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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol. 15, No. 7. May 1, 1952

Rugby Football... — Amazing University Team

page 8

Rugby Football...

Amazing University Team

With the above words our own first fifteen hit the headlines of the local paper on Saturday night. Athletic Park patrons had an afternoon of thrills as they watched V.U.C.'s backline run through last year's senior championship winners to register a 37-0 victory. With the surprising collection of talent and experience that has been brought together for this year's team the sage old side-line critics predict a successful season (unlike last year's dizzy downward spiral).

The year 1946 was the last occasion that V.U.C. managed to win the senior competition, and in that same year the club's third grade team was first equal, while they won the third division of that grade in 1935-36-37. and the second division in 1950. The third division team of the junior grade had success in 1940 and 1950. The senior team previously won the championship in 1928 and 1929. and in the second division in 1938.

Outstanding successes have been few and far between in the Club's history which, however, is a long one. It was founded in 1903, and soon forged ahead under the leadership of T. A. Hunter (our principal. 1947-50) to reach great heights of fame in 1921 when, in the words of our official history, . . ."citizens flocked to Athletic Park to gaze with rapture upon the University team, and small boys brooded ecstatically upon the existence of George Aitken; for Aitken was not merely captain of the College team, but also skipper of the All Blacks. . . ." Although such a performance has never since been repeated the Club itself has contributed 89 players to Wellington's senior representative teams and 64, to the New Zealand University teams.

Many of these men have been outstanding personalities. In 1908 there was de la Mare, who was not only a footballer but also a University mile champ., a cricket rep., and a N.Z.U. tennis champion. He is now a life member, of the V.U.C.S.A. and a practising lawyer in Hamilton. Sir Wilfred Sim played for Wellington in 1914, the Hutchison brothers (now Doctor in Wanganui, and Justice in Wellington), 1920-21, and in that same year Brigadier Hanson, D.S.O., O.B.E., in 1925. Colonel E. T. Love of the Maori Battalion, while in more recent years we have had our Rhodes Scholar, Platta-Mills, and top-scoring All Black Ron Jarden.

Individuals in the 1952 senior team have every chance of further distinction during this season, so that together with the promising junior and third grade teams, the Rugby Club might easily give the sporting qualifications of Victoria University a long needed boost in the eyes of the Wellington public.

—J. McL.