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The Spike: or, Victoria College Review, June 1915

[Review of the activities of the football club]

"They run, see how they run!"

—Fall of Quebec.

Sketch of man kicking rugby ball towards goal posts

It is, after all, pleasant and consoling to think that every branch of sport at the University has suffered heavily through the demands of the present war. The Football Club is no exception. Half our members have either gone or are going to active service, and no doubt most of the other half will follow suit when they attain the required age.

This is the astonishing thing about our Senior team this year—its size, or rather want of size. With the exception of Skipper Tom Beard, there is hardly a man who could turn the scale at twelve stone. (By-the-bye), if rumour lieth not, Skipper T. B. discovered, when he interviewed the Defence Medical Officer, that too many pounds of bone and muscle was a most heinous offence in the eyes of the authorities.) And I should guess the average age of the team at, say, 1975 years. The result is that it was rather amusing to see our small fellows following in the wake of such a pretty big lot as the Petone men are, when they marched on to Park No. 2 a few weeks ago.

Still it is a fine effort these young players are making, that of keeping the Senior football flag flying at Salamanca Road while others of the team are keeping a different sort of flag at the top of the flag pole on a very different sort of football field. It is good for them, and good for the Club; good for them, because they have a chance to shine which in the ordinary course they would page 88 not have had; and good for the Club, because once a team goes down junior it is almost impossible to get it back senior again. Possibly the Rugby Union might make an exception in the case of a war-depleted fifteen, and if we lose many more men I can see a deputation waiting on that august body; but I am strongly of opinion that the team should not on any account go down junior until it can't help it, and that even then it should extract a promise from the Union that it be restored to senior rank at the end of the war.

Mind you, the team has done excellently so far. Wellington did not win by much; Petone should not have won at all; Poneke had a bit of a day out, but the Poneke backs are very vigorous when on the winning side.

I would like to see some of those old players who have not gone away taking an occasional interest in the team. And could not some of them rally to the standard until they themselves go to the war? It is one of the finest means of training for things military. If they did, we might yet be able to get out a junior fifteen. At present we run only Senior and Third Grade.