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The Lions were on tour in 1971 and played against Southland 30th June 1971 on Rugby Park, Invercargill.
The visitors extended their 12 unbeaten record, with a notable century being made by Barry John, the brillant first five eight. Maybe the team was tired but they did not have the same energy as in previous games, and was not one of their best efforts.
They beat Southland 25-3.
The teams were:
Ivan Gutsell, (prop) - had played for the province since 1963 as a teenager, and like his elder brother, Nelson was a former Southland captain. A strong scrummager. Debut against North Otago in 1963.
Ken McRae, (hooker) - played for Southland since 1967, a junior All Black, Very mobile, strong and good at the front of the lineouts. Never has a bad game. Debut against Nelson in 1967.
Jim McKenzie (prop) - Edendale Club. A tall forward with all the skills. Debuted for Otago against Southland in 1968.
Gus McAllister (lock) - Mataura Club. Came into team as a late replacement for Frank Oliver. Main lineout jumper. Debuted against Mid-Canterbury in 1968.
Gerald Dermody (lock) - Tokanui Club. Captains Southand for third time that day. South Island representative. Was one of the best all round forwards in the country. Can play flanker as he had speed in the loose.
Debut against North Otago in 1965.
Hori Miller (flanker) - Waikaka Club - Most experienced player in team.
Debut against Auckland in 1963.
Ken Stewart (flanker) - Balfour Club. First year out of Otago Boys High School. Was one of the youngest players every to represent Southland at 18 years old. Strong and skilled. Debut against Otago in 1971.
Rex Kingdon (No. 8) - Woodlands Club. A tall player, great in the lineouts and a good cover. Debut against Marlborough, 1969.
Des Langford - (half-back) - Limehills Club. Newcomer with crisp passing and mature kicking game. Debut against Otago 1971.
John Polson (first five eight) - Old Boys Club - First season for Southland. Quick acceleration, good at making line breaks. Accurate drop kicker. Leading points scorer in Invercargill club comptetition 1971.
Debut against Otago 1971.
Brian Small (second five eight) - Ohai Club. A nomination for All Black trials. Injury delayed his representative duties. Debut against France 1968.
Murray Mitchell (centre) - Limehills Club. Strong runner, and can create gaps. Has played second five eight, centre and wing for Southland.
Debut against Mid Canterbury 1970.
Lin Booth (wing) - Star Club. A fast and elusive winger with having played a lot of his rugby at centre. Debut against Otago 1968.
Russell Hardie (wing) - Edendale Club. A strong running winger, first season for Southland. A prolific try-scorer in the Eastern competition.
Debut against Otago in 1971.
Doug Nicol (full-back) - Invercargill Club. Rated as one of the best in the this position in the country. A great attacking runner when entering back line. Powerful left boot. Debut against France 1968.
Reserves: Murray Ballantyne, Alan Blackler, Trevor Keelty.
R. Hopkins (Chico), John Pullin, Frank Laidlaw, Sean Lynch, Ian McLauchlan, Delme Thomas, Mike Roberts, Willie McBride, A. C. Bigger, Taylor, Fergus Slattery, Mike Hipwell, Derek Qinnell, Mervyn Davies, Peter Dixon, Barry John, J. P. R. Williams, R. Hopkins, S. J. Dawes.
Referee: Mr A. F. G. Gurnsey (Christchurch)
Touch Judges: Mr Barry Dawson, Mr Wattie McKinnell.
The Scotsman, Alistair Biggar surfaced as the best player in the Lion's backline. The Lions were pretty ordinary all day and made a lot of mistakes. The first being a ball tapped back from the lineout which was missed by Hopkins, the half back. The Southland forwards pounced on the opportunity and rushed through which saw Barry John scrambling back to gather it up. The Southland pack also had the better of the rucks winning them 17 to 11, but could not match them in the lineouts losing 31-13 and also losing the tightheads 3-0.
Hopkins received a knock to his knee in this scurry and never recovered.
It was a credit to Southland's young half back, Des Langford who was able to quickly get round the side of the scrum to starve possession before Hopkins could get it out to this backs.
John Spencer in midfield for the Lions knocked on a lot of ball, where he appeared to have his eye on the man coming for him instead of the ball.
Davies, Thomas and Brown the loose forwards for Lions were the best of the touring team.
Slattery the other flanker, had not played a test on tour, but showed he is more than capable with a lot of speed and skill.
Despite Barry John being on the receiving end of some hard tackles, he always seemed to get the ball away and shake off any effects.
The Southland pack were not to be disgraced and one player that stood up was the young Ken Stewart. Stewart, Dermody and Miller pressured their opposition brillantly.
Dermody had his best game to date, was strong in the lineout and rucked the old fashioned way.
Ken McRae worked hard all day, but found his opposite John Pullin hard to contain. Either side of McRae, Jim McKenzie got through a ton of work in the tight and gained a lot of ground in the open. He was aptly supported by Ivan Gutsell on the other side.
Langford was a good lynch pin and was supported well by Polson who used his boot cleverly.
Lin Booth showed his speed and seemed to be obstructed when following up a kick and was unlucky not to score.
Doug Nicol at full back, sliced off metres for Southland with his positional play faultless. His opposite John Williams was not called on much to defend and spent more time in the backline than out of it.
Although the scoreboard showed a final result of 25-3, the Lions had a game they would rather forget and know the final score flattered them.
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