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Waikaia was the only unbeaten team in the Northern competition in May 1978. Waikaia played Balfour in the weekend and it was a very physical game with the play mostly in the forwards. For the first half of the game it was all for Balfour to take with winning of rucks, mauls, lineouts and scrums. Unfortunately for them they failed to capatalise on the winning of these set pieces and they let Waikaia into the game, which saw Waikaia leading 15-4. Balfour to their credit tried everything to get back into the game but they left their run too late and Waikaia scored a fourth try to seal their fate.
The player that stood out for Waikaia was Ray Dicky who scored two tries and set up Ashley McGregor and Terry Dennis to score a try each.
Both forward packs gave it their all but it was the loose trio of Waikaia who ensured Balfour were not allowed to play their usual game.
Duncan Stewart was noticeable with his covering as was Trevor McKenzie, second five eight.
At half back Murray Collins played well at half back and his passing was skillful and found the mark every time, he was also not afraid to run it if necessary and found some gaps in the defence with some probing runs.
Evan Ferris at first five eight kicked well keeping the pressure on the Balfour defence.
MOSSBURN showed its return to form by beating TE ANAU 12-3. Mossburn controlled play well in the rucks and scrums which deprived Te Anau any chance of showing their pace. For Mossburn, Ken Patterson was everywhere in the loose and gained good lineout ball.
John Douglas hooked good ball and was No 8 in the lineout where he was outstanding.
Geoff Stevens playing at halfback gave great service to his backs and his bursts from the lineouts and scrums kept Te Anau on the back foot.
Adrian King had a very good game and his positional kicking was sound.
McDonnell was safe at full back and when entering the back line did with precision and speed.
Unfortunately for Te Anau Mike Ryan had an off day with his kicking and Colin Hall received poor ball and therefore could not set up his backs.
Chris Hughes played well until he retired injured and J. Thompson and L. Stanley played well in the loose and stopped many Mossburn's moves.
COUNTRY PIRATES were too strong for LUMSDEN and ran out easy winners 37-0. Playing at second five eight, Thomas McNamee was the dominant figure in the game scoring two tries. His brother Terrence scored one as did David Soper and Trevor Payne. Payne scored 21 points in the game with a try, three penalty goals and four conversions.
It must be a worry for Lumsden as last year they did not lose a game and there has been a complete turn around for this season where they have not won a game so far this season.
Reference: The Southland Times May 1978
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