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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 13. Somewhere-in-July. 1971

Ian Dunn on Rugby

Ian Dunn on Rugby

So there is opposition within the Rugby Club to what I have described as "rugby by teams which do not have regular, organised training sessions" and what others call "social rugby". This opinion arose from my comments in the previous issue.

Let's get things straight! I write this column because of the generosity of "Salient" Editorial policy in accepting the contributions I put down on paper. I am grateful for this opportunity to publisize Rugby in such an important news media of the University, but I emphasize that the views expressed are mine. Certainly I am an official of the Rugby Club and while my opinions may sometimes be reached after considering other persons' views the thoughts contained in this section are attributable to me and to no one else.

Photo of a mountain lodge

If I am regarded as provocative - good! That means that at least some readers are thinking about what I write even if their thoughts differ from mine. I should have thought that my position was perfectly clear from the earlier article. I believe that a footballer should strive to play in as high a grade as he possibly can, not because of loyalty to his club (although there is a place for such loyalty) but simply because of his own self-respect. This is the most important quality required from a footballer and let's face it, life itself, let alone Rugby, is pretty meaningless without self-respect.

There are numerous reasons why players able to make higher grades prefer to play for sides in Junior Divisions and these reasons are (or should be) accepted by anybody and everybody.

One side whose members may have felt they were being singled out for so-called "club loyalty" is our Junior 3A's or the "Teddy Bears". If so then I am surprised at such undue sensitivity, as their team spirit is almost without parallel in the club. The club's thanks to this team also need to be recorded (and here I speak on behalf of the club) for the willing manner in which players, often key members, are released for other teams. The record of the Senior B's and C's this season and in 1970 may not be considered the best. But without the playing contributions from Teddy Bears such as Rod Trott, Barry Land-ford, Terry Smith, Ali Gilbert, Noel Kelly, Peter Beazley and Murray Boyte, the record could have been for worse.

After running into examples of outright bad luck in early games the Teddy Bears, under Gerard Curry retrieved the leadership, have settled down to their pattern and still have every chance of repeating last year's effort in winning the McKay Memorial shield for the team which gains the most championship points in one season.

The club is also represented in the Junior 3rd Grade by the Maori team which started this season in the Junior Fifth. After several spectacular successes through sparkling Maori Rugby it was apparent that this team was out of its grade and accordingly arrangements were made for a transfer to Junior 3rd where the side shows every indication of proceeding on its winning way.

Both Junior 3rd sides include players who could force their way into any of the three senior teams. That they have shown no real desire to do so is not the fault of the players concerned. Rather it is a tribute to the team spirit engendered by each member of both teams. If fault there is to be then maybe it could be ascribed to a system which does not perhaps give the proper degree of encouragement and enthusiasm for membership of the Senior 2nd and 3rd sides. It is incumbent upon the administrators to ensure that such encouragement and enthusiasm is engendered right throughout the club.