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Salient. An Organ of Student Opinion at Victoria University College, Wellington N.Z. Vol. 20, No. 9. June 27, 1957

Backs Shaping Well

Backs Shaping Well

The University backs have on the whole shaped very well, bearing in mind the dire predictions made after the loss of the name players at the end of last season. Peter Osborne continues to give the same reliable service at full-back that he has for the last five years and seems to have developed in the ability to elude charging forwards and step out of tackles. Dick Heron has been spoken of as a possible representative winger and he certainly has shown great try-scoring ability this season. Heron's great assets are determination and an appreciation of the possibilities of wing-three-quarter play all too uncommon in Wellington senior football. However, without outstanding pace or Katene-like power it would be rash to push Heron into big football just yet. On the other wing Terry Ryan docs everything asked of him, his defence being particularly sound. A more set and experienced player than Heron, he could well get a run with the rep, team this season. Tony Clark figured in the All Black trials earlier this season but although very fast his handling lets him down badly at times. At second five-eighth Mike Watson seems at last to have found his right position but is still inclined to hold on a little too long on occasions. Unfortunately he has missed a few games through injury. Bill Roberts has the handling ability and quickness Varsity has needed for so long at first five and his covering ability is first rate. However, he could well do with another stone in weight and a more hefty boot—both would have saved him some of the nasty pounding he has taken from such Hankers as Thompson of Petone and Ngalu and Corkill of St. Pat's.

As was well demonstrated in his absence against St. Pat's. Col Henderson controls the Varsity back line. Although young Paul Jones tried very hard and threw out some good passes University badly missed the variety and ruggedness that Henderson showed so well the next week against similar tactics by Old Boys. At his best, Henderson is a very good half-back with more versatility than his rival for the Wellington halfback position, Poncke's Makcham, yet little behind him in ability to tighten up a game.