Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 14. July 12, 1939
It is very much regretted that in this issue of "Salient" the section devoted to sport has been reduced considerably. This was by no means the wish of the Sports Editor, and it is felt that an apology is duo to all those who so willingly assisted by contributing club notes and other articles for which insufficient space could be found.
Whether or not the space allotted is sufficient to cover the wide range of club activities, is, I suppose, a debatable point—depending on one's interest in University sport. For some, I know, sport has little appeal—just as, for others, overseas politics can be nothing but boring. Again, there is the accusation that the youth of to-day centres everything around sport. In part this may be true, but in many cases an active interest in sport finishes with the close of a secondary school career. For such as these there is no excuse, for they miss much in life that should be theirs, and we can do no better than remind them of the old motto: "Mens sana in corpore sano"—"clean in sport, clean in body, clean in mind."
Senior A v. S.P.C.O.B.
The Seniors save a very indifferent display on Saturday, what few bright movements there were coming from occasional breaks by the forwards.
Hansen and the two Shannons played particularly fine games in a pack which appeared tired and somewhat bored, although McVeagh showed up occasionally in the loose. McNicol seemed content to play on his reputation and was frankly, lazy. Given a fair share of the ball from scrums and lineouts by Burke and Thodey the backs. Rae excepted, were hardly up to Senior standard. Their passing was bad and tackling lamentably weak. It is high time the old maxim "miss your man, miss your place" was applied to Varsity football; and the selection committee might well consider the promotion of Ekdahl and Mahood from the Junior A's for the second round.
In one of the best games seen on Kelburn for years the Seconds went down to Training College 6-8. Varsity were superior in the forwards. Webb in particular playing a fine game, while Mahood's vigorous tackling and splendid backing up, saved the side on numerous occasions. Corkill gave his backs a feast of the ball from the scrums but with the notable exception of Ekdahl they lacked initiative and could not penetrate. The tackling of the backs was good. Hay being outstanding, but McVeagh was too slow in getting up on his man, thus allowing T.C. to gain the overlap. The forwards, when the ball was shot back from passing rushes into the blue vanguard, seemed nonplussed and in this respect their defence was weak. Both sides, however, played excellent football and "Salient" congratulates Bryers and his men on a meritorious but hard earned victory.
Defeating Athletic 19-17 after being down 17-3 at half time, the third B enjoyed their second consecutive win of the season. This team was none too successful at the beginning of the year but extraordinary keenness and splendid team spirit allied to enthusiastic coaching by Ken Hoy has worked wonders. The Side should have its share of success from now on.
In the forwards Dix has proved a capable hooker while Jessep's weight and experience has effected a big improvement. Scott too is playing well. Martin, half or five-eighths, is showing promise and Power, a hard-running three-quarter with a splendid boot—he scored 16 points on Saturday—should be heard of again.
Of the remaining teams, Junior B defeated Institute 16-6, but the Social team had to lower its colours to Petone to the tune of 19-6. The Colts found to opposition at Silverstream, losing to College 13-6.
A bitterly cold southerly wind made matters most unpleasant for
wonder that only nineteen members lined up for the start. Yet those nineteen were well rewarded with one of the best runs of the season. This time the course was from Evans Ray to Oriental Bay and back via the top of Mount Victoria—a distance of seven miles. In the fast pack de la Mare was again conspicuous, giving probably his best performance to date: while Henderson was slightly better than Fenton in a well matched quarlet comprising the medium pack. C. G. Wilson is another member who has been running very well lately, and he seems to have profited considerably by his outing at Dannevirke a few weeks ago.
Next week the run will be from Rona Bay to Pencarrow, though the route will be adjusted to suit the abilities of all classes of barriers.
The Call of the Snow
In England, America and the Continent, ski-ing is regarded as one of the major competitive sports. At Oxford and Cambridge, for instance, Blues are awarded to those attaining representative honours, and the annual Oxford v. Cambridge meeting held in Switzerland is one of the important events in the Winter Sports Calendar. In America, the U.S.A. University team, comprising Duncan (American Champion). David and Stephen Bradley and Loughlin was also the official U.S.A. representative team which successfully routed both Australia and New Zealand in 1937. The Dartmouth College whence hail Durrance and the Bradley brothers, it may be noted defeated in the same year a visiting team from the combined Swiss Universities. The standard, then, is very high.
In New Zealand the organisation of inter-University ski-ing is already well under way. With experienced skiers like Murphy, Scotney and Freeman, to say nothing of a host of other enthusiasts. V.U.C. appears to have a wealth of talent. Ability will be tested in the inter Tramping Clubs' sports to be held at Kime Hutt during the week-end of 12-13 August, when V.U.C. hopes to field a team (or teams) chosen at some prior trials held under competitive conditions—probably 22nd July at Mt. Holdsworth; and all aspiring to represent V.U.C. in this ever-increasingly popular sport are invited to apply to the secretary of the Tramping Club.
For some years now Otago and Canterbury Universities have held successful meetings at Mt. Cook, and the inauguration of competitive skiing by the N.Z. Colleges should, we hope, result in a National University meeting. The next step is an inter-Dominion Tourney—Australia versus N.Z.—and with some initiative and organisation this should he possible Roth Sydney and Melbourne Universities are well represented. A member of the New Zealand skiing team visiting Australia in 1937 found the secretary of the Melbourne University Ski Club most enthusiastic over the idea.
It is possible, too, that University students may visit New Zealand for the Centennial Meeting at Mt. Cook next year, and if so, it is to be hoped that a University Tournament will be held at the same time, either at Mt. Cook or at Ruapehu, thus paving the way towards a further addition to the list of inter-University sports.
In other Colleges
Auckland we hear is carrying all before them in the Table Tennis world. The men so far have an unbeaten record, while the ladies are only slightly less successful. In Football, things are not quite so rosy, with the senior team half-way down the Second division. In Hockey, the men annexed the seven-a-side competition, but have disappointed in championship matches, soon losing the leading position they once held. The ladies team shared a similar fate.
Canterbury report bigger and better things of their Football team this year. With a handy lead in the Senior grade, they appear to have excellent chances of annexing the Championship. In Hockey—but perhaps they would rather we did not report on the doings of their hockey team. Our Senior side did at least win one match.
Otago, on the other hand will talk Hockey [unclear: iil] the cows some home—If you cared to let them. But that is because they lost only a solitary match at the beginning of the season, and now seem likely to repeat their last year's success. The Football teams, however, do not appear to have been so [unclear: fortwate]—even allowing for a surprise win or two against the leading teams. It is interesting to note the establishment of Association Football in thin centre, as also in Auckland, indicating the ever-widening scope of University activities.
Relegation System Criticised
"Making confusion worse confounded" was the phrase with which a well-known V.U.C. hockey player summed up his comments on the recent attempt by the Wellington Association to improve the standard of play by a system of grading.
"By interchanging, after the first round of matches, the two lowest teams in the grade below." he went on to say, "they hope that the standard in each grade will become more even, matches will be closer, and everyone will benefit.
"It is not unreasonable to suppose that they had in mind the Senior Grade in particular when they made this decision, the opinion being that many players there were not up to standard. But the course events have taken has shown the foolishness of their step. Next year, it is to be hoped not only that the system of regrading halfway through the season will be abandoned, but also that the Senior grade will be drastically reorganised.
"At the Club's Annual Meeting one member was criticised for suggesting it would be a good thing for the hockey in Wellington if the number of teams in Seniors was reduced to six. Even if Varsity lost their place in that grade. His remarks were based on considerable hockey experience in Auckland. Having played much Senior Hockey in a southern centre, I am inclined to agree with him. But I would say that there should be six senior clubs, and that under no conditions whatever should one club be allowed more than one team in the Senior grade. As a consequence of the recent mid-season shuffle, there are three Huia teams in the Senior grade, two Karori teams, and one team from each of three other clubs.
"The result? When in doubt, good players from other centres tend to join the stronger clubs, because they will have more chance of playing in Seniors, will be playing in good company, and thus catch the eye of the selector. This can do nothing but harm in the long run.
"Circumstances should be such as to make players do exactly the opposite—to join the weaker clubs. This does in fact happen when there are six senior clubs, and where I played last season, the bottom team in competitions was liable to defeat the leaders at any time without the event being dismissed as a fluke.
"I think that there is no doubt that the relegation of the University team is detrimental to the game, as well as to the club. However, it seems that we shall regain our position on the recent improved form, and under those circumstances the Club could not be accused of any ulterior motive in recommending the reforms suggested above to the Hockey Association. At present there are five clubs in the Senior grade, and University, by its recent decisive defeat of Wellington, would seem to be the logical choice for the sixth. I should like to see our Committee take a definite stand in making this proposition."
We must congratulate the Senior Basketball side on its surprise victory in The King's Birthday tournament, for after indifferent form in the earlier part of the year, our girls certainly excelled themselves. Playing International rules, they suffered only one defeat in the five rounds, thus gaining eight points, the next team being W.E.O.G. with seven points. With Kia Ora level at the fourth round, everything depended on its game with Training College, and the latter are to be congratulated on their victory over a team which is as yet undefeated in ordinary club matches.
The Senior A match against W.E.O.G. on Saturday was a disappointment. Varsity were down 7-8 at half-time, and with field advantages in the next spell had hopes of holding their own. Yet there was a sudden weakening in the forward first and a very commendable domination of the game by the opposing team, the final score being 10-19.
The third team also suffered a defeat. This seems to be a habit; but they are enjoying their games, and their spirit is to be commended.
With its popularity increasing apace. Table Tennis is now firmly established in the College—yet it is only a year ago since it was first introduced. The ground that it has gained in that time is amazing, and if ever a club's existence was justified by its popularity, then this Table Tennis Club is one.
It is proposed to commence Championship matches almost immediately, and competition promises to be keen, both for men and Indies. Results are hard to forecast and this year surprises may be many.