Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria College, Wellington, N.Z. Vol 6, No. 6. May 26, 1943
This somewhat pretentious title refers to the contests between the four Colleges in men and women's hookey and basketball, which were held from May 14th to May 17th. Starting as a suggested inter-College hockey match to be arranged by the men's hockey club, like Topsy "it Just growed," until it assumed the grandiose proportions of a winter-sports tournament.
The visiting teams arrived on the morning of a bleak, cheerless Friday, to be pounced upon by a vociferous swarm of billeters who hauled them oil' in triumph to ply them with porridge and that antediluvian egg which had been hoarded so long for the purpose.
If Friday was cold and bleak, Saturday went it one better by being cold, bleak and wet, resulting in the cancellation of the basketball fixtures for the day, including the proposed game versus the Wellington representative team. However, the men hockey players, being made of sterner stuff, ventured forth to the Karori marshlands where they proceeded to hack around with wild abandon.
There is no doubt that all our visitors enjoyed the tournament, not only because of the games and social events, but also for the chance to see some of our far-famed marine wonders. There was, however, one small cloud almost obscured by silver lining—the organisation was poor. Victoria students may not be expert at hockey and basketball but, oh boy, you should Bee them at passing the buck. An exasperated "Salient" representative going from one person to another trying, with singular lack of success, to gather information, could not help wondering that anything at all was accomplished when seemingly nobody was responsible for anything. Admittedly the whole thing was done hurriedly and there were many grave difficulties, but nevertheless efficient organisation should prepare for and overcome these as they arise. Are students such individualists that they find it impossible to collaborate with their fellows?
The outstanding feature of the play in the games themselves was the surprisingly high standard attained throughout. The men's hockey was consistently good, at times brilliant, except on the Monday when fatigue began to affect the players. The basketball was excellent, particularly by Otago, the winners, who were never really extended. Only the women's hockey was at times below par. Play was a mixture of brilliance interspersed with scrappiness, of which the latter was the most common.
Socially, the Tournament was a real success for everybody mixed freely and enjoyed themselves to the utmost. The ball, of course, was the high-spot of the whole programme, and our visitors without exception declared to be, one of the beat shows they had ever attended. The heartier spirits gave many vigorous hakas, which were enjoyed by the quieter souls, who were interested to see that these could be performed efficiently without the aid of peashooters or the taking off of one's [unclear: pants].
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.
Once again Victoria were the perfect hostesses, losing all three matches. We would like to congratulate the other Colleges on their play, and in particular Otago on winning the Pember Reeves Stick. The standard of play was on the whole surprisingly good.
In the games against Canterbury and Otago, Victoria put up a fair showing in the first half but went to pieces in the second. The halves, Beryl Taylor, Irene Kean and Joyce Climie, left too much to the full backs by not covering up on defence. The forwards wasted their opportunities and the final scores were 7—1 and 7—0. The whole team suffer from the inability to hit cleanly and accurately, and positional play is poor. Sheila Mason in goal played an outstanding game against Otago. The rest of the team gave her every opportunity to do so.
The team were much more energetic in Monday's game against Auckland, and after leading 2—0 at half-time went down 3—2 in a very even match.
The hard-worked full backs, Daisy Filmer and Pat Miles, [unclear: stock] to their job and were always in the thick of it. For the first time in the tournament the forwards worked as a team. Pat Ralph, unfortunately suffering from a knee injury, was replaced by Doris Filmer. The two wings, Mary Seddon and Vivlenne Rich, were very fast but tended to crowd the insides. Ruth Russell, changed to centre forward, played a fast game and combined well with the insides. Marlon Marwick played a much improved game when she went back to her old position of left inside.
Otago's success in the basketball section of the Tournament was well deserved, their standard of play throughout being consistently high. In the final game between Otago and Auckland, Otago scored rapidly to hold a five-point lead at half-time. After the interval, Auckland began to stage their usual come-back, but were just too late to overcome their opponents' lead, Otago winning by 17 goals to 14.
Auckland were runners-up, defeating both Victoria and Canterbury by substantial margins.
Victoria's only win was against Canterbury, whom they defeated by 14 goals to 6.
In their first game, against Otago, Victoria were very disappointing, lack of team-work showing up badly against Otago's finished attacks. Last minute alterations to the team accounted in part for the team's weakness, but the lack of correct bias passing made it easy for Otago to intercept from what should have been strong attacking movements.
Ruth Dowden. was responsible for some very good interceptions, while Joyce Strange in the centre was effective both in attack and defence. In the forward third concerted passing movements failed through badly directed passes, allowing Otago's defence to intercept from the circle.
Against Auckland, Victoria played a much more decisive game, with Avis Reed in the centre and Norma Henderson in the forward third. Although this was the first time these players had played in these positions, they held their own, and with surer passing on the part of the rest of the team, Auckland was held to 12—8 at half-time. In the second spell, Auckland detailed Meg Everton, well-known Auckland rep., to cover Margaret Beattie, who was responsible for the majority of Victoria's goals, and from then on drew steadily ahead to win by 27 goals to 10.
The match against Canterbury also showed Victoria greatly improved from the Friday's game, smoother team-work enabling them to maintain a comfortable lead throughout the game. Margaret Beattie again scored the majority of goals for Victoria.
In the, defence third Gay Torrie and Barbara Sharp made some excellent interceptions.
Victoria's team was: M. Beattie, M. Parsons, N. Henderson, A. Reed, J. Strange, M. Wicks (capt.), B. Williams, R. Dowden, B. Sharp, G. Torrie.
- Otago, 20; Victoria, 6.
- Auckland, 19; Canterbury, 2.
- Victoria, 14; Canterbury, 6.
- Otago, 23; Canterbury, 6.
- Auckland, 27; Victoria, 10.
- Otago, 17; Auckland, 14.