The Spike: or, Victoria College Review 1912
"Tout est perdu fors Vhonneur!"
Looking back over the past year's play, one is apt to ask oneself wearily how much longer it will be before we follow Otago University's example and make our way up the Rugby ladder. And yet all through life the fellow at the bottom has always been the best of ports. You must often have noticed that yourself. While others climb and climb towards the goal of their ambition, he philosophically sips his pint and smokes his pipe and moralises. So let it be with College. Although we are still very close to the foot of the ladder, we have played the game, and played it cleanly. And in these clays, when professionalism is gradually advancing in public favour, there is only one thing that will turn the tide—clean football.
It were vain repetition to unearth the long list of defeats and the—alas—much shorter list of victories, and to discuss the merits and demerits of the players. That has been done more or less generously by the daily papers. What is more to the point is to discover our weaknesses and sec if they cannot be remedied next year; and so, Mr. Editor, with your kind indulgence, 1 shall briefly touch on a few points that came under my personal observation.
First, there is the question of selection. Was the selection carried out in accordance with the motion passed at the annual meeting? No, I think not. And could not the teams be published earlier in the week? To this latter cause alone is due the fact that on several occasions, in both Senior, Junior, and Third grade games, we were forced to take the field with anything from eleven men upwards.page 84
Another important point is one that I have consistently urged in the columns of the Spike. Let us follow the lead of the Cricket Club, and hold our annual meeting early. Let us get into some sort of training before our first match. A good start is half the battle.
v. Auckland University College
V.C. Won, 12—8.
I was extremely lucky in being one of the three V.C. onlookers at what was undoubtedly the finest exhibition of the game that our Senior team has ever made. Prepared for the worst when we left Wellington, we were lucky in securing the services of Sol Phillips half-way up the line. True, we had to resort to bygone press-gang methods, but the end justified the means, for with his thorough knowledge of the game and his solid defence, he was, with Ryan, a splendid pivot for the backs to work on. Both back and forward divisions worked like Trojans right up to the final whistle, and time and again provoked a round of applause from the fairly numerous audience. Personally, I consider that the final score—12 to 8 in favour of Victoria College—was a fair index of the merits of the play.
Any mention of the match would be woefully incomplete without a reference to the hospitality advanced to us by the Aucklanders. From the moment they met us on the station till the last handshake, they one and all strove to make our visit a thing to remember. Let us hope they will be able to say the me after their visit to Wellington next year.
v. Canterbury College.
V.C. Lost, 12—3.
Played at Wellington before an audience of about thirty, and resulting in a win for the visitors by 12 to 3. This game was, so far as our team is concerned, as poor an exhibition as the Auckland match was a good one. Few and far between were the College attacks, and the ball seldom passed through more than two pairs of hands. The "ginger" of the Canterbury backs was in striking contrast, and was responsible for the slight applause of which the small handful of spectators was capable. No doubt the professional game at Newtown Park was responsible for the small number of spectators, but I am compelled to enter an emphatic protest against the want of interest displayed by the students generally, women as well as men, in these inter-College games. It is disheartening to our own men, discouraging to the Committee, and a poor compliment to the visiting page 85 team. One has only to see a similar match played in Auckland, Christchurch or Dunedin to realise that in other centres .a very different state of things exists, and it is to be hoped that on occasions when other University teams pay us a visit, no mat; r whether it be Rugby or hockey, all our Sports Committees will unite in a genuine endeavour to procure the attendance of a respectable number of College enthusiasts.
Sydney University Team.
It is a matter for regret that the efforts of the New Zealand University Football Club to arrange for a tour this year were defeated through the inability of the Sydney University to procure a suitable team to go on tour, the more so as the Club had every reason to believe that the tour would have resulted in a distinct financial success.
I sincerely hope that all this year's players will see their way to donning the green jersey again next year. It is vitally important that we should take the field with a generous sprinkling of older and more experienced players. It is to be hoped that the rumour to the effect that such capable exponents of the game as P. J. Ryan and Faire are retiring, is unfounded; the Club cannot spare them.
We parted some few weeks ago with one of our best and staunchest players—Arthur Curtayne —who has entered the ranks of the legal profession at Wairoa, Hawke's Bay. Curtayne has always been an exponent of clean, bright football, and his departure leaves a gap which cannot easily be filled. However, we wish him every success in his new field of labour.
In conclusion, the Club expresses its sincere appreciation of the keen interest shown by Professor Hunter in College football. He has on many occasions put himself to great personal inconvenience to attend the gymnasium practices and coach the reams, and if the results have not always appeared to justify his enthusiasm, it is the fault of the players themselves, and not of their President and Instructor.
Summary of Club Matches Played.
|Played.||Drawn.||Lost.||Won.||Points for.||Points against.|
I st XV.
v Petone. Lost, 44—0. Petone indulged in some frolicsome gallery play, much to the annoyance of our men. On the day's play, Petone probably were slightly the better team. College played eight Juniors.
v. Melrose. Lost, 12—8. A good fight, and slightly in favour of College. Paulsen and Walker scored, Sandel converting the latter's try.
v Poneke. Lost. 11—0. We had a strong team, and expected a win, but Poneke forwards enjoyed the mud and rain better than ours.
v. Southern. Won, 18—3. Just to show that when we want to win we can, and that handsomely. Ryan was in great kicking form, and piloted the ball in from difficult positions on two occasions. Faire scored twice, and Salmond and Paulsen once each.
v Wellington. Lost, 13—9. College played a splendid game in the rain, and had hard luck in not winning. Newspaper reports distinctly encouraging. Ryan kicked two goals, and Curtayne scored. The winning try was a very doubtful one.
v. St. James. Lost, 10—5. No comment would avail. Miller scored, Ryan converting.
v. Poneke. Lost, 12—0.
v. Petone. Lost, 27—9. College made a much better showing, although their team was weak. O'Shea was responsible for all College's points—a very creditable performance.
v. Old Boys. Won by default. At least, so the "Times" hath it.
The members of this team have played very well, notwithstanding the fact that they suffered from a chronic shortness of players. This was chiefly due to the demands of our rapacious Seniors.
v. St. John's. Lost, 3—28. Longhurst scored. Day after Savage Club's korero.
v. Southern. Won by default,page 87
v. St. James. Lost, 3—29. Melody scored after a characteristic dash.
v. Athletic. Lost, 0—9. This team was second in Championship.
v. Wellington. Lost, 0—28. Eleven men.
v. Selwyn. Lost, 0—15. Eleven men.
v. Melrose. Won, 10—3. This match was played on Polo No. 4 during a severe storm of rain and sleet. McKay and Cammock scored. O'Shea converted both tries, the last goal being kicked from the sideline after heated disputes with Melrose and the referee.
v St. Parick's College. Lost, 6—3.
v Petone. Lost, 48—3. But we had only half a team. Play lasted only 25 minutes.
v. Marist Brothers. Lost, 19—0.
v. Waiwetu. Lost by default.
v. Southern. Lost, 20—0