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WEST COAST RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION – 1973

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1973 Season

WEST COAST COLOURS: RED AND WHITE HOOPS
(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selector: Mr.D.R.Pittaway

Although the final tally records only two wins, both against Buller, West Coast put up some spirited performances during the season, particularly in the two encounters against Canterbury when the result could have been much closer with a little luck. The effort of the Selector, Mr. Pittaway, an old Southland representative, to mould and retain combination was affected by injuries to players or non-availability for other reasons, and in the ultimate 30 players . were required for the nine matches, of whom 11 were in their first season and 17 had represented Coast the previous season. The team was a young one particularly the forward pack and, provided the players remain in the district, should pay dividends in the future.

Of the backs, Beams and Jack were again a solid pair, the former still a clever tactician on attack and a grand cover-defender; both were affected by injuries. McQuillan has ability but lost form during the season. K. W. Thomson was a useful centre and Malone an eager newcomer on one wing, with Skates showing improved form. Bradley was sound at full-back. The 19 year old Cook was affected by injuries after again displaying great potential and he is a player to be watched.

In the forwards, Johns and Sullivan both newcomers were eager and tireless side-ranker. Sinclair, a 21-year old new representative, showed considerable promise as a lock and line-out exponent. Another newcomer, Crowhen performed well as prop, and Mitchell was a hooker of ability. Henham was an effective and hard-working No.8; a good tackler. Injury to Forsyth was a big loss to the team as he was the core man at lock. Bryce, who had the honour of captaining the side in the final two matches, Hibbs, and Mahuika, who had last represented in 1969, all played solidly. Hibbs and Crowhen, both policemen, missed the second Canterbury match through being called for duty to the Alexandra Blossom Festival, an illustration of the Selector’s problems.

Bedingfield, a 1971 West Coast representative, left the district after the opening match. West Coast met Marlborough in a Seddon Shield challenge, but the financial involvement caused them to decline a challenge match for the Ranfurly Shield. No players from this Union were called to National honours, though it had been thought that Cook would have made the New Zealand Under-21’s.

1973 Squad

N.M.A.Fox (Greymouth Star-United)
R.A.Bradley (Hokitika Excelsior)
C.R.Skates (Greymouth Star-United)
M.G.Sweetman (Greymouth Star-United)
K.W.Thomson (Blaketown)
M.J.Malone (Cobden)
O.F.Scott (Blaketown)
B.R.Arnold (Harihari)
G.J.Cook (Greymouth Star-United)
N.F.Jack (Greymouth Star-United)
K.J.J.Beams (Greymouth Marists)
R.F.Nelson (Blaketown)
D.C.Beardsley (Greymouth Star-United)
M.J.McQuillan (Greymouth Marists)
T.W.Bromley (Blaketown)
M.J.Bedingfield (Greymouth Star-United)
K.J.Mahuika (Hokitika Excelsior)
A.E.Wickes (Hokitika Excelsior)
Robert Forsyth (Blaketown)
E.R.Thomson (Hokitika Excelsior)
T.H.Crowhen (Greymouth Star-United)
R.J.Mitchell (Harihari)
D.G.Bryce (Blaketown)
R.G.Johns (Greymouth Star-United)
R.J.Hibbs (Harihari)
M.M.Sinclair (Blaketown)
A.J.Steele (Greymouth Star-United)
D.H.Henham (Blaketown)
J.D.Sullivan {Harihari)
N.D.Berry (Harihari)

MATCH RECORD

Played 9 ; Won 2 ; Lost 7 ; Points: For 99 ; Against 191

May 13 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 7 to 17
E.R.Thomson, try
N.M.A. Fox, penalty goal
Referee: Mr. Barry Williams (West Coast)

June 16 v BULLER at Westport Won 24 to 7
T.Crowhen, E.R.Thomson, K.J.Mahuika and K.J.J.Beams, tries
N.M.A.Fox, 4 conversions

August 1 v A CANTERBURY XV (Sub-Unions Selection) at Rangiora Lost 12 to 36
G.J.Cook, try
R.J.Hibbs , 2 penalty goal
N.M.A.Fox, conversion

August 11 v BULLER at Cass Square, Hokitika Won 16 to 9
R.J.Hibbs (2) and D.H.Henham, tries
R.A.Bradley, 2 conversions
Referee: Mr.J.Callaghan (Buller)

August 25 v MARLBOROUGH (Seddon Shield) at Blenheim Lost 0 to 27

September 1 v MID-CANTERBURY at Rugby Park , Greymouth Lost 12 to 20
K.W.Thomson, 2 tries
R.A.Bradley, 2 conversions
Referee: Mr.B.Graham (West Coast)

September 8 v NELSON-BAYS at Motueka Lost 15 to 23
C.R.Skates, 2 tries
R.F.Nelson, penalty goal and 2 conversions

September 23 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 10 to 29
J.D.Sullivan and M.J.Malone, tries
R.F.Nelson, conversion
Referee: Mr.J.J.Walton (West Coast)

October 1 v AUCKLAND at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 3 to 23
R.A.Bradley, penalty goal

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