ASHBURTON-RAKAIA v ASHBURTON ROVERS.
The first match between the senior club of the j district and the reoently formed Rovers took place yesterday afternoon at the Domain, The ground was m capital order, and there was a fair number of spectators present though the cold wind kept many away. Neither side had its beet team, and eaoh for a time played with a man short: Great progress m the game was Bhewed by the Rovers; m back play they even shewed a superiority to the older club, but they were wanting m weight and cohesion m the sorimrnaqes, and the forwards shewed none of those rushes I witt the. ball at their feet by wbioh their Burliora gained so muoh ground. The Ashburton«Rakaia team seemed somewhat out of condition, bat warmed up and shewed some good bits of play at times. The team were very well matched, the elder olub winning by a try (one point) to nothing, after a very wellOi tested Rame. The Rovers kicked off, but after a momentary advantage were repulsed to their twenty-five, the Ashbnrton forwards oarrying their opponents before them. The Rovers' backs made a good defenoe, and by some smart runs and kioking into touoh worked their way to the Ashburton end, but as soon as the Ashburton forwards rallied the soene of the play was again removed to the Rovers' ground. Three or four of these changes took place, m one of them A. Fooks making a good attempt to run m, but Stewart and H. Moss saved their side. Some fast play m the open followed, but the red forwards again assumed the offensive, and from some loose scrimmaging about the Rovers' twenty-five Strange made a gdodrun round his opponents and oroßSed their line, where he was oollared and fell, dropping the ball, but Leohner was at hand and scoured it. EU. Fooks took the plaoe-kiok, but was unsuoaessful the angle Joeing a wide one. Immediately afterwards were again dose on their cp. ponenta' line, and a Iree kiok to the latter almost on the line was of little effeot, but the backs again oama to the resoue, and after some quick short passes the ball was' punted m touoh near tbe centre flag, where it was at the cud of the spell, the Asbburton Olub having had somewhat the beat of the latter part of the play. In the second spell play was carried on m midfield for some time, but the better ohanoes afforded to the Rovers' backs gave them the opportunity to assail their opponents' goal. Their organisation, however, was wanting at the oritioal moment, and the old Olub relieved their lines. Soon afterwards they were again menaoed, but Oowe stopped Stewart m an otherwise unimpeded run. Stewart soon returned to the charge, and some hard play resulted m the Reds being f oroed down. The Ashburtorf from this out played a safe game, and though the ball was seldom out of their half of the ground for the rest of the game, it was seldom within their twenty-five, and the matoh ended without farther score.
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