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Waikiwi was a force to be reckoned with in 1978 and was unlucky to go down to Invercargill in the last round of the comp before the finals. Invercargill won 26-16.
Invercargill was the first team to put the pressure on in the first half, and it took to the second half for Waikiwi to realise that they could match their opposition, but unfortunately left their run a bit late. Great attacking play was seen by loose forwards for Waikiwi, Wayne Pope, Keith Gough and Winston Cournane. It must have been frustrating for Waikiwi because no matter what they tried to do Invercargill would combat it, and usually against the run of play with their forwards driving hard.
Invercargill: Bruce Cockroft (2), Clive Callow (1), Mark Young (1), Colin Millar (1) Ron Whelan (3 con)
Waikiwi: Peter Young (2), Alan Valli (1) Stuart Ogilvie (2 con)
Referee: Mr J. Dunlop.
Reference: The Southland Times August 1978
Waikiwi went on to win the D section of the Southland Rugby competition by beating Albion 18-0 in 1978.
Waikiwi forwards were the catalyst in their win with John Sherlock having a good game at hooker and Alister McEwan at flanker. Winston Cournane was dominant in the set phases winning great lineout ball and passing it on to his halfback Struan Robertson who was sound round the scrums.
Although they kicked a lot of possession away, Waikiwi backs; second five eight, Peter McIntyre and wing Alan Valli showed their pace and were hard to put down.
Ray Mair for Albion at No. 8 was their key player and first five eight Kevin Gentle was also impressive.
Waikiwi: Alan Valli (2), McIntyre (1) Peter Young (1) Stuart Ogilvy (1 con)
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