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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1910


page 79


"Feats of sanguinary hut."


First Fifteen.

For some years the Victoria College seniors have been conspicuous in the tail of the senior competition. Many of their defeats were owing to lack of training, the want of "condition" telling a woeful tale in the last fifteen minutes.

This year, with a brand new gymnasium, and Kelburne Park available, it was hoped that lack of "condition" would be notably absent, and so far it has been. Spectators who remembered our weakness last year have been surprised to find that we could play the game to the bitter end and score in the last few minutes. Besides lack of condition, there was another reason for our losing matches, namely, the kidglove manner in which as a rule we handled our opponents. We still have that fault that costs us two or three matches last year. Only on one occasion this year have our men "downed" their opponents as they should do. An opponent can be rendered harmless for the moment without any rough play, so let us always down our man, for he is dangerous while on his feet.

One source of weakness to Victoria College is that many of our players are with us only for a year or two, and each year sees a great change in all our teams. This year was no exception; many old faces were missing and strange ones in their places. Last year's skipper, Humphrey O'Leary, who was injured towards the close of the season, has permanently retired. F. de la Mare, hero of many a hard-fought game, was also missing, but Laurie Short made his reappearance.

To get down to the various games this season.

V.C. v Poneke. At Miramar. Although beaten to the tune of 19 to nil, we were in no way disgraced, and made a very creditable showing, so much so that the few barrackers of the College prophesied a " future " for the team. The forwards played a good, hard game, while the backs played creditably, Duncan and Faire both showing improvement, while Phillips was as solid and useful as ever.

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V.C. v Old Boys. At Karori. The team showed some little alternation, Bertrand retiring from the ¾ line, his place being taken by Young. Contrary to the expectations of the public, and also of Old Boys, we scored a decided victory, 8 to 3, a try scored by Young and converted by J. Ryan, and a try by Wilson. Our team again played good football, and made the pace merry from start to finish.

V.C. v Southern. At athletic Park, No. 2. The team which took the field was perhaps the best we have ever had, at any rate it equalled the record put up by a previous team, add defeated the enemy by 26 to 0. The forwards were equally matched, but our backs were decidedly superior, and they played the best game of the season. Duncan was the hero of the match, scoring no less than four tries, most of them after brilliant runs, which aroused the enthusiasm of the spectators. Phillips and Fairs scored a try each, while J. Ryan kicked three goals, and Phillips one.

V.C. v Athletic. At Karori. Here we suffered defeat by 6 to 0, and our chapter of accidents commenced. Shortly after the game started our "flier," Duncan, retired temporarily, owing to an injury to his ankle. During his absence the two tries, the only score of the match, were gained. Duncan returned to the field, but was compelled to retire, and is still a spectator. Wilson, who was resting, took his place, but we were unable to score.

V.C. v Orientals at Miramar. We had a very weak team, J. Ryan, one of our best, being absent, and not one of our three-quarter line being available, while our forwards were also altered, "Froggy" donned the jersey to help us out of a difficulty, and Russell reappeared as a senior. The junior three-quarters were palpably nervous, but acquitted themselves very creditably. We lost the match by 15 to 5, owing to the superiority of our opponents' backs, the best back team in the competition. Our forwards all played well, de la Mare, Curtayne and Wells being conspicuous, the last-named scoring a try just on the close of the game, and Curtayne added the major points. Our backs were outclassed, but Pownall, Young and Phillips played well. Pownall retired injured before the close, and has permanently retired from the game.

V.C. v Petone, on the Athletic Park. With high hopes, despite a weakened team, we faced our opponenets, but our hopes were dashed to the ground, for after a try by Phillips, which Ryan convered, we failed to score, while our opponents put on 18 points. The score does not represent the difference between the teams, for we made things very interesting most of the time. Our backs, with the exception of J. Ryan, who played a good game, were at fault, for our forwards, one and all, played a real good game, but Petone forwards are a very tough proposition.

V.C. v Melrose at Karori. During the match against Petone we cast eyes at the Melrose-Hutt contest, and came to the conclusion that we had a good chance to defeat both teams. We had the opportunity of testing our prophecy, on the following Saturday. This was the least enjoyable match of the season. We won by 12 to 0, tries being scored by Bertrand, Fair, Phillips and Ryan, but our place kicking was sadly at fault. Just on the close of the match Stainton retired, owing to an injury.

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Detailed List.
Against Result Points for Against
Poneke Lost 0 19
Old Boys Won 8 3
Southern Won 26 0
Athletic Lost 0 6
Oriental Lost 5 15
Petone Lost 5 18
Melrose Won 12 0
Total Points for... 56 61

Second Fifteen.

This season we were able to enter our Second Fifteen for the Junior Cup, and so far the team has been fairly successful. For the first two matches the team was a strong one. but accidents to members of the First Fifteen have deprived it of the services of most of the backs at various times, but it is a matter for congratulation that the First Fifteen have plenty of excellent material to fall back upon. The strength of our junior teams augurs well for the success of the future first fifteens.

The following matches have been played this term:—

V.C. v. Athletics. Lost by 11 to 6. College were leading at half-time, but lack of training told its tale in the second spell. The combination among the backs was good at times, and the forwards worked hard throughout. Burgess scored a try and Stainton kicked a penalty goal.

V.C. v. Old Boys. Lost by 9 to 8. We were very unfortunate in losing this game, scoring two tries, one of which Stainton converted. All the backs played well, and of the forwards Lyon, Turnbull and Kennedy were the pick, but their off side play cost us the match.

V.C. v. Oriental. Draw, 6 points each. This was perhaps the best game the team has played so far. The game throughout was fast and open. Burgess and Kennedy scored for College. Amongst the backs the most prominent were Howie, Stainton, and Auton, but all were good on the defence. Of the forwards the pick were Lyon, Daniell, and Morris.

V.C. v. Petone. Lost, 30 to nil. A fortnight's spell and an unfamiliar ground were chiefly responsible for our defeat. The play of the whole team was extremely disappointing, as it was outclassed from start to finish.

V.C. v. Poneke. Won, 21 to 3. This was our first victory, but as our opponents had only 12 men we were robbed of a certain amount page 82 of its glory. In this match we had to fall back on several members of the Third Fifteen, all of whom acquitted themselves well. Dobbie, Daniell, Morris, and Kennedy scored tries. Papps converted three tries and kicked a penalty goal.

V.C. v. St. James. Lost, 36 to nil. Another crushing defeat, Our opponents were far too good for us in all departments of the game. We were considerably weakened owing to several players being required by the First fifteen.

Third Fifteen.

V.C. v. Johnsonville. Won 5-3. V. Hall scored, Randrup kicked.

V.C. v. Porirua. Won 12—8. Among others, Henderson and Inder scored. This match was played with two men short.

V.C. v. Orientals. Lost 25—0. Two men were away, the team being otherwise as usual.

V.C. v. Poneke. Lost 15—7. Aston, Melody and Dabble playing. Johnston dropped a goal from almost half-way. Larcombe scored.

V.C. v. Athletics. Lost 11—9. Poor team, and one man short.

V.C. v. St. John's. Won 19—3. Two men short. Skinner played his first game with us, the team being otherwise as usual. The scorers were Inder (2), Cash, McKenzie, and Skinner. Inder converted two.

Fourth Fifteenth.

V.C. v. Melrose. Beaten 16-3. Playing with twelve men and a wind (?) that blew right down the field, we could hardly hope for any other resplt than 16-3. Wood scored only one try.

V.C. v. Orientals A. Lost 14-0. In this match we gave a fairly good account of ourselves. Although we were playing one of the strongest teams in the competition, it was near the end of the game before they scored many points. The forwards showed lack of condition towards the end of the game, but the backs defended well.

V.C. v. Oriental B. Lost, 29-11. We were unfortunate right from the beginning, as at least six suffered from temporary disablement. The game was fast, ended too fast for us. The forwards lacked any dash, while the collaring of the backs was at times deplorable. Tries were scored by Edie (2), and Engelbretsen. McCartney converted One.

V.C. v. Petone. Lost, 21-3. In this game the opposing forwards were too Strong, and, in consequence, our backs did not see much of the ball, and when they did, the exceedingly rough nature of the ground prevented any rapid motion. Our only score was a penalty goal kicked by McCartney, a really fine kick.

V.C. v. St. Johns. Won, 13-0. Although our team, on paper, seemed to be the weakest we had yet played, we nevertheless established our first win. We played only fourteen men, but everyone worked with a will. Tries were scored by McConnell, McCormick, and Edie. McCartney converting two.

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V.C. v. Southern. Lost, 36-3. Disheartening is the term applicable to this game. We started the game with 11 men, and were joined by one during the match. This deplorable state of affairs is due partly to the Rugby Union, who announced the fixtures wrongly, partly to the Club, who delayed the selection of the team, and partly to the absent players, who did not take the trouble to find out whether they were playing or not. Middlemass scored.

V.C. v. Athletic. Lost, 6-3. The same old story, two men short. Playing against the wind in the first spell, we kept our opponents back, but the strain told in the second spell. Edie scored, and Athletics scored two tries in succession in the last few minutes.

(The team, those who played, desire to acknowledge their indebtedness to the two members who failed to put in an appearance.)

V.C. v. Oriental B. Lost 29—11.

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