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WEST COAST RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION – 1980

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1980 Season

WEST COAST COLOURS: RED AND WHITE HOOPS
(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selectors: Messrs P. L. Higinbottom and A. G. Dawson

With 17 of the 1979 representatives again appearing, West Coast showed a big improvement, to finish with five wins in the 11 matches after failing to win a single game in 1979, indeed it was Coast`s most successful season since 1975. ln addition this season West Coast broke Marlborough’s hold on the Seddon Shield, and inflicted a crushing defeat on Buller at Hokitika. Factors that played a prominent part in this revival were the strong team spirit which was developed, the retention of a stable squad for all games the for coaching methods of Peter Higinbottom, and significantly the return to representative Rugby of Gavin Cook, Russell Johns and Monty Wynyard after a year`s absence.

Cook in particular had a magnificent season, an astute attacker, accurate kicker and overall general, whilst Johns was always consistently sound and his experience helped the younger players. “Tony” Kissick was a most reliable first five-eighths and in addition registered 70 of the 130 points gained by West Coast. Gary Paterson held his own as one of the most successful hookers in the South Island as well as being a solid worker. Ron Dixon who was in top form and the captain, Bernie Monk were the usual front row. Graham McGurk, Winston Monk and Alan Bruhn with Johns comprised a lively group of loose forwards. The side against lacked big line-out men but general teamwork and terrier tactics in the loose proved effective. Graham Crawford, Wynyard and new-comer Shane Littlewood were the regular locks.

Kelly Glass was a lively and reliable half with 1978 representative Mike Elliott an admirable substitute when required. Difficulty was experienced in settling on the best three-quarter line, a lack of real pace among those tried being the chief weakness, though John Wallace, who had previously represented in 1976 showed speed in a 90-metre dash to score against Buller, on defence they were sound, and probably the best combination would have been Alan Messenger and Dennis King a new rep. on the wing’s with Gerald Davidson at centre. Ray Cropper was reliable. After Gugich was injured on his lone appearance Stephen Boon was persuaded to make a re-appearance, and performed on a highly consistent level. The loss of the Seddon Shield to Nelson Bays at the first Challenge was a big blow.

This season no players from Harihari – the club now named South Westland were called on, Jon Sullivan having broken his leg in a farm accident. Eight of the 30 players called on were in their first season. No players from this Union received National recognition.

GRAHAM ANTHONY McBRIDE, who represented West Coast for three seasons was killed in a motor accident at Whataroa on January 13, 1981. A member of the Harihari Club he had six matches as fullback and in the three-quarter line in 1977, one match in 1978, and five, at centre, in 1979. Graham McBride was born at Whataroa on February 27, 1956. A brother, Kelvin M.McBride, also represented West Coast in 1977.

1980 Squad

J.S.Wallace (Hokitika St.Mary`s)
W.F.Gugich (Hokitika St.Mary`s)
S.C.P.Boon (Hokitika Excelsior)
l.J.Cullen (Greymouth Marist)
K.W.Thomson (Blaketown)
R.M.Cropper (Hokitika St.Mary‘s)
A.R.Messenger (Blaketown)
D.J.King (Greymouth Star-United)
C.M.Fauth (Greymouth Marist)
R.J.Birchfield (Cobden)
M.G.Davidson (Hokitika St.Mary`s)
G.J.Cook (Greymouth Star-United)
A.K.”Tony” Kissick (Greymouth Star-United)
K.J.Glass (Greymouth Star-United)
M.J.Elliott (Hokitika St.Mary`s)
T.W.Bromley (Blaketown)
W.H.Monk (Blaketown)
R.G.Johns (Greymouth Star-United)
J.W.O.Costello (Greymouth Marist)
M.Wynyard (Hokitika Excelsior)
G.J.Crawford (Greymouth Star-United)
R.F.Dixon (Greymouth Star-United)
B.H.Monk (Blaketown)
G.A.J.Paterson (Greymouth Star-United)
Blair Hopkins (Greymouth Star-United)
S.B.Littlewood (Blaketown)
R.J.Mitchell (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
A.H.Bruhn (Blaketown)
D.F.Quinn (Greymouth Star-United)
J.G.McGurk (Hokitika St.Mary`s)

MATCH RECORD

Played 11, Won 5 , Lost 6 , Points: For 130 ; Against 131
* National Second Division (South Island) fixture

SECOND DIVISION (Sth Island)
P
W
D
L
Pts
Mid-Canterbury
5
5
10
Marlborough
5
3
2
6
West Coast
5
3
2
6
Nelson-Bays
5
3
2
6
North Otago
5
1
4
2
Buller
5
5

May 11 v Queensland Country at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 13 to 0
R.J.Mitchell try
A.F.Kissick dropped goal and 2 penalty goals
Referee: Mr.D.Munro (West Coast)

May 26 v Canterbury at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 3 to 20
A.F.Kissick penalty goal
Referee: Mr.S.McKnight (West Coast)

* July 12 v Mid-Canterbury at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 4 to 13
W.F.Gugich try
Referee: Mr.R.Austin (Nelson Bays)

July 26 v Marlborough (Seddon Shield) at Blenheim Won 9 to 6
R.G.Johns try
A.F.Kissick penalty goal and conversion

* August 9 v Buller at Cass Square, Hokitika Won 32 to 9
J.S.Wallace (2), K.W.Thomson and G.J.Cook tries
A.F.Kissick 2 dropped goals, 2 penalty goals and 2 conversions
Referee: Mr M.H.Molloy (Mid-Canterbury)

August 13 v Fiji at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 12 to 28
K.J.Glass try
A.F.Kissick 2 penalty goals and a conversion
Referee: Mr.C.J.Dainty (Wellington)

* August 17 v Nelson-Bays’ at Nelson Won 18 to 6
M.J.Elliott and M.G.Davidson tries
A.F.Kissick 2 penalty goals and 2 conversions

* August 19 v Marlborough at Blenheim Lost 6 to 18
A.F.Kissick 2 penalty goals

August 23 v Nelson Bays (Seddon Shield) at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 3 to 6
A.F.Kissick penalty goal
Referee: Mr.R.C.Morgan (Marlborough)

* August 30 v North Otago at Oamaru Won 24 to 16
G.J.Cook (2), W.H.Monk, S.C.P.Boon and M.J.Elliott tries
A.F.Kissick 2 conversions

September 10 v N.Z. Combined Services at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 6 to 9
A.F.Kissick dropped goal and penalty goal
Referee: Mr.A.Cooper (West Coast)

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