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Salient. Official Newspaper of Victoria University of Wellington Students Association. Vol 40 No. 11. May 23 1977

Leg Before Wallet

Leg Before Wallet

Although one is not happy in the way which the 'Packer' series of matches has been organised, one only hopes that the international cricket authorities recognise the right that international sportsmen have to improved employee conditions, and conciliation between the two feuding parties can be reached.

In the long run it will be in the interests of both parties to do so. For although the interest in Australia may be initially high for the special series one doesn't expect that the interest, will be maintained over a long period. For it is only cricket on a nation to nation basis that continues to draw crowds. At the same time though, cricketing public aren't turned on by an international test series between teams that don't include the stars.

Now let's have a look back at home. The squad for the New Zealand Rugby League team has been named and last weekend we witnessed the New Zealand Rugby trials for the selection of the All Black team to play the Lions.

I won't bother commenting on the value of trials except to say that those conducted by the Rugby Union and the Rugby League authorities both proved to be unsatisfactory.

In the rugby league trials both star wingers Kevin Fisher and Philip Orchard had to leave the Field with recurring injuries Neither should have had to play in these matches, as both have been recovering from these same injuries in recent months. Generally the fitness shown by all players at these trials was disappointing, and with the World Series starting shortly, the Fitness and attitude of some of New Zealand's top players in this sport seems far from satisfactory.

Now on to the rugby trials at Wanganui. Disappointing play generally with some appalling weaknesses in at least two positions. Obviously full back gives greatest concern. Perhaps Richard Wilson gave the best all-round display except goal-kicking, where he couldn't have been worse. The other full backs on display were no more than adequate in their general play and their goal kicking was very little better than Wilson.

One hopes, though, that the New Zealand selectors choose a specialist full back when it comes time to name a side. Already we have had a disaster when Duncan Robertson was named out of position in South Africa

The other position of real weakness is at second five-eighth. New Zealand has no one with skills of Mike Gibson or even, for that matter, Ian McGeeghan in this position. Ideally a second Five should be able to tackle, kick accurately, pass quickly, capable of making the break, and read the game so as to be able to direct the attack of his backline. Joe Morgan and Lyn Jaffray can both kick, tackle and make the occasional break but there is no one in New Zealand rugby who can transfer the ball along the back line really quickly. The same could be said for First Five although Murray Taylor showed that with development he could display these aspects in his play. As second five, only Mark Taylor showed real ability to beat a man and transfer the ball quickly through the back line but his defence and kicking ability are still untested.

From the trials and on knowledge of the past records of players who didn't play in the trials, I will try and name a team (knowing full well that the New Zealand selectors will probably take a more conservative approach in their selection.)

  • Richard Wilson,
  • Bryan Williams, Wings
  • Stuart Wilson, Wings
  • Bruce Robertson
  • Mark Taylor
  • Murray Taylor
  • Syd Going
  • Laurie Knight
  • Ian Kirkpatrick, Flankers
  • Kevin Lverleigh, Flankers
  • Andy Haden
  • Frank Oliver
  • Brad Johnstone
  • Kent Lambert
  • Tane Norton

Our Man in the Stands.