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The Sydney Morning Herald

GILLESPIE'S INJURY THE TALKING POINT AT BELMORE

Author: By PAUL TAIT
Date: 01/09/1986
Words: 632
          Publication: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: Sport
Page: 40
Canterbury cantered to an 8-2 win over Illawarra last night, but the big talking point at Belmore Sports Ground was David Gillespie's hand injury which will rule the Bulldogs' State second-rower out of Rugby League for the rest of the year.

Gillespie almost severed the middle finger of his left hand in a work accident yesterday morning.

A garbage worker with the Strathfield Council, he caught his finger in a garbage compacter. He was taken immediately to Western Surburbs Hospital where micro-surgeons reconstructed the finger.

A spokesman for Western Suburbs Hospital said yesterday that Gillespie should eventually regain complete use of the finger. He will be in hospital indefinitely and is out for the rest of this season.

Gillespie, who was named in each of the three NSW State of Origin teams this year, will almost certainly miss the Kangaroo tour at the end of the season.

His loss came at a bad time for Canterbury, who went into last night's match without captain Steve Mortimer and Australian second-rower Steve Folkes.

Canterbury coach Warren Ryan said: "We'll certainly miss Gillespie's formidable defence."

Ryan said that Folkes, who recently had surgery on a groin injury, should be able to return for Sunday 's semi-final against Souths.

Mortimer, who suffered a neck injury last week against St George, ruled himself out of last night's match but should be available for Sunday's semi-final.

Geoff Robinson last night played in the second-row with Paul Dunn. Versatile centre Michael Hagan moved to halfback and Andrew Farrar was shifted from the wing to centre, with Sandy Campbell coming into the side.

Despite the closeness of the scores last night, self preservation was obviously the main motivation for Canterbury.

They scored two tries to nil and won the match at the trot against an Illawarra side which did not launch a serious attack on the Bulldogs' line.

Stand-in captain and five-eighth Terry Lamb was again outstanding for Canterbury. He was well supported by prop Peter Tunks, Dunn, Hagan, and winger Steve O'Brien.

Lamb became the leading point scorer in the Winfield premiership when he scored Canterbury's first try early in the first half, after a neat kick ahead by O'Brien.

O'Brien scored the second try nine minutes later after an excellent passing movement involving Hagan and Farrar.

Canterbury led 8-0 at half-time,after 40 minutes of football which featured some ferocious defence.

Ryan was pleased with his side's first half effort, although was a little disappointed with the tactics used by Illawarra. The Steelers constantly ran the ball from dummy-half and kicked on the first or second tackle.

Illawarra coach Brian Smith was pleased with his side's enthusiasm and commitment.

"That game typified our season. Our enthusiasm and resolution were there but our execution was off," Smith said.

CANTERBURY 8 (T Lamb S O'Brien tries) bt Illawarra 2 (C Macklin-Shaw pen goal). Referee: B Barnes. Crowd: 10,013.

WDLF A Pts

Parramatta 161744628037

Souths 152735331836

Canterbury 151842826435

Manly 141947637933

Balmain 13-1140338730

Norths 13-1136241630____________

St George 1211136040229

Penrith 1111244639427

Easts 10-1433436424

Cronulla 911431046423

Canberra 811539141321

Wests 811537253821

Illawarra 7-1731037218Bella, Roach to play tonight; The Bear who makes statistics talk.

Mike Coward on Australia's rainy draw.

Michaels drops Olympic bid.

 
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