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On Thursday July 3rd 1975 Town fought a spirited challenge from Central to finally win 23-6 in a wintry blast at Tweed Street, Invercargill. Town led 9-0 at half time. Anton McLean the town captain led by example and demanded that of his men who replied with vigor. Regardless of the weather the conditions of the ground were good which saw some great rugby.
Anton McLean a lock from the Marist club is a good hard scrummagger and rucking forward. Both forward packs were the dominating factor in the game with town being the more aggressive in the first half and the last 15 minutes of the game.
It was interesting to note that when Dave Saunders came on for Central in the second half, they managed to take control and this made the town defence line having to up the anti. This caused town No. 8, Kevin Stevens to be on the back foot all day and it was not the usual player that was seen in his club play for Star. It was good to see Graeme Spittle the central centre handle his opposite Lin Booth well and he could be a promising player for the future. He appeared for Central for the first time last year and a vast improvement was seen. He is a tall player who has pace and quick feet and although he had played most of his rugby at centre he would make an adequate second five eight or winger.
Shortly after half time Roger Ramsay scored and it looked like town was going to run away with the game, but Central had other ideas and with the power of their forward pack kept plugging away which awarded them a try to Munro.
It would have been on the minds of some individuals that the Southland squad was going to be named after this game which probably had some influence on the game. One player who did not harm his reputation was John Steentjes the flanker for town. Reid Boynton was a strong runner who broke through many Central tacklers. For town props, Brian Burke and Alistair Burgess had good games and locks Anton McLean and Murray Leach ensured that a good supply of ball was secured for their town team.
The town inside backs, although adequate did not really fire up in Robertson and full-back Ron Cardno.
For Central, John Kincaid, won the hooking contest and John Hall won some good ball in the first half at lock and loosies, Cliff Cochrane, Russell Dyet and Bob List all had good individual moments. Behind the pack, John Patterson was effective and Spittle was always trying to out think the opposite, and winger, Leo Boyle was as lively as ever until he had to leave the field through injury when he tried to tackle Boynton head on. John Ellis also injured gave a good display.
TOWN: Robertson, Ramsay, Lindsay Down, Peter Sinclair (1) Cardno (2 Con) Booth (1 DG)
CENTRAL: Munro (1) Mangles (1 Con)
REFEREE: J. Dunlop
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