The Spike or Victoria University College Review 1934
We wish we were able to describe this as one of the most successful seasons in the history of the Club, but all the joy in our success has been lost for us by one tragic blow. On September 2nd we were shocked by the terrible news that Jack Ruru had lost his life. As a member of our Senior team for four years and out brilliant captain for this season he, with one or two others, had been largely responsible for bringing our Club once again to a leading place in Wellington football, and we had looked forward to further honours next year with him as our leader. In the years he has been with us at Victoria he had, by his ever brilliant play and gentlemanly bearing, won the admiration of all Wellington footballers and the affection of his own team-mates. We had come to know him as the finest of footballers and the fairest of sportsmen. May his spirit journey safely to Hawaiiki.
As to the Club's performances this season, we record with satisfaction that for the first time since 1929 we have won a grade championship-in fact we have won two. According to our records, the Club has never before won a lower grade. All honour then to the Third C's and Fourths for breaking this dismal record. Generally speaking the Club's performances have been exceptionally good, and we derive great satisfaction from the fact that we were fourth in the Club championship-no mean feat when one considers the number of Clubs playing in Wellington. Seven teams were entered in the competitions and a brief record of their performances is as follows:—
At the beginning of the season this team lost five prominent players, who saw fit to transfer to other Clubs, but despite this, the other old members with R. E. Diederich at their head stuck together, and with a sprinkling of new blood the team played splendid football. The result was that at the end of the first round it merited promotion to the First Division, whence it had been demoted at the end of 1932. Only one game was won in the second round, but there were several narrow defeats, and on the whole it was generally considered by outsiders that the team had proved it was worth a place in the top grade. Next year it is to be hoped the team will be given a chance in the First Division from the commencement of the season. The players have trained well, and have been splendidly coached by Mr. J. D. Mackay. Mention must also be made of the services of Mr. Roy Brien, who acted as masseur. The forwards have all played well, with Burke, last year a third grade man, always outstanding. In the backs Jack Ruru was the mainstay on defence and attack, and Rae also showed good form.
This team has again had a lean year. The forwards have been a rattling good pack, but have apparently been let down by the backs. Mr. T. G. Hislop took up the coaching of the team later in the season and thereafter great improvement was shown. Bradshaw was the captain. 16 games were played; 2 won; 14 lost; points for 96; against 247.
This team has had a successful year and attained quite a good position on the ladder. The forwards played solidly all through, especially Wilson, Hansen and Thurston, but the backs often failed to finish off their movements. The captain was Wilton, and Mr. L. Bansgrove the coach of the side. Played 13; won 8; lost 3; drawn 2; points for 94; against 62.
Like the Juniors, this side had a fair season and held its own on the ladder, though more games were lost than won. Of the forwards it can be said that they all played well and Holderness and Lee were prominent in the backs. The captain was P. Buddie and the coach Mr. R. Roberts. The team's record was: played 13; won 5; lost 8; points for 111; against 128.
It seems the Third B's misfortune always to have a bad season. There is no reason why any lower grade team should not do well, as witness the performance of the Third C's. More regular attention to training would give the Third B's better results. The team was coached by Mr. Beaumont and captained by B. Campbell. The team's performances showed marked improvement towards the end of the season—Kelly and Watson in particular showing keenness. 15 games were played; 4 won; 9 lost; 2 drawn; points for 63; against 114.
This side, comprised almost entirely of Weir House men, some of whom had been on the bank for years, showed remarkable spirit. With a series of wins at the beginning of the year, they found that they were expected to win, and set to and trained well, with the result that they kept up their record, and ran out winners of their grade by a good margin. The captain, organiser and manager was Birks, though several others took a hand when the team got on the ground; but all the players are to be congratulated on sticking together to win. Their record is an impressive one—played 14; won 12; lost 2; points for 138; against 27. Redwood and one FitzGerald were outstanding in the backs; and Birks led the forwards well with Sage always in support.
For several years our policy of keeping the under 19 men in the Fourth grade has shown good results, and with some particularly fine players this year it has brought us the Championship. The team began the season with some amazing wins, and with the careful coaching of Mr. H. E. Moore was able to keep up its record to the end, playing fine football all through. We are glad that this team has done so well and look to its members to take prominent places in the higher teams in the next few years. Of the forwards Gibbons, Akel, Armour, Boyd-Wilson and Broad have been prominent amongst a very solid pack; in the backs Overton, Simm, Tricklebank and Te Punga have played outstanding games. The team's record speaks for itself—played 16; won 14; lost 1; drawn 1; points for 354; against 36.
We would congratulate the members of the Club who gained places in representative trials and teams. J. Ruru played in the Wellington representatives, and R. Burke was chosen to train for the side. Marshall and Wilson were selected for the Junior reps., and Hansen and Tugwell for the trials, and Wallace, Hercus, Redwood and FitzGerald for the third grade trials, Wallace and Hercus being emergencies for the Wellington third grade reps., Gibbons, Boyd-Wilson, Akel, Simm, Overton, Te Punga and Tricklebank for the Fourth trials. Overton gained a place in the Wellington Fourth grade reps., Simm and Te Punga being emergencies.
Massey College Games:
This year a home and away game was played with Massey College. On June 3rd they came down and met our Senior B team on Kelburn Park. The game was a good one, and our men played solidly though beaten by 15 to nil. The Massey men were entertained at a dinner after the game and afterwards at a musical comedy show.
On June 15th we sent up a team with mostly Senior backs and Senior B forwards which played at the Palmerston North Show grounds. The game was considered one of the best in Palmerston for the year. Our team finally won by 15 to 11, when a spectacular last-minute try was scored by Hislop and converted by Ruru. We were later entertained at a dinner and the College Capping Ball, which was again a splendid show.
Canterbury College Game:
Canterbury came up for the annual game at Athletic Park on August 1st this year. The game was interesting but rather dull with flashes of good play. Victoria avenged last year's defeat with a win by 16 to 7.
Te Aute College Game:
As usual a team of players of under 21 made the trip for the popular game with Te Aute at Waipukurau on August 18th. Our team was captained by Wilton and managed by Blacker and were successful in retaining the Pickett Cup with a win by 9 to 7. Once again the game aroused interest throughout Central Hawke's Bay and was brilliantly contested. We thank Central Hawke's Bay for arranging the game and for theit splendid hospitality again.
The Club s annual Dance was held at the College on June 30th, and though we were able to make a small profit, that is not the fault of the members, as most of those present were outsiders. However, the dance was most enjoyable.
This function was held on the 16th September last year and proved immensely popular. It is proposed to hold a similar function this year on the 15th September in conjunction with the Haeremai Club.
On the same day it is proposed to play the first of what it is hoped will become an annual fixture between Weir House and the rest of the University. It is possible that there will also be games between different grade teams.
This record of the Club's activities for the season would not be complete without a reference to the interest taken at all times by our President, Professor Kirk. We would assure the Professor that Club members have appreciated what he has done. We would also record our thanks to numerous others of our supporters in various grades whose encouragement has done much towards our success.