The Spike: or, Victoria College Review September 1921
Another season—1921—has come and gone and has, without any question, proved one' of great enjoyment for both players and followers of the good old game. Never in the history of the game in this small country of ours has there been a season that bristled, if one might use the word, with as much excitement for everyone. Not even the advent to our shore of Bedell Sievwright's team of English players or of the Anglo-Welsh combination caused anything. Like the excitement among Rugby devotees as the visit of our friends the "Springboks." Just at a time. when Rugby Union people were beginning to look sideways at the gradual encroachment of the Northern Union Leaguers a boom has taken place in our own game of "Real Rugby" that has gone a long way to dispel any growing fear of any other game causing much serious opposition.
In the Wellington Senior Championship Competition our own University players did well—very well. Considering the fact that their star players were away for some time in Australia with the New Zealand University representatives we have every reason to congratulate them on their performances. The second round of the Competition was singularly successful as far as the College team was concerned.
During the season thirteen Championship games were played five of which were won and eight lost.
To show the standard of football being played by the team at the end of the season one has only the point out that University was chosen to meet the premier team in the challenge for the National Mutual Cup. This game was lost on the call of time by 9 point to 7 points, and although not a brilliant exhibition of the Rugby code, caused probably through over-eagerness on both sides, nevertheless produced a game in which great determination was displayed.
It is worthy of note that although 16 points were scored, neither line was crossed during the game. The College point were made up by a penalty kick by Thomas and a goal from the field by Siddells. G. G. Aitken was, through illness, unable to play in this game and his absence was keenly felt.
Since the return of members of the team that visited Australia, our backs have combined well, and are probably as good, if not better, than any rearguard in the city. The forwards are lighter than most of the packs in the Competition, but have always managed to hold their own. making up for any shortage in weight by that little extra "pep" that makes for the Real forward.
The following composed the regular first fifteen: Backs—G. G. Aitken (Captain), B. C. Dickson. Dr. Hutchison, A. Jackson, G. Mackay, S. K. Siddells, J. Trapski. Forwards—H. N. Burns, P Dryden, F. H. Sansen, P. Martin-Smith. A. D. McRae, D. H. Scott, C. B. Thomas. K. A. Woodward.
J. Stainton, R. R. Scott. E. Pope, A. Murray, S. Black, E. H. Luke, W. D. Kitching and N. A. J. Barker also played during the season.
We hold out our hand in hearty congratulation to George Aitken our Club Captain, who has most deservedly obtained the highest possible honour in New Zealand Rugby football, being selected as Captain of the New Zealand representative team playing against the redoubtable South Africans—a very high compliment page 40 to both Mr. Aitken and his University. It is quite needless be say that the selection was a most popular one. Along with S. K. Siddells he also represented Wellington on the 23rd July in the match against the Springboks.
Six of our number were included in the 1921 New Zealand University representative team to Australia, namely; G. G. Aitken (Captain), H. N. Burns, F. H. Hansen, A Jackson, D.H. Scott and S. K. Siddells.
This season is by far the best in the history of the Club as regards the number of players chosen from the University to represent Wellington G. G. Aitken, S. K. Siddells, A. Jackson, Dr. Hutchison, F. H. Hansen and G. McKay were all asked to tour north with the Wellington representatives, while D. H. Scott was chosen to play in the match against Marlborough.
To all of the above we also offer our sincere congratulations and hope that they will from a nucleus of the team for next year. Our thanks are due to Mr. E, Perry who during the season acted as coach to the senior team.
The junior teams although they have not gone far in their various grades nevertheless stuck together and shown sprit that augurs well for the future.
Our second team has really not been given a fair chance as many of the original fifteen were called on to fill the gaps in the senior ranks when some of the latter were absent in Australia. Most of those playing are young al the game and with more experience will later prove of great assistance in the formation of the seniors.
The team that represented the College in the fourth-grade competition was not very successful, but showed considerable improvement towards the end of the season.
There will be plenty of room for good Rugby triers at the top of the ladder in 1922, and getting there should be the aim of all Rugby players. We are more than hopeful of the University team for next year.
Third Grade (Touring Team).
A team was entered from this grade in the seven-a-side tournament held at Palmerston on the King's Birthday. Although we did not win the final in the Junior Section, we managed to beat the two leading teams in the Manawatu Union's Junior Competition. The final was a great match, marked by great tackling and fast, open play. A press report says: "The standard of football exhibited in this. match (i.e., the Final) was of a high order and outshone anything produced by the senior grades," Of what happened after the match little need be said.
The following players made the trip: Bryant, Britland, Fisher, Fletcher, Grant, Reid Tracey, Wiren. The thanks of all the tram are due to Mr. J. L Dighton for the way in which he "fathered " and managed the team.
The following are the results :—
Versus Linton, won 6—5, Tries by Tracey.
Versus Feilding A, Won 8—0. Tries by Tracey and Grant, one converted Grant.
Versus Old Boys, won 8—3 (semi-final). Tries by Britland, Tracey, one converted by Grant.
Versus High School lost 0—9.
The season has been very successful as compared with last year. Of 11 matches played, 5 were won, 5 lost and drawn. Points for 111 ageinst 92. Three matches were practically thrown away, against Poriru, Athletic and Y.M.C. A., while the team suffered in the earlier part of the season through lack of a good place kick. The team would like to take this opportunity of heartily thanking Mr. Dighton for his invaluable services as coach and barracker. His efforts have done much for the improvement of the team.
The following are the results of the Club matches :—
Versus Johnsonville, won 13—3. Tries by Caigou (2), Ellis, converted tries by Grant and Kent.
Versus Selwyn, won 14—10. We were lucky to win.
Versus Porirua, lost 12—3. Varsity played only ten men.
Versus Athletic, lost 10—9 Bad collaring on the part of the backs lost the game.
Versus Wellington, drawn 3—3 by Britland. The last five minutes proved our downfall.
Versus Marist, won 9—3. Tries by Ellis (2), and Britland. A good kick greatly needed.
Versus Berhampore, lost 17—6. Tries by Britland and Wiren.page 41
Versus Y.M.C.A., lost 7—3. Penalty goal by Leadbetter. Of this nothing need be said.
Versus Porirua, won 11—8 Tries by Ellis, Reid, and Fraser, one converted by Leadbetter.
Versus Eastbourne, lost 13—0. The elements were against us. some did not enjoy the trip home '
Versus Oriental, won 33—3. Tries by Ellis (2), Britland (2). Leadbettor (2), Caigou, Kent, Reid Converted tries by Kent, Leadbetter, Caigou. The others had ton men—'nuff said.
After having made a thorough itinerary of the Manawatu line, visiting Porirua, Taihape, Paekakariki and other places, we went to sea. After that we gave it up and decided to take a tourisl ticket.