Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 5. June 6, 1941
Although deprived of the services of a number of players through military manoeuvres, injuries and the vacation, the 1st XV. seems to have settled down at last and from now on should prove one of the toughest sides in the competition. Three of the four games lost might well have been won had the team shown a little more determination in its defence and put a shade more sting into its attack. A wee bit of luck might also have helped.
Against Poneke, however, the forwards got right down to business and gave their heavier opponents a lesson in rucking and scrummaging. The backs improved their defence, and thanks to Mummery's brilliant interception and spectacular try, 'Varsity notched its first win.
Last Saturday's game against Marist was a great battle. The forwards, heavily outweighted, worked like heroes and fought back strongly towards the end of the second spell to save the game. Ably led by Meads, who seems to play better football every season, the pack is good. Masters, now playing up to his true form, went great guns against Poneke, and Guy Smith won his way into the Reps, in the Athletic match. Although not very tall, Innes gives nothing away, and the team has had more than its share of the ball from the scrums. He tackles tigerishly, and is a real battler. Solidity has been the keynote in the work of both Webb and Green. They are always in the thick stuff, Webb being outstanding in the Marist game.
Loss to Team.
The return of Burke to the side, even for one game, makes one realize, now he is no longer available, what a grand forward and wonderful hooker he really, is. His almost uncanny covering up on defence, the sting and devil he puts into the attack, combined with his shrewd grasp of tactics, was the deciding factor in last week's win. Best of luck in the Army, Dick!
In the backs, Reilly is the first half we've had in years who can throw a decent pass, and his defence is right up to standard. Skelley has been very good, at times brilliant, and has played himself into the Reps. The experiment in playing MacLeod, normally a forward, at second five-eighths was highly successful, and he scored a grand try on Saturday, catching the Marist backline on the wrong foot to end up under the posts.
For an object lesson in defensive work watch Gordon Stuckey some time. He plays right on top of his man, and dives hard and low with everything he's got. And does he bowl 'em over? Ask Cy. Parsloe!
Kicking powerfully and with tremendous length, Greig at full-back is much more confident this year. He broke the Poneke forwards' hearts, and was right on the job against Marist too. His taking of a rolling ball has greatly improved.
Both the Juniors and the two Third Grade teams are performing well. Murphy, of the Juniors, has been going great guns. Fred Macken's smile is good to see when the "Red Terror" is near the ball. He has been well supported by Pottinger and Phil Taylor, while Wilson has given his backs plenty of ball.
Fowler, Kempthorne and MacCool make a solid backline, and Coutts, on the wing, is his usual unorthodox self. The team has yet to find a suitable half, but now the full-timers are back the side should do well.
A good pack and a fair set of backs make the Third A a hard crowd to beat. Olds is the star man. He is keen, very fit, and puts plenty of dash into all his work, being not unlike Roy Hansen in his style of play. Keep it up, Jim!
Vance Henderson's Third B's have had two wins and a draw so far, but are not as fit as they should be. Remember, 'Varsity men have only two hobbies in winter (officially, at any rate!), swot and football, so get right down to it, chaps, and be fit.
Congratulations: To W. G. Smith and Dick Skelley on being chosen to play for Wellington; to Sam Meads on his election as captain of the 1st XV; to Bill Joll, coach of Third B XV, who up till last Saturday "hadn't had his line crossed."
Practice Night: Will be held in the College Gym. on Thursday, June 5th, at 8 p.m.