Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Vol. 34, No. 18. October 6 1971
Victoria fielded its strongest spuad for a number of years with the inclusion of one National League and several Central League players among the fourteen who travelled. Pre-Tournament discussion generally favoured Victoria and Auckland as candidates for first place, while Canterbury and Massey were expected to provide stern opposition.
On Monday morning, Victoria defeated Lincoln impressively by 8-0. Heavy overnight rain had created a slippery surface which suited Victoria's quick ground-passing game. At half time the score was 7-0, but the second spell saw the addition of one more goal only as Victoria eased up. Goal scorers in this match were Bryan Park 3, Paul Cameron 2, Dave Bradshaw 2, Tony Compton 1.
The afternoon game against Massey was, in contrast, very closely contested. Victoria did not achieve supremacy until the final ten minutes when three goals were hammered past a tiring Massey defence. Massey page break of football that effectively nullified the Victoria attacks and they clearly hoped to win by snatching a break-away goal. A cross-field wind of gale force proportions assisted Massey's tactics and Victoria struggled hard to breach a stout rearguard that was superbly marshalled by the Massey captain, John Saunders. As the second spell ticked away without any score, Victoria's supporters became anxious. Eventually however, Victoria hit the front with one of the best conceived and executed goals of the Tournament. Warren Moyes picked up the ball in mid-field and made ground before passing to Alan Park on the right wing. He cut across the penalty box and pushed the ball on to Ian Garner who split the defence with a perfect pass to Bryan Park, ten yards in front of goal. Bryan's shot gave the keeper no chance: 1-0 to Victoria amid scenes of jubilation both on and off the field. Two minutes later, another right wing attack led up to a Ronnie Temple goal and just on full-time, the demoralised Massey team watched Bryan Park hook a magnificent shot into the top left hand corner of their goal. As in the morning, Victoria's defence looked very solid with Paul Cameron, Ross Powell and Stan Wypych all combining well.
Tuesday morning provided yet another change of conditions, the playing surface having become much heavier. Against Otago, Victoria looked lethargic in the opening minutes and they received an early setback when Stan Wypych was unsighted after an Otago corner and the opposition was able to capitalise on the loose ball. Victoria took twenty-five minutes before equalising from a Dave Bradshaw cross which was mishandled by the Otago keeper and stabbed home by Bryan Park. Three more goals followed in the second spell: Paul Cameron headed in from a Phil Peters corner; Dave Bradshaw grabbed an opportunist goal after a promising run by Phil Peters had been halted; and Ronnie Temple was on hand to convert a good pass into the penalty area. Although Victoria's winning margin was three goals, their performance was not as convincing in this match. This was possibly due to a cartilage injury suffered by Ian Garner, the captain. The knock prevented Ian from taking further part in the Tournament, besides destroying his chances of N.Z.U. selection. It also proved disastrous for the positional pattern Victoria had adopted. As link in the 4-2-4 formation, lan's running, control and distribution had been crucial to the forwards' supply of good ball an; his absence necessitated redeploying players for the remaining games.
On Tuesday afternoon, Victoria defeated Waikato 2-0. This match had no bearing on Tournament results, since Waikato was present by invitation only, having been ruled ineligible to participate competitively by N.Z.U. Sports Council. Play was scrappy for most of thirty-five minute spells agreed upon as the Victoria team tried to conserve its energy for the critical match against Auckland on Wednesday afternoon. Goal scorers were Ronnie Temple and Bryan Park. One ominous feature did emerge from this game, however. The speedy Waikato forwards managed to penetrate Victoria's mid-field defence on several occasions, something which had not occurred previously. No remedial measures were immediately apparent other than reversion to a traditional single centre-half line-up, but unfortunately this move was decided against.
The Auckland match was played on a bumpy surface drying out under a blustery cross-field wind. During the early exchanges, Auckland used their physical advantages to full effect and Victoria players were subjected to some fierce tackling which prevented them from settling into a rhythm. The absence of Ian Garner in mid-field was felt acutely as the bustling Aucklanders frequently retrieved possession by back-tackling. Nevertheless, Victoria did receive two glorious opportunities to score in the first quarter. First, a magnificent cross from Ronnie Temple was hit outside the upright and minutes later, a header from Alan Park dropped in front of an open goal but nobody was following up. After fiftenn minutes, a long pass through the centre was not chased back by Victoria's defenders and Stan Wypych was left stranded in goal. From the restart, Auckland swept straight back onto attack and hesitancy in challenging allowed Auckland's right winger to dribble in towards the near post and crack a firm shot past the advancing keeper. Five minutes later, Victoria's morale reached a nadir when Stan Wypych made his only serious mistake throughout the Tournament to give Auckland their third goal. From this point, the result was never really in doubt, although Victoria pressed hard on numerous occasions. Towards the end of the first half, Phil Peters beat the Auckland keeper, John Morris, with a screaming drive that just skimmed over the bar and in the second half, Victoria forced several corners and free kicks. From one of these, Bryan Park curled the ball goal-wards and Morris needed all his class to pull off a fine save. Neither side was able to improve its score however, and a disappointing game ended Victoria 0, Auckland 3.
After losing to Auckland, Victoria were somewhat casual in their approach to the last match against Canterbury on Thursday morning. Midway through the first spell, Victoria's Alan Park "scored" a hotly disputed goal from an acute angle. In spite of being badly positioned at the time, the referee overruled Canterbury's protestations. However, justice triumped moments later when the equalister was scored from a well flighted corner kick. Early in he second half, Dave Bradshaw put Victoria ahead again when he outstripped the Canterbury defence down the right wing and cut infield to score with a low shot. Canterbury attacked strongly after this reverse and eventually levelled. Finally, they notched the winning goal after Victoria had conceded a penalthy. The game ended Canterbury 3, Victoria 2.
The overall standard of soccer at this Tournament was extremely high and in securing second, place equal, Victoria performed most creditably. Every player toiled hard throughout the tough schedule of matches and three were rewarded by selction for the N.Z.U. team. They were Paul Cameron, Phil Peters and Ronnie Temple. The N.Z.U. played the tourning Australian Universities side at Newmarket Park on the Saturday and went down 1-3 in a disappointing spectacle. Owing to National League commitments, most of the N.Z.U. defence was unavailable and the second-string were no match for the speedy visitors.