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Several pairs of hands reach for the ball in this battle for ball possession between the

packs of West and Easts (in stripes),

match was won 20-8 by Easts.

Wallabies thrashed 26-0 by Otago

AUCKLAND, Sun day (AAP). — The Wallabies went down to Otago 0-26 at Caris brook yesterday, in a dismal opening to their

13-match tour.

Olago romped home with a classical display of rugby for the muddy con ditions, scoring four tries

to none.

The Wallabies won (he lineouts 16-9, but in the ankle-deep mud lineout ball was an embarrass


Wallaby captain Greg Davis was the only one to have struck a ground like it before, while the other Australians could handle neither the mud nor the Otago forwards.

But Davis did not blame the conditions entirely for the defeat. He said the forwards had given half back Gary Grey too much bad ball, and could not match Otago at getting the ball out to the three quarters.

Otago won six decisive rucks in the first half to Australia's three. In the second, it was seven to one in the home side's favour.

Otago hit the play breakdowns as one man,

binding tightly and driving over the Wallabies who were packing too loosely and occasionally hanging back from the rucks.

Australia had few stars, but forwards Fay and I Gelling and winger Jeff McLean did a lot of work.

The Wallabies suffered their first tour casualty when centre Dave Rathie had to leave the field in the first half with a shoulder injury.

Today the Wallabies had a vigorous two-hour training session at West port in preparation for Wednesday's match against Buller-Wcst Coast.

Coach Bob Templeton concentrated on rucking skills, and emphasised the need to pack low, one of the ' side's big failings against Otago.

All players trained, but 6ft 4in lock Barry Stumbles left the session early after his foot had been stood on in a ruck. However, the injury is not regarded as serious.

Digitisation generously supported by
Mr Stephen Yorke
Digitisation generously supported by
Mr Stephen Yorke