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1959 Country Day - in case for those today that do not know but Country Day was huge in the 1950's to 1980s. all Sub Unions for both netball and rugby played and it was usually Queens Birthday weekend. Western Sub Union, holders of the Sports Cup Trust, beat a strong Town team and with Eastern and Southern, scoring wins at the expense of Central and Northern paved the way for Western to win.
Fast, lively and innovative were the way the country teams played on that country day. Even though Western was the lightest forward pack in the tournament, they play with guts and were not afraid to get stuck into the rucks and were all over the town forwards.
The backs for the country teams also showed their force with fine ball skills and open play that was great to watch. By comparison the town backs were lifeless, with the only exception being Norman Smith, the three quarter who showed great skill and ability and he tried everything to get fire up the game for town.
The Southern team looked fit and athletic which showed in the game against Northern where they had too much gas for the Northern backs.
Southern handled the ball well and their forwards kept the momentum going to ensure their backs got plenty of ball to play with.
Eastern probably fielded the best back line of the day which gave Central very little chance of a win. It will be interesting later in the season when Eastern will challenge Western for the sub-unions honours.
Western V Town game: The town kickers, R. Rouse and P. Knight did not take advantage of their opportunities and they could have avoided a defeat if their goal kicking was on. Both teams score three tries, but Western was the much better all-round team and it would have been cruel if it was defeated by a weaker town team. Two-thirds of the game was played in the town terriorty, and the game was played at a furious pace at the start but the town backs deteriorated quickly and the heavier forwards were first to feel the pace of the game. Town disappointed in their passing and taking by the inside men.
It was actually hard to believe that this was the best Town could find as the backline was constantly hassled and forced into wild passing or they were caught with ball in hand.
Western revelled in the open game and half-back, R. Hampton played a top game and started many a good chain of movements through the backline. R. Terry, played well also, but had to retire just before halftime.
K. Laidlaw and G. Harding, the two centre backs were supported well by H. Hunt. The score was 19-13.
Southern V Northern - Enterprising rugby by Southern gave them a good win over Northern. The Southerner's played with zest and Northern, but for the exception of A.J. Soper, were a bit star-struck which gave Southern an easy ride at one stage.
Southern's forwards had good hard men in the way of P. Hayes, R. Monteath and D. Jack. Their backs were quick to link up with the great ball from the forwards and they did not waste any of the hard work by the forwards. In the first 5 minutes, Northern kicked off and the ball was gathered by the Southern pack, who made 60 yrds upfield which resulted in a try to D. Jack.
Northern tried hard and had some good patches but were unable to keep pace with the Southerner's. A.J. Soper was the fittest man on the field and worked tirelessly but just could not rally Northern when Southern stormed through.
A 14 stone lock for Northern, G. Brown, jumped well in the lineouts and kept up with the play. He was well supported by D. Manson, who formerly played for Collegiate, (Invercargill) and the Southern XV.
Southland representative, G.S. McKenzie, had a grand game for Southern at full back, some crisp punting and goal kicking highlighted his perfromance. With his robust running, F. Ferguson, at centre was a great success with his robust running and slick tackling. A. Ferguson was a nippy half-back but in saying this did not over-shadow his opposite, Northern, E. Menlove, a lightweight with a snappy pass.
SOUTHERN: G.S. McKenzie, P. Durry, F. Ferguson, A. Pope, A. Golden, T. Ferguson, A. Ferguson, J. Williamson, P. Manson, D. Jack, B. Barrett.,
S. Davidson., P. Hayes., M. Sutherland., R. Monteath.
NORTHERN: A. Soper, J. Brady, P. Chadwick., K. McBride, W. Sanson., C. Soper, E. Menlove., A.J. Soper, K Davidson., G. Brown., L. Lynch., L. Munro., A. Farry., J. Jelley., D.V. Manson., C. Clark (replaced Munro in the second half).
REFEREE L. Agnew.
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