Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 4, No. 5. June 6, 1941
Varsity sports teams are suffering from a general inexperience and youthfulness in their numbers. But if this loses a few games; it is not a bad complaint, for it will be largely overcome by the solid training that club coaches are insisting on. The Men's Hockey Team found it hard to settle down in the Auckland Tournament, but they haven't been doing badly in the local games. The Women's Team is potentially a good one. No doubt the holiday break is largely responsible for the defeat of the Basketball Team on Saturday at the hands of Wellington College Old Girls in the Senior A and Y.W.C.A. in the Senior B.
The Rugby teams promise to have a good year, and the Seniors have not been defeated in three games. Soccer players unfortunately have gone into retirement, but the Trampers and Harriers definitely have not, and the Table Tennis Club has already-begun its activities in the gym.
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.
Though holidays and Extrav. reduced the numbers turning out to runs, the Harrier Club has had several reasonably good musters. The fast pack had a real work-out at Johnsonville on May 3rd, running over into the Ohariu Valley and back round the Makara road, D. Scrymgeour and G. Rowberry being prominent over the last three miles. On May 17th the Club was entertained at Hataitai by the Brooklyn Club, and the eight-mile trail round the hills to Lyall Bay and back over part of the Vosseler Shield course proved tough, F. O'Flynn and P. Anderson showing up well for 'Varsity.
In the Novice Cup on May 24th, the leaders set a slow pace up the hill and along Seatoun Heights, but G. Rowberry cracked on the pace along the flat to win in 16m. 7s. from P. B. de la Mare and R. Fenton. The Veterans were determined to show how it should be done, and both R. M. Daniell (14.50) and F. D. O'Flynn (15.4) beat the time for the Novice Race.
In general the fast pack shows good promise, G. Rowberry being unbeatable along the flat, while F. O'FIynn, T. Dorman and P. Anderson are all running consistently well. Little outstanding form has been shown in the slow pack, though R. Daniell and R. Fenton ran well over the Novice course. E. Marchant was not outclassed in the fast pack in the run from Thorndon on May 31st.
A change has been made in the Club's syllabus. Next week, on May 7th, the Sherwood Cup will be run at Paekakariki. Runners will meet at the Wellington Station at 1 p.m. This is a sealed handicap and an invitation run—Sherry's hospitality is renowned. The following week a team will be sent to Dannevirke to compete in the Anderson Rally. The racing season is now starting. The earnest, and runners with ambition should get down to some solid training.page 4
Someone was moaning on the way to Auckland about the way "those grounds up there become so slippery and cut up—the only saving grace is the even surface."
Well, we did see one even ground—in fact, we had the privilege of playing on it once, but I doubt if any of us appreciated it, that day (the first afternoon). And as to the soft ground—I seem to remember chaps' feet with great pieces of tape plastered over monstrous blisters.
In some ways the tournament tale is a sad tale to tell. We met Auckland on the first afternoon—we make no excuses—they were a fine team, and well deserved to win, ultimately, the tournament trophy (Seddon Stick). Against them we were down 2—0 at half-time, but after that the lack of sleep and general weariness against a fast, fresh combination told, and we went down 8—0.
Against Auckland "B" next morning we rallied somewhat and came in to win 2—0. Actually this team was no mean combination, as they had accounted for Massey on the previous afternoon.
In the afternoon (Thursday), Otago's forward line, though good, had a lot of luck, and the final score of 6—0 (Otago's favour) was a little flattering to them. On Friday Wellington redeemed their self-esteem and reputation by drawing with Massey 4—4, and with Canterbury 2—2. In both games the team played their best hockey, and against Massey in the morning we were robbed of actual victory only by a temporary lapse in the second half, in which Massey rang on three quick goals. Wellington can feel a little satisfaction in drawing against Canterbury, as that team played good hockey throughout the tournament.
Most of Victoria's men were playing in a 'Varsity tournament for the first time, and indeed some had not played in the Senior team before. These facts undoubtedly made it hard for them to settle down.
The New Zealand team did not contain any Victoria names—though K. Kiddle and Harry Scott were emergencies. Kiddle was lucky and played in part of the second half. Auckland beat the N.Z. team 5—3.