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The Spike or Victoria College Review, June 1906


page 38


"You are beaten to earth, well, well, what's that?
Get up with a smiling face.
It's nothing against you to fall down flat,
But to lie there, that's the disgrace.
The harder you fall, why, the higher you'll bounce;
Be proud of your blackened eye.
It isn't the fact that you're licked that counts,
But how did you fight and why."

Sketch of football players

Have expectations been fulfilled? The most sanguine members of the club were looking forward to the incoming season with hopes. Hard work would probably give us three fairly creditable teams, but no one quite expected that we would double our membership and be able to play four teams.

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Since the beginning, the history of the club has been one of striving and aspiring. In 1902 we played one match, but couldn't form a club. In the next year the fears of a few of our prominent members were overcome by the enthusiasm of those who would do or die, and a club was formed. Two teams were forthcoming, the second of which was usually short-handed, and the scores remind one of the IIIB's worst days, yet they never defaulted, and in that same season lived to win a match. Things became too easy in the following year when the first began to win a few matches, so it was decided to terrify the senior teams by moving up a step. Again fears and objections were overcome and the club was in its old position of struggle. page 39 The second team was playing well in the third class championship, thus leaving a gap between our first and second teams which the increase in our numbers has enabled us to bridge. This year with a membership of over sixty, with four teams in the field, and with expectations, we can fairly claim to be the strongest athletic club in the college.

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The greatest difficulty we have to face, as in former years, is the lack of time and facilities for training. It was thought that a gymnasium would be fitted up in the top storey and our difficulties would be overcome, but a small matter of falling ceiling plaster annoying the classes below intervened. Since then a scheme for building a gymnasium has been brought forward. This is, of course, supported by the football club, because a gymnasium at the college itself would be of very great service indeed. Some of the other clubs do not seem to want it, or agree that it would be very nice if it cost nothing; the tennis club would be pleased to use the shower bath. Still there must be many students outside of the club to whom an opportunity of physical improvement to combine with their mental culture would not come amiss. At any rate, even if there were very few, the club numbers nearly a sixth of the total number of students and is thus entitled to a fair amount of consideration, for hardly any improvement that could be effected would affect so large a number.

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Matches were played last year against Canterbury College and Otago University and efforts are being made to make these fixtures, if not annual, yet periodic. It is suggested that each year a triangular contest be held in Christchurch. If this is arranged for this year it will probably be during the vacation, but as there are rumours of a visit from Sydney University it is impossible to say what will finally be decided upon.

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"The matches of the 1st XV. have shown its main weakness—want of combination, and it can hardly be expected that there will be improvement in this direction until members have an opportunity to practise together, that is until Kelburne Park is improved. But there are some other points that deserve the consideration of individual members of the team.

(1)The tackling of many of the forwards is weak. What page 40 is the use of following up to miss a man by going high? Tackle low and hard and go for the man with the ball. Tries have been given away by backs waiting for the pass.
(2)The line kicking of most of the backs is weak, and as the forwards are kept running to and fro the result has been that in most matches the forwards while more than holding their own in the first spell have not been able to endure to the end.
(3)Players should remember that if they are not actually playing the ball they have still a duty to perform., viz., get into position for the subsequent play.
(4)Promising rushes have been spoiled by forwards trying to pick up instead of playing the ball with their feet.

The material of the XV. is good; the spirit of the game is there; and with attention to the points mentioned and the opportunity for practice the present team should give some good exhibitions."

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The Juniors, owing to lack of training, have not been so successful as was expected, but on the whole have proved worthy of their grade. The forwards are inclined to keep the game too close. If the backs were given more to do there would be a decided improvement in the game.

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IIIA have played 4 games and won 3. The fourth was lost mainly through the selfishness of some of the backs. The offenders might be tried on the wing, for with this fault remedied the team has a fair chance for the Cup.

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IIIB consists of 13 forwards and 2 backs—when there is a full team. They suffer in being constantly drawn on by the teams above. There is some good material in the team, but a coach is badly wanted here as all through the club.

First Fifteen.

V.C. v. Oriental. Lost, 35—0. Hard game. Team held their own during first spell. Bogle (who was knocked out) and McCarthy played well.

V.C. v. Petone. Lost, 34—3. Lynch kicked a penalty goal in first few minutes. Petone gave an object lesson in goal kicking for our line was only crossed four times.

page 41

V.C. v. Southern. Won, 27—0. Score should have been larger as many chances were thrown away. Weariness apparent towards end of game. A. Bogle scored twice, once by fast following up a try at goal. G. Bogle, Acheson, and Goulding also scored, and McCarthy kicked a penalty goal.

V.C. v. Athletics. Lost, 16—3. G. Bogle kicked a penalty goal. Chiefly forward game. Our forwards beaten on the line and in the loose.

V.C. v. Poneke. Lost, 16—3. Played on wet ground. Backs did not appear at home. College played perhaps the best defensive game this season. Goulding had to retire at half-time with a sprained ankle. Lynch, de la Mare, and Short in forwards and McCarthy and G. Bogle in backs were prominent.

V.C. v. Wellington. Drawn, 6—6. A most disappointing game. Remarkable for the amount of whistle. Team not up to form against Poneke.

Second Fifteen.

V.C. v. Poneke. Lost, 10—0. Display was poor. "That tired feeling" very apparent.

V.C. v. Old Boys. Lost, 11—0. Score made in last ten minutes. Team played up splendidly. Amodeo shone among the backs. Forwards all worked so well it is difficult to single out any.

V.C. v. St. James. Lost, 13—0. Another good game, but team could not last out the match.

V.C. v. Kia Ora. Lost, 20—0. Opponents too heavy. More use ought to have been made of the backs in the first spell.

Third Fifteen. (IIIA).

IIIA v. IIIB. Won, 22—0. IIIB were a disorganised mob.

V.C. v. Poneke. Won, 5—3. J. B. Reid scored a try which East converted. T. E. Moore, G. K. Bogle, and Thomas prominent among forwards.

V.C. v. St. James. Lost, 6—3. East scored. Game lost owing to selfishness of backs. Forwards got the ball nearly every time.

V.C. v. Civil Service. Won, 35—0. A runaway match. Jordan (6), G. W. Reid (2), East, Arnold, and Thomas scored. J. Reid converted one try. Apparently no one in the team can kick goals, even from in front.

Fourth Fifteen. (IIIB).

V.C. v. St. Patrick's College. Lost, 47—0. The score speaks. We had only thirteen men.

V.C. A v. V.C. Lost, 22—0. Colquhoun and Brockett played well.

page 42

V.C. v. Selwyn. Lost. 25—0. Macalister showed up among a lot of hardworking forwards. The team has to suffer for the deflections from duty of members of teams above.

V.C. v. Poneke. Lost by default. Team drawn on to the extent of seven men by teams above.