improved.
Waikiwi - Errol Skerrett (58) Nigel Stirling (5) Another disappointing season. However players stuck together and are a great team off the field with a lot of commradrieship. Unearthed a loose forward in Alan Cummings. It has blooded so many players and it would be interesting if these were to return how good they could be. It is a tragedy that such a great club have been treated in this way and it is hoped that present players can maintain their loyalty as you would not get a more caring club.
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