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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol 6, No. 6. May 26, 1943

Men's Hockey

Men's Hockey

The physical demand made on players, especially visitors, in this section of the tournament was very heavy. After travelling on the Thursday night they played two games on the Friday, one on Saturday, and two more on Monday. This N.Z.U. representatives also played on Saturday afternoon. This heavy programme in conjunction with the socials had its inevitable effect on players by the Monday, and this was the cause of much scrappy play, especially in the afternoon.

After the first day it was apparent that either Auckland or Canterbury would win the tournament, and interest was high when they met on the Monday afternoon. Auckland won a close game by three goals to two and everyone regarded the tournament as being as good as over. However, the Vic. A team upset calculations by beating Auckland in the final game, thus enabling Canterbury to draw level by defeating Training College 7—5 in a game which at times closely resembled hockey. Auckland and Canterbury were thus bracketed equal winners, but on goal averages Auckland were decidedly superior.

The Auckland forwards were easily the best in the tournament, outstanding being Winiata Smiler, the captain, at inside left. Bland on the left wing, and Elliot at centre forward. Fast and individually clever, their combination was too much for their opponents. Canterbury's strength lay in their halves, two of whom, Eggleton and Bennett, played for the N.Z.U. team. Cyril Walters, the captain, at centre-half, played excellent hockey at all times, and it was a pity he was not eligible for the representative team, as he would undoubtedly have strengthened it considerably. The vital Auckland-Canterbury game produced the expected duel between the Auckland forwards and the Canterbury halves, with the honours going to the former, who paid Walters the compliment of marking him very closely.

The Victoria A team, though individually brilliant at times and perhaps better balanced than the other five teams, failed in co-ordinated play. A grave fault was the tendency of the halves to overhit, which greatly handicapped their forwards. The forwards were at times inclined to dribble too far and would be well advised to pass the ball sooner and with greater accuracy. It was a combination of these faults which cost them the game against Canterbury. Individually Ivor Ting at centre-forward was the star, occasionally playing brilliant hockey. However, he was at times one of the greatest offenders in dribbling the ball too far instead of co-operating with his fellow-forwards. Griff. Jones on the left wing played polished hockey at all times, so much so that we consider that he was wasted on the wing where his opportunities were limited. Notwithstanding the fact that the wing is his accustomed position, we feel the team would have been strengthened by bringing him into inside-left.

Credit should be given to the Training College and Victoria B teams, who battled on against heavy opposition without losing their cheerfulness. Owing to difficulties caused by the vacation both teams were only scratch combinations, especially Training College. This latter team was a mixture of good and bad, as was their play in different matches. In some games, notably against Otago, they played really good hockey, whereas in other games the backs and halves seemed uncertain as to whether they were playing rugby or pingpong, while the forwards dashed madly about like blind hens after a worm—a very elusive worm at that.

Finally, mention must be made of an unfortunate aspect of the tournament—the refereeing. We quite realise the difficulty of getting referees nowadays, especially as there is no longer any referees' association, but nevertheless we consider most emphatically that better arrangements should have and could have been made. Some games were held up for half an hour or more until some obliging but misguided bystander was pressed into service. Thanks are due to those who assisted in this respect and everyone was, quite rightly, very grateful to them. However, good refereeing is an art that takes considerable experience to develop and, with the best intentions in the world, some of those who officiated were appallingly bad, and bad refereeing, as any player knows, can be very disheartening to the players, with a consequent lowering of the standard of play.

Played Won For Agst. Pts.
Auckland 5 4 35 9 8
Canterbury 5 4 25 17 8
Victoria A 5 3 20 12 6
Otago 5 3 20 15 6
Tr. College 5 1 18 29 2
Victoria B 5 0 0 33 0