1975 was to be one of the great years for the Ngakawau Club. By the end of the season they had played 15 games and won them all. They had scored 376 points and had 64 points scored against them. They were the holders of the Senior Shield, Albion Cup, Ngakawau Jubilee Trophy (Team playing the most attractive Rugby) and the Buller Jubilee Trophy (Top team on the West Coast.) The late Bunter Connelly produced these reports for the Westport News and many readers will be enjoy his style of writing and descriptive observations.
High scores in Buller Club Rugby games
There was some high scoring in Buller Club Rugby matches over the week-end. Westport beat Karamea, 32-20, at Victoria Square, Ngakawau defeated White Star, 26-0, and United beat Reefton, 19-8.
Karamea v. Westport
Karamea gave a spirited display in the second half which resulted in three tries and caused Westport some consternation. Westport forwards got a lot of clean possession and their backs used it well on occasions, scoring five tries. Karamea, on the other hand were handicapped by a lack of ball but excelled in forward rushes. The victors were most dangerous when the ball got out to wingers B. Stack and G Hart. Stack, in particular, was in good form. Karamea half-back B. Johnson set up a lot of constructive play, invariably linking with live-wire hooker R. Galway. Much credit for a surprising performance must go to full-back M. Pelcher. Although only 17, he produced a mature display of rugby being very reliable on defence and not unwilling to counter-attack. On two occasions he beat man after man. However his lack of fitness showed up on occasions He has the makings of a good left-winger. Westport’s points came from tries by Stack (2), Hart, and five-eighths M. Bermingham and M. Duncan. Hart converted three and kicked two penalty goals. Johnson scored two tries for Karamea. Galway added another and kicked two penalty goals while E. Simpson made a conversion.
United v Reefton
United led Reefton 12-nil in a lively match at Reefton which produced much running and passing. There were six good tries W. Neighbours, A. Mosely, A. Mundy and R. Hall scored for United, and N. Cliene and P. Stuart for Reefton. The visitors dominated play in the first half but Reefton struck back in the second spell and gave a good display of fifteen man rugby.
Ngakawau v White Star
Although without the services of representative five- eighths B. Morgan and lacking the drive and thrust of earlier matches, Ngakawau had no trouble handling a disorganised White Star XV.
The home side led in the first minute when full-back R. Mumm kicked an easy penalty goal following a ruck infringement. Then minutes later the tall forward G. Davies tumbled over from a line-out and Ngakawau led 7-nil. These quick points demoralised Star, and apart from one or two brief forays the visitors were desperately on defence for the full 80 minutes. Had it not been for the mercurial efforts of forwards B. Roche, D. Taylor and B. Walsh the defeat would have been more crushing. Roche, a veteran of many seasons and a former long-term Buller hooker, provided a lesson in dedicated Rugby for both sides while B. Walsh and D. Taylor made up for the lethargic mood of the others.
But full credit must go to Ngakawau. They produced some scintillating Rugby which resulted in four good tries by Davies, half-back J. Gilbert, winger J. Dickson and second five-eighths J. Zampach.
Mumm converted two and kicked the penalty goals.
Gilbert’s try was the best of the match. It started from a scrum near the Star line. As the ball emerged Ireland sprinted past Gilbert and made for the line as if he had the ball. A brief moment of confusion allowed Gilbert to skip sideways, sell a dummy and score an easy try.
But it was the ball winning potential of the Ngakawau team which really won the match. White Star were almost completely starved of good possession, especially in the line-outs. As usual Gilbert and Ireland were in devastating form. The latter virtually ran where he pleased from set play. Zampach filled in well outside him and the centre C. Wilson did some fine work on occasions. Winger D. Moloney was in dashing form, especially in the first half.