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WESTPORT (NZ) Wednesday (AAP). —■ Hopes for a big Aus tralian victory on a dry ground were dashed at the Victoria Square ground in Westport when the combined Buller-West Coast side beat the Wallabies 15-10 in a rugby union game which was played almost throughout in heavy rain.
The Australians per formed better than they did in Dunedin. Although still not able to handle the conditions, their rucking and the backs' speed had noticeably improved.
The combined team scored five penalties, four of them to full-back Ger ald Hart and one to Ron Hibbs, and the Wallabies gained two tries, one to Dick Cocks and one to Greg Davis. Cocks' try was converted by Geoff Richardson.
Although Richardson's play was sound, he blot ted his copybook by miss ing six kicks at goal, at least two of them from easy positions.
Russell Fairfax starred at full-back and his speed stopped Combined from crossing the Australian
Garrick Fay and Barry Stumbles did well in the
lineouts, and Davis and Cocks were Tigers in the
Mick Freney, making his debut for Australia, took 13 tight-heads and gave only two away.
The inside back com bination of John Comes and Peter Rowles began in a promising manner, but soon got bogged down by the conditions.
David Burnet at outside centre showed a lot of promise when given an opportunity. Of the two wings, John Taylor and John Cole, Taylor had the most work and gen erally did it well.
John Gilbert, 20, was a great_ general for the
combined team at half back, and its forwards worked tirelessly as a pack, with none in par ticular standing out.
Full-back Hart showed he had a magnificent boot before he left the field
with an ankle injury.
Two Australians were treated for injurv during the game, second-rower Fay and prop John How ard. Neither was seriously
Qui) rugby union
side faces test
The ACT Club Rugby Union completes an am bitious initial represen tative season on Sun
day when it pits its sen ior team against the touring Darling Downs representative team.
The team, prepared by the former Norths first grade coach Dcs Ross, is pledged to play open and entertaining rugby and, indeed, has tried to hon our that pledge.
The club rugby union was formed at the begin ning of the season to reinstate the Canberra and Waugh Cup in viable com petitions.
The representative team, young and keen, will face its sternest game this weekend when it meets Darling Downs which in cludes several players with GPS experience and others who have graduated from that to district and State representation.
The ACTCRU team will be selected after a final trial on Saturday at Dun troon, also the site of Sunday's, match. Triallists are expected to include ACT senior representatives Michael Grogan, of Yass, and Jim Hindmarsh, of Bowral.