Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 13 July 5, 1939
Senior A. V. Oriental.
After a great victory over Petone last week it was confidently expected that the Seniors would settle down and produce the form that carried all before them in the opening game of the season against Eastbourne. The most consistent feature of the team's play has been its amazing inconsistency, and such proved the case again on Saturday. Reversing their usual custom of enjoying the "'Varsity loaf" in the second half, the forwards seemed tired and sluggish in the first; but after half-time, an orange, and Jim Parker, put some much-needed devil into their work. The result was a complete domination of the Oriental scrum. Burke and the two Shannons were in everything that was going, but the backs individually were too much inclined to "play the whole team on their own." The essence of good Rugby is team work, and it was the ignoring of this factor which cost the side a win on Saturday. It has proved an expensive lesson, however, as a win next week against St. Patrick's Old Boys might well have meant promotion to the "Bix Six" for the second round.
Junior A had a convincing win over Technical Old Boys by 15-6. This is a particularly well balanced side, and with a little more determination in the forwards, and a sharpening up of the service behind the scrum will have a very fair chance of winning the grade. The pack is fast and weighty, Smith, Webb, and Corkill being slightly more prominent than the others. With plenty of speed in the three-quarter line, the backs are a solid lot and should prove more than capable of holding Bryers and Co. of Training College. The meeting of those teams promises to provide first class football, and would make a splendid curtain raiser for Athletic Park.
A fairly strong side on paper. Junior B has so far failed to give the results of which the team is capable. Individually the men are good, but in typical 'Varsity fashion, team-work and combination have been sadly lacking. The pack is solid but, with the notable exception of Gordon Duncan, lacks "devil." Duncan impresses as being one of the most promising forwards in the club. Big and fast, he possesses a good pair of hands in the line-out and his rucking and scrummaging are first class. Hood, McLernon, and Austin are others who have been playing good football this year. Of the backs, Saxton has developed into a good three-quarter and fully deserved his promotion to the Junior A's on Saturday. Fitzpatrick has been invaluable at half, and first five-eighths Doug, Gerrard is very safe. The loss of Hay at full back has been a severe handicap to the side, but If a suitable substitute can be found, the team will undoubtedly turn on those improved performances of which it is fully capable.
The social team continued on its winning way on Saturday, and is rapidly developing into a side well up to the standard of the best of Its predecessors no mean praise, as V.U.C. "socialists" in the past have produced some splendid teams. The scrum is solid and hard-working—an unusual feature in this type of team, Halpin, one of the most improved forwards in the club, is playing great football this year, while Moore, too has been prominent of late. Campbell at half has made some fine solo runs, and Feltham and R. Jeffs are also going well. It seems a pity that Palmer, ex-Hawkes-Bay-Rep., and last year's senior five-eighth is not taking his football seriously this year. A young player, with years of good football in him, it is to be hoped that next year will find him training once more with the senior XV.