Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 2, No. 15. July 26, 1939
Women's Hockey Improvement
With victories at Rugby, Basketball and Men's Hockey, and a creditable performance by the Women's Hockey team, there was more cause for satisfaction than usual over last Saturday's results. In wintry weather St. Patrick's Old Boys were somewhat luckily beaten by a point at Rugby, Tricklebank pulling the game out of the fire with a splendid solo effort a minute before time. The Hockey seniors, playing in the second division of the Senior grade, gained another victory, their fifth of the season; Island Bay O.S. were beaten at Basketball, 16/10; but most to be commended was the Women's Hockey team, for the four goals they scored against T.O.G. (2) made the match their most productive for several seasons.
The Women's Hockey Team has improved a great deal since the beginning of the season. Although one short on Saturday, the girls fought hard, to be beaten only 5—4. The forwards are showing better combination and attack so that the game was not as defensive as usual. The left wing is considerably strengthened by the inclusion of Lorna Metekingi, a fast player with tricky stick-work. Dorothy Winpenny, as left Inner, played a good fast game combining well with her wing.
High praise must be given to Mary Frankish who came from the forward line to play her first game in goal. But for her hardhitting and sound tackling the score would have been higher.
The halves and backs were tackling better than usual though most of them still need practice in hardhitting. The result, however, was most encouraging. It is a pity that there are but two more matches before the end of the season.
Looking at the Wellington College first fifteen against Otago Boys' High School, and prompted by the excel lence of the Wellington College team's play, memories of the 1926 Wellington College fifteen came quickly to mind. For that fifteen was one of the best fielded by the College for many a day.
Lacking the [unclear: serum] in that 1926 fifteen was Ted Blacker who showed even then the ability that afterwards gained him representative honours on numerous occasions and also his New Zealand University [unclear: Hue].
From the 1926 Wellington College team came two Varsity's stalwarts in the team came two of Varsity's stalwarts in the team which first won the Championship for the Club—F. S. Ramson and Ted Blacker.
In 1927, when he joined the Club. Ted Blacker played Senior B. for the luck of the Senior A fifteen was the famous Bob Martin-Smith, then at the end of a long and meritorious Rugby career. But from the Senior B team Ted Blacker gained Welling ton representative honours and the next season when Bob Martin-Smith retired he looked the Varsity scrum in the team which won the championship, and again represented Wellington. When Varsity won the championship again in 1929 he was the man that held the diamond scrum together and he locked the scrum for the New Zealand University in the Tests against the visiting Australian Universities team.
Ted Blacker played for the University side through all its ups and downs of the last ten years. He was therefore a member of the Senior A side from 1928 to 1938—eleven seasons. When other players less noted than himself deserted the Club to chase the fickle Goddess of Personal Fame on Varsity's relegation. Ted Blacker stuck by the ship even although the vessel didn't seem too seaworthy at times, and personal recognition in representative sides for Ted Blacker suffered accordingly. Despite this Ted Blacker represented Wellington during four separate seasons.
To Victoria College the name of Ted Blacker must always recall one who above all others stood for what is necessary to enable any club to prosper—loyalty. His interests were wide and extended to many spheres of University life; he was a member of the executive, the captain of the famous social cricket team since its inception, and a performer in Extrav: The Club and the College would therefore be assured of success in most of their activities could they be assured of a supply of men of the calibre of Ted, and now that he leaves Wellington it is fitting to say that Ted Blacker truly departs with the best and sincerest wishes of every Wikitorian for his success in the future.
Winning again on Saturday. 3—2 against Hutt, the seniors retain their 2-point lead in the Senior grade, Second Division. They seem assured of promotion next season.
In the Senior Reserve grade the University (1) team is 3 points behind Island Bay and a point behind Wellington. In mud and rain it gained a good win against Taubmans on Saturday, 3—2. The margin should have been greater, for the three penalty bullies against Taubmans were all lost and Naidu, playing in an unaccustomed position on the right wing, was several times unlucky with shots at goal. In the wretched conditions, A. McIntosh was the best of the 'Varsity players. He well deserved his two goals. A newcomer to the team in Wickham played soundly at left-half, and D. Good was resolute and untiring at centre-half. In goal Mason saved well on several occasions.
The improved Senior Reserve II team scored another win by defeating Petone II, 8—0 at Hutt Park. Conditions were wet and muddy, but this did not rob the game of its interest. Eric Brasted at centre forward was quite at home in his new position and from excellent penetrative play secured four goals. Other scorers were Wallis, Chisholm, Tahiwi and Ives, one each. The forwards generally combined better than usual, and there was less wild hitting in the circle. Hetherton and Wallis were much improved, although the latter still has a tendency to lose position. Dr. Campbell and Arthur Long were outstanding among the halves, while Till varied his play cleverly to suit the conditions. Tahiwi and Kirkham were sound on defence and showed some speed among the forwards. Allan in goal was not called upon to defend during the game.
2nd XV Rugby
After its fine performance against Training College, the 2nd XV gave a disappointing display against Upper Hutt. This was redeemed to some extent last Saturday by a good win over Petone under atrocious ground conditions. With the completion of the first round the team has had eight wins, four losses and a draw—a record which might easily have been improved upon.
Against Upper Hutt, the team lacked the energy and initiative necessary to counteract the hard rucking and loose forward rushes of the opposing forwards who dominated the second half. It was otherwise against Petone. The forwards took charge of the game from the outset and worried the defence with well-controlled dribbling rushes. Gander was prominent but must curb his offside play which has meant many penalties to opposing teams. Taylor did much solid work and Bannister played his usual consistent game, backing up and tackling well. Two faults have been apparent among the forwards throughout the season. First is their inability to get round on the opposing half-back, and to protect their own half-back. Carey—the latter has received some severe buffeting in recent games which have tended to slow up his service. Second is the number of infringements given in dangerous positions—every week sees opposing teams gaining winning points from penalties.
The backs have speed and solidity but lack the essential of good football—combination. On Saturday with a greasy ball and conditions all against them they gave a convincing showing—the handling and penetrating being first class. McVeagh played his best football since his return after an injury. Both wings, Ekdahl and McLeod, scored good tries after determined runs. On the whole the backs' defence is solid—their tackling is good but there is a tendency to hold off before loose rushes.
The team has had bad luck with injuries throughout the season. This has resulted in some disorganisation, especially among the backs, some of whom have had to play out of position. However, the team has good prospects for its remaining matches against, the leaders of their grade.
What promised in the first spell to be a fast and open game was turned into a battle in the mud by a downpour in the second spell, and Varsity were a little lucky to win against St. Patrick's College Old Boys when Tricklebank scored a magnificent try on the call of time.
Several rulings of the referee during the game were hard to follow but they effected both sides about equally. Nevertheless the repeated scrum penalties caused the game to become somewhat ragged.
Varsity's forwards appeared in a much better light than against Hutt and with Burke in good form the team played up well throughout. McNicol, Hansen, and Ray Shannon were again well in the limelight and Eade played a heady game in the loose. The rest of the pack battled gamely and the forward play in the second spell when both sides were fighting hard in the heavy rain was of a very rugged nature.
In the backs Rae played really well despite one or two mistakes and made several fine runs. At first five-eighths Parker was good, but he stood too deep for the conditions prevailing and his play was thus handicapped. Larkin was sound on defence and Tricklebank playing this time on the wing was good. Kissell played better than he has usually done this season, but was still a little uncertain. He fielded the ball brilliantly however on several occasions. Young was again somewhat "iffy" on defence and took risks on several occasions that were not warranted.
The game was a good spectacle and the closeness of the scores kept the interest up to the end. Despite the lack of brilliant inside backs. Varsity this season have put up a showing which should ensure their retention of Senior A status next season, and considering that this is the first season the Club has been in the first division for several years, their performance so far has been one of merit.
Rather bleak conditions again prevailed for the Harrier Club's run from the 'Varsity gymnasium on Saturday last. The course followed was practically the same as that for the Endeavour Cup race. The runners went along Upland Road and the via duct, then turned off up to the Tinakori hill. Thence a descent was made to Wadestown, and the road was followed back to Karori, the return being through Kelburn again. It was gratifying to see that Fenton and Henderson are now running in the fast pack. Bowyer and Collingwood were also out after a few weeks' absence and also joined the ranks of the fast men. A surprise performance was given by McCullough, who joined the fast pack during the run and ran in great style all the way.
Members were afterwards entertained at afternoon ten by Mr. and Mrs. R. T. McLean.
Provincial Championships at Silver-stream. Non-competitors will run from the 'Varsity gymnasium.
The teams for the Championships are as follows:—
A Team:—Scrymgeour, Newall, de la Mare, Burge, Henderson, O'Flynn.
B Team:—Morpeth, Farquar, Oliver, Fenton, S. J. Wilson, Bowyer.
Junior:—C. G. Wilson, Canter, Hillyer.
'Varsity should be able to do better in the Provincial Championships than was the case in the Dorne Cup race in June. This race, which is run at Silverstream, is over a distance of 6¼ miles, the same as that for the New Zealand University Championships at Auckland next month. This year the old B grade race has been abolished, but has been replaced by a handicap event. This is a new departure for Wellington harriers, but it is hoped that 'Varsity men like Henderson and others of the medium runners should profit by the new system. In addition a shorter junior race of three miles has been introduced, in which the under 19 class will be given a chance.
Of recent years the club has made a feature of its annual run to the Pencarrow Lighthouse from Eastbourne. The run ten days ago, held under perfect weather conditions, was notable for the number of runners who made the full distance. Unfortunately, having reached the lighthouse, there is no short-cut home and runners were faced with about five miles of hard going along the beach back to civilisation. The fast pack, who had a welcome visitor in the person of A. G. Bagnall, 1932 and 1935 Club Champion made good pace along the hill-tops, and after a brief spell, turned homewards along the beach. The pack showed an excellent uniform standard considering the varied nature of the country. It consisted of Newall, Ragnall, Palmer, de la Mare, Brewer, Burge, Scrymgeour. Some of the slow pack also went the full distance, and in company with the former, were pleased to see the houses of Eastbourne again. It was pleasing to see the good form displayed by all, for a run such as Saturday's is a severe test. It augurs well for a good display in the Wellington Provincial Champion ships to be held at Silverstream on July 29th.
Members are again reminded of train ing held at Weir House on Wednesday nights at 7.30 p.m. We have the services of an excellent trainer in Mr. G. C. Sherwood. Let us encourage him with a good attendance.
Until this year, Australia and New Zealand have played entirely different codes of basketball, Australia playing a seven-a-side game, and New Zealand a nine-a-side. These were not the only differences, however, the Australian game being more akin to the game which was played in New Zealand 20 years ago—a much less scientific game than the one now played. The time when the player who could throw the ball the farthest distance was the best player has long gone by in New Zealand, and present day representative players need brains as well as brawn.
When the New Zealand team visited Australia last year, great praise or their type of play was received everywhere they appeared, and as a result of the visit. Australia decided to practically revolutionise her games—with the main exception that. In line with England, they retained the seven-a-side. Provision being made for a nine-a-side team also. New Zealand decided to retain her own number for internal games, but must play the seven-a-side for international games. With the playing rules otherwise the same, this is not difficult, as proof of which, the interesting King's Birthday tournament for Senior A grade in Wellington this year. This was played under international rules, and when questioned afterwards, nearly all teams said that, once accustomed to the territorial alteration, they enjoyed the game.
The main changes for New Zealand players were the elimination of guarding, and the "one shot at goal only." for forwards.
As a result of the "No guarding" play is faster and evener, with less personal contact, and the "one shot only" has improved the accuracy of the forwards, besides keeping the ball in play more.
The visit of the Australian Team to the Centennial tournament which is to be held in Wellington next Easter should show both codes at their best, each N.Z. team playing each other nine-a-side, and each meeting Australia in a seven-a-side game. The outcome of the conference on rules which will be held at the same time will be awaited with interest.
—Mrs. H. D. Muir.
Pres., N.Z.B. Assn.