The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1912
"Tout est perdu fors
Once mure the senior team has to chronicle a series of defeats. The record to date is certainly somewhat depressing. Matches played, 5; Drawn, 1; Lost, 4; Won, 0. Points for, 20; points against, 61.
At the commencement of the season it was confidently expected that the Club would have; a very successful season. Enthusiasm ran high. The annual meeting was an eminently successful one. But even at this early stage there was not wanting premonitions of disaster. First and foremost, Arthur Curtayne announced that he would not be able to play. The loss of such a captain and player meant much to us. Then we learnt in quick succession that W. J. Robertson, J. D. Brosnan, G. C. Jackson, H. Ponanga, and others would not, for various reasons, be able assist us. Such defections weir surely sufficient to shake the confidence of any team.
Fortunately, we had a splendid set of new players and juniors as a reserve, and these have rendered great service But, naturally enough, experience is wanting, as are weight and strength. This statement is in no way intended in disparagement of these players, who have done excellent work under great difficulties. But the fact remains that the lack of these requirements—experience, weight and strength—has told heavily on the Club.
The enthusiasm which was so severely tried by the above and other rebuffs has nevertheless shown itself in regard to the practices, which have been, comparatively speaking, well attended. But the difficulties in the way of regular, systematic training seem to be insurmountable; and unless these difficulties are removed, the standard of football can never be expected to page 73 improve. Enthusiasm is of little use when unaccompanied by training.
We think we are justified in claiming that the points scored against us do not in all cases faithfully indicate our strength. That finished play, which is so essential to try-getting, is just what the conditions under which we labour prevent our acquiring. Consequently, although our team may be making a good fight and getting a fair share of the game, we cannot take the best advantage of the opportunities afforded us,
We have reason to think that our football will improve even during this season. The younger players are showing commendable energy, and the presence of so many promising juniors should augur well for the future of the Club. We are arranging matches with Auckland 'Varsity at Auckland, and with Canterbury College at Wellington, Then, too, the Sydney University Football Club is sending a team to New Zealand in August, and a match is being arranged between that team and ours. The prospect of these games should make for improvement amongst our players.
We would like to make two complaints here. The first is in reference to notification re inability to play. If players would intimate their inability at the earliest possible opportunity, the Secretary would not be so hard pressed as he is now to find substitutes. Again, a number of players (this applies especially to the senior team) make a point of arriving late. Apart from the disrespect shown to the officials and our opponents, the practice is one that causes inconvenience to other players. As in both these matter-the remedy lies in the hands of the players themselves, this short reference should be sufficient to bring about improvement.
This brief commentary would be incomplete without mentioning the senior team's indebtedness to P. W. Burbidge for the assistance he gave them in the match with the St. James Club. Owing to a misunderstanding, our team was short-handed, and "Burb," at a minute's notice, played with us and rendered yeoman service. The Club heartily appreciate his action.
In conclusion, we wish to say this: We have endeavoured worthily to uphold the high traditions of the Club in regard to what is known as "playing the game." We hope that we have played the game in the proper spirit, that the crushing defeats have been received in the right way, and, generally, that we have acted like sportsmen. Whatever the odds, we have faced them cheerfully. And, when all is said, it certainly looks as if we page 74 derive some benefit from our football when, Saturday after Saturday, we stand up to heavier and better teams, and lake defeat smilingly.
v. Oriental, Lost, 12—3. With a very weak team. College put up an excellent fight, but experience and superior condition gave victory to our opponents. Faire scored for College.
v. Wellington. Drawn, 6—6. College had bad luck in losing. The forwards tired visibly, and the backs were entirely unsupported. Salmond scored both tries for College, both being splendid efforts.
v. Old Boys. Lost, 5—3, This match should go down in the history of our Club as probably the worst exhibition ever given by our team. Quillian scored an easy try within 15 minutes of commencing, and this lead was maintained until five minutes from time. Despite the repeated attacks made by our team, lack of finish prevented additions to our score.
v. Athletic. Lost, 18—5. In reference to this game, the "Evening Post" said: "This game was not the easy win for Athletic that the scores might indicate." As usual, when pitted against a really good team, we played well. Both forwards and backs put whole-hearted energy into their work, which deserved greater success. A greater change from the exhibition given on the preceding Saturday could scarcely be imagined. Ryan and Sandel played particularly well. Paulsen scored our try from a splendid opening made by Beard, and Ryan converted.
v. St. James. Lost, 20—3. This game was played in very bad weather, anything like good football being impossible. College played with14 men. Our points were obtained by Beard, whokicked a very good penalty goal.
v. Oriental. Lost, 17—3.
v. Petone. Lost, 51—0. The better team won.
v. Poneke. Won, 6—5. The tide turns.
v. Porirua. Won, 17—6. Played at Porirua, and we were so affected by our second win that we had to bribe the residents not to keep us there.
v. Wellington. Lost, 20—3. Jamieson scored.
v. Wadestown. Lost, 24—3. Longhurst scored.
v. St. Patrick's College. Lost, 6—3. History is silent as to who kicked that penalty goal.
v. Selwyn. Lost, 6—3. Longhurst scored.
Our scoring is remarkably consistent, and had our defence kept the opponents off it may be assumed that all these matches would have been ours.