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1971 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selector: Mr.T.A.Bird

Relying mainly on experienced players, West Coast defeated its neighbour, Buller, twice, and after beating Nelson-Bays at Greymouth later ran the Bays very close in the Seddon Shield challenge. Canterbury XV.’s were also met twice, the other opponent being Mid-Canterbury, at Ashburton.

The back division was the main strength, where a varied attack made best use of any opportunity. McQuillan, a good all-round half-back, linked up well with the leading back, Beams. The latter again demonstrated his quality at first five-eighth, as well as captaining the team. Outside Beams was the former Buller player, Stewart, who was in grand form. Jack, a new representative centre, made such an impression early in the season that he was called ,to the South Island trial, but it did seem he was not quite up to ,that status yet; unfortunately a severe ankle injury meant he was lost , to the side after three matches.

Halsall, who had last represented in 1967, was three times on the wing, and then took inside back positions. New winger Skates showed promise in the early part of , the season, received injury, and was replaced by P. J. Nolan. The new full-back, Nelson, played soundly, and appeared in all games. Experienced forwards who formed the mainstay of the pack were the props, Bryce and McMillan, MacRae (lock), Henham (No.8 and flanker), who had last represented in 1969, and Tacon (hooker).

Of the remainder of the vanguard, Forsyth had last played in 1969, whilst those new players who appeared more than once were Ford, George Wynyard, Monty Wynyard, R. J. Mitchell and Scott. Actually there were nine new representatives in the thirty who wore the Red & White jersey. Johnson was a 1969 representative, and Teen was from the 1968 team.

Beams, Bryce, Forsyth, Halsall, McQuillan, Skates, Stewart and Tacon were in the West Coast & Buller combination which played British Isles at Greymouth.

1971 Squad

R.F.Nelson (Blaketown)
L.B.Halsall (Greymouth Star-United)
C.R.Skates (Greymouth Star-United)
P.J.Nolan (Greymouth Marists)
Wylie Taylor (Cobden)
B.R.Amold (Harihari)
T.P.Teen (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
N.F.Jack (Greymouth Star-United)
M.R.Mitchell (Harihari)
B.N.Stewart (Greymouth Marists)
K.J.J.Beams (Greymouth Marists)
M.J.McQuillan (Greymouth Marists)
B.W.Johnson (Hokitika Excelsior)
D.H.Henham (Blaketown)
R.J.Hibbs (Greymouth Star-United)
Robert Forsyth (Blaketown)
R.J.Harris (Greymouth Star-United)
B.P.Ford (Harihari)
N.R.McMillan (Greymouth Marists)
R.J.Mitchell (Harihari)
D.G.Bryce (Blaketown)
D.L.McKenzie (Greymouth Marists)
M.S.MacRae (Harihari)
Geo. Wynyard (Greymouth Marists)
J.R.Tacon (Greymouth Marists)
Monty Wynyard (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
W.J.Scott (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
M.J.Bedingfield (Cobden)
K.D.Nolan (Greymouth Marists)
M.W.Ellis (Hokitika St.Mary’s)


Played 7 ; Won 3 ; Lost 4 ; Points: For 93 ; Against 160

April 25 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 5 to 32
N.R.McMillan, try
R.F.Nelson, conversion
Referee: Mr.J.C.Reynish (West Coast)

May 15 v BULLER at Cass Square, Hokitika Won 25 to 20
L.B.Halsall (2), B.N.Stewart and K.J.J.Beams, tries
R.F.Nelson, 3 penalty goals and 2 conversions
Referee: Mr.C.Alford (Buller)

June 5 v NELSON-BAYS at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 15 to 14
C.R.Skates, K.J.J.Beams and N.F.Jack, tries
B.N.Stewart, 2 penalty goals
Referee: Mr. Barry Williams (West Coast)

August 8 v BULLER at Ngakawau Won 21 to 16
K.J.J.Beams and D.H.Henham, tries
P.J.Nolan (3) and R.F.Nelson (2), penalty goals

August 21 v NELSON-BAYS (Seddon Shield) at Nelson Lost 11 to 15
D.G.Bryce, try
R.F.Nelson and P.J.Nolan penalty goals
R.F.Nelson, conversion

September 7 v CANTERBURY at Christchurch Lost 0 to 35

September 25 v MID-CANTERBURY at Ashburton Lost 16 to 28
K.D.Nolan, K.J.J.Beams and T.P.Teen, tries
P.J.Nolan, penalty goal and 2 conversions


Selectors: Messrs.T.Lewis (Buller) and T.A.Bird (West Coast)

The two Westland Unions placed eight players from West Coast ,and seven from Buller on the field to do battle with the British Isles , side, and very much outweighed saw very little of the ball from the set plays, whilst for a long while had to strive to keep the match from becoming a rout.

British Isles commenced in a manner which led to the belief that this Lions side was in a for a record total. The first try came after two minutes, and from then until half-time scoring was frequent, with thirty-one points being gained in thirty-two minutes; that was the interval tally. On the resumption, West Coast & Buller attacked in good style and held back the Lions to a further eight points, which was made up of two tries, one converted; one of the tries was by D. J. Duckham, his sixth of the match. In response, the home side collected six points with a penalty goal and a try, and altogether made a convincing recovery.

Particulars of the fixture are:


June 16 v BRITISH ISLES at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 6 to 39
B.N.Stewart, try
G.W.Hart, penalty goal
Referee: Mr.R.J.Oswald (Bay of Plenty)

The side was:
G.W.Hart (Buller)
R.M.Alexander (Buller)
L.B.Halsall (West Coast)
C.R.Skates (West Coast)
B.N.Stewart (West Coast)
K.J.J.Beams (West Coast)
M.J.McQuillan (West Coast)

J.W.Halsall (Capt.) (Buller)
D.M.Stevenson (Buller)
Robt.Forsyth (West Coast)
D.J.Evans (Buller)
C.A.Fussell (Buller)
B.R.Hearsey (Buller)
J.R.Tacon (West Coast)
D.G.Bryce (West Coast)

After selection, N.F.Jack (West Coast) broke an ankle in a Club game, and could not play; his place was taken by L.B.Halsall