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The 1978 Southland team were not the only side to beat Australia, the 1950 team were riding on the crest of a wave and proved too good for the Wallabies on Rugby Park and inflicted on them the heaviest defeat the Maroons have every managed. Southland won 26-8.
Play was scrappy for most of the first half as the Southlanders were content to plug the sidelines in contrast to the Australians who were happy to move the ball along the backline.
The Australians won a ton of ball with their hooker P. Johnson taking as many as eight tightheads off JohnBorland in the first half.
John Thornett, the Wallaby flanker showed amazing pace in scoring the visitors first try and once caught Johnny Allison, wing from behind after he had a clear run to the line.
Alister Tait the Southland half-back overdid his kicking in the first half but in the second moved the ball more frequently to allow Robin Archer to make several smart breaks past his opposite. Kevin Laidlaw playing on the wing, Ack Soper, Allan Gorton and Athol Dalzell had tremondous games with their tackling and covering work being of the highest order.
After leading 11-5 at half time the home team poured on the pressure in the second half to score two converted tries in the last quarter to sew up the victory which was mainly due to the big advantage secured in rucks and also from broken play.
SOUTHLAND: J. Stewart (1) A.J. Tait (1) K.F. Laidlaw (1) P Lyons (1) D.L. Ashby (4 con) (2Pg)
AUSTRALIA: J. Thornett and M. Van Gelder (1) T. Baxter (1Con).
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