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The Spike Golden Jubilee Number May 1949

5. A New Decline—1947-8

5. A New Decline—1947-8

Perhaps it was over-confidence, perhaps lack of keenness, perhaps lack of quality, that toppled the First XV from its proud place. In 1947, in spite of the presence of some eight representative players—Macleod, Shannon, Meads, Jacob, Radich, Burke, S. S. Kurtovich, and C. B. Burden—and four New Zealand University Blues in Meads, Shannon, Jacob and Macleod, the Senior team finished in an inglorious position in the Hardham Cup competition. After some initial successes, the team suffered a series of reverses. The finish and drive which had distinguished the play in 1946 was missing, and the side, though occasionally brilliant, was more often sluggish and unpolished. Nor did the performance of the lower grade teams do much to dispel the gloom cast over the Club's activities.

Hope for the future was the only consolation, but reality was coy. The Colts XV were runners-up, but the First XV, notwithstanding a really promising end of season burst, were not able to improve their final grade position, and remained low down in the Hardham Cup table. Only towards the winter's end did the Senior team begin to play with polish and verve—four wins and one draw in sixteen matches tells its own story. Representative honours were gained by Meads, Jacob, R. T. Shannon and R. G. Wilde, who all played for Wellington teams; by the two first mentioned and C. A. Shannon who represented New Zealand University against Auckland; and by Jacob who toured New Zealand and Fiji with the New Zealand Maoris and was reserve back for the North Island.

That is the record of Victoria College Rugby. Many seasons, for results, have been poor and barren: no winter can seem dull, stale, or un-profitable which has given so many the opportunity of playing Rugby with or against the finest that Wellington or New Zealand can produce, the best of friends, companions, and rivals.

J. B. Trapp