WEST COAST COLOURS: RED AND WHITE HOOPS
(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selectors: Messrs R.R King, M.Davidson and P.S.Hendry
Frequent changes in the composition of the backs militated against West Coast being able to rise to more than average standard during the season. As it was the draw with Marlborough in the Seddon Shield Challenge match was a fine effort, and the season closed with a victory over the somewhat weakened Marlborough side in a return match.
The majority of the 1945 representatives were still available, and in addition the South Island representative R.L.Roberts, had returned after six year absence, and a new arrival was O’Callaghan, who appeared for New Zealand Services in 1944, and had also represented Canterbury. Others called on during the season included Dewar and Neilson, 1943 Reps.; Gillan, who last appeared in 1942, and Vaughan, a 1941 Rep.; Miller was previously a Canterbury representative ; Butler played for Wellington in 1943, and had more recently been a member of the New Zealand Services side in Great Britain; whilst during the season Walker arrived from Southland.
A vigorous pack of lively forwards always made things interesting, but the scrum work was not up to standa, and the combined back play was poor. Lindbom was again outstanding at fullback, but he suffered from injuries and was not quite up to the promise of the previous year.
Roberts was a solid winger with good defence, but Silcock when he became available late in the season was the best wing, fast and with a deceptive change of pace. Amberger was in good form at centre , quick to sense a gap, and speedy in his breaks through. O’Callaghan was solid at second five-eighth, with Hurren, a fine tackler and clean handler inside him at first.
Dewar showed a return to form, combining well, and passing cleanly. Horrack returned to the half-back position after a year’s break, and was snappy in his passing and quick to make a break on his own. The defence of the whole back division was a feature of the Coast’s play. Birchfield was a grand leader of the forwards, fit and vigorous, and always in the van of the attack.Locking with him was Butler, a solid type of player, with Nelson and Wieblitz excellent side-rankers, all hard-working big forwards.
Fisher was Hooker, with Thomson,Pegley, and Kirby in supporting the front row. Skerton was a valuable back-ranker; a tall, fast forward, until he left for Canterbury, when Constable took over. Mitchell transferred to Marlborough at the end of July.
Only six of the Coast players during the season were without previous experience in First-Class Rugby the most likely of these being Kirby, the only sole Representative from South Westland. O’Callaghan was a reserve back for the South Island XV., others who were nominated for selection being Lindbom, Amberger and Birchfield. Five West Coast players secured places in the Seddon Shield Districts team to meet Australia.
J. H.Lindbom (Cobden) * Also played for Seddon Shield Districts
Albert Vaughan (Cobden)
B.Hayton (Greymouth Star)
R.L.Roberts (Hokitika, Kiwi) * Also played for Seddon Shield Districts
J.A.Miller (Greymouth Star)
L.H.Silcock (Greymouth Celtic)
W.R.Millett (Greymouth Celtic)
K.P.Davidson (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
J.Gillan (Greymouth United)
J.P.Carroll (Hokitika Kiwi)
T.R,O’Callaghan (Greymouth Celtic) * Also played for Seddon Shield Districts
P.T.Hurren (Hokitika Kiwi)
C.D.Dewar (Greymouth United)
E.G.Walker (Hokitika Excelsior) * Also represented Southland
G.W.Nelson (Greymouth Stan)
R,T.Birchfield (Cobden) * Also played for Seddon Shield Districts
W.G.Butler (Greymouth Celtic) * Also played for Seddon Shield Districts
R.J.Neilson (Hokitika Excelsior)
J.F.Pegley (Greymouth Star)
D.E.Haddock (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
B.H.Constable (Greymouth Celtic)
P.V.Kirby (Harihari Pirate)
Played 6; Won 2; Drew 1; Lost 3 Points: For 52 ; Against 71
June 3 v CANTERBURY, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 11 to 9
W. K. Horrack and P. T. Hurren, tries;
J.H.Lindbom, penalty goal and conversion.
Referee: Mr.A.S.Fong (West Coast)
June 22 v BULLER, at Westport. Lost 11 v 16
K.Horrack and R.L.Roberts, tries;
T.R.O’Callaghan penalty goal and conversion.
June 29 v BULLER, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 6 to 14
R.L.Roberts and G.W.Nelson, tries.
Referee: Mr.F.A.Foote (Buller)
July 27 v MARLBOROUGH, (Seddon Shield), at Blenheim Drew 8 to 8
J.A.Miller and T.R.O’Callaghan, tries;
September 21 v CANTERBURY, at Christchurch Lost 13 to 24
W.H.Amberger and W.K.Horrack, tries;
J.M.Lindbom, penalty goal and 2 conversions
September 28 v MABLBOROUGH, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 3 to 0
Referee: Mr A.S.Fong (West Coast)