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SMAD. An Organ of Student Opinion. 1934. Volume 5. Number 3.

'Varsity Rugby Shows Great Improuement — First XV In Review

page 7

'Varsity Rugby Shows Great Improuement

First XV In Review.

Faced with the loss of five of last year's forward line the prospects of the first fifteen at the start of the season looked anything but bright. However after five games in which the fifteen's line has been crossed but once, it certainly seems that there is a great deal in the contention of those who maintained that the added keenness on the part of the young forwards who are playing for the first time in the pack, would more than make up for the loss of those players who left the Club.

In the games played the pack has performed very creditably, although the team, both back and forward, did not show up in too favourable light in the Miramar game. Burke, the centre hook, has been a real find, whilst Elliott has been playing splendidly. Diederich is again in fine form, and Blacker and Middlebrook make a solid pair of locks. MacKenzie, playing in the back row of the scrum, has also been seen in favourable light.

Except in the Miramar game, when the backs showed an unwillingness to go up to their opponents when they had the ball, the rearguard have handled and run with determination and success this season. In McElwain the Club has discovered a wing of distinct promise, and one who has the makings of a wing of championship class. He should remember, however, not to overrun his passes. Rae, the N.Z. University half-back, has been a tower of strength in all the games, as also has Burn, whilst. MacKenzie, who has been tried at first five-eighths, looks to be getting an understanding of his position, and should strengthen the team by his inclusion. Wild has been good, especially in the Onslow game. However, the defence of the inside backs has in a few games left something to be desired, and a sterner defence by the five-eighths must be cultivated if the team proceeds to the first division, where the opposition will be of a stronger nature. Hislop was showing his old form until injured. Both full-backs tried, Cormack and Tricklebank, have been very safe.

The team seems certain to win its way into the first division, and should it do so, there is no reason why it should not win games there.

(Not so certain now that the Johnsonville game has been played, but we can expect a great effort against St. Pats.—Best of luck to the Team on the King's Birthday—Ed.)