Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 14, No. 12. September 20, 1951
Grass 'em Cads! The Muddied Oafs
Grass 'em Cads! The Muddied Oafs
Unfortunately the Rugby Football Club's Senior XV has again this year been unable to bring home any trophy to brighten the interior of that rather bare cupboard in the main lobby. This despite the predictions of the club's supporters after two rousing wins at the beginning of the season (there were quite a number of supporters at that stage) that the team would be well in the running for the Jubilee Cup. Thus we still gaze with awe at the photo of the victorious 1946 team, so honoured as to be included among the inspiring pictures, that adorn the Men's Common Room, and we can only hope that within the next two seasons another competition-winning Varsity team will gaze down on the harried occupants of the train seats. However, after this season's disappointing display, most people would put their money on the seats being changed before the club again wins the Jubilee Cup.
However, both the Club, and I am sure the rest of the University too, were proud of the performances of Ron Jarden during his recent prolonged tour of Australia. We actually heard their were some other footballers travelling with him too, at one stage! It was even suggested that he should satisfy the fans back home by making a few solo appearances prior to his first game at Athletic Park. However, his establishment of a personal points record for an All Black tour of Australia, combining with his scoring of 14 points for the Club in the final club game on Kelburn Park, made us realise that it has been Varsity's misfortune not to have had this outstanding player on our side more often.
The club has also been unfortunate during the season in the loss through injury of promising full-back Peter Osborne and hooker Clem Shannon and the transfer of George Nola, a highly aggressive breakaway, now a member of the Waikato team, the present Ranfurly Shield holders. Losses, combined with the tour of Australia by the university team, of which Hutchinson and Clark, as well as Jarden, were members, caused the side to be unsettled over most of the season and it was only in the lost few games that the mere handful of diehard supporters, still loyal enough to cling Saturday after Saturday to the rails beside windy Kelburn Park, were rewarded for their patience by some consistent play and, what is more, some results.
By winning the last four games the team brought its total of wins for the season to seven, which gave it second place in the Hardham Cup. Thus, after overcoming the initial difficulties, it developed into quite a promising team with a very strong young forward pack, of which six have played for Wellington in one or other of the representative teams. Although it was unfortunate that the team took so long to settle down, a good team spirit was built up. This usually took place on Saturday night and, although one young lad had to follow the tram lines home one early morning, when the direct, route would have saved him some miles of weary staggering, attendance at practice the next morning was usually fairly good, although many couldn't sight that ball very well.
The team is indebted to Dr. K. F. M. Uttley and Mr. H. E. Moore for their keen and enthusiastic coaching, and it is to be hoped that now the Uttley garden will receive some attention—before the cricket season starts, that is.