THE RANFURLY SHIELD.
AUCKLAND V. WELLINGTON. GBEAT LOCAL VICTORY. _JH EXCITING GAME. On Saturday the first serious ques«f the season respecting the fity of Auckland t„ keep the , 'and white floating above the itniurly Sbi-ld was put to Northern ZdV cnthusiasti.. But loyalty prevailed Ifdaubt. and Hi- shHd holders took _ filed with the warn, pulse of their thousand lusty supporters beating konerallv. manfully, in harmony with the Lrit of the team who play to win and i ' f or realisation of their ambitions. weeks n_o Wellington had many gome w* l X ''■- " • inc klanders on their side, but gradually, the day l; f I'.'tt'c drew nigh, Aucklanders returned to ~nd. and in tn , c sporting fashion scut their champions to the ground with a unanimous vote in their favour. The beams took the field as follows: — WELLINGTON (Black). Fullbacks .1. Ryan. Three-quarter?: A. Ewnson. F. Mitchinson. .1. Magee. Five-eighths: McLeod and F. Roberts (captaini. Half-hack "• C. Orcen. Wing-forward: \V. Hnrdhnm. Forwards: fi. Hamilton, T. Trezise, C. Wilson. Arthur W'il.-on, D. Hush, W. F. Alexander, 11. Dewar. AUCKLAND (Blue and White.) Full-back: A. Renwick. Three-quarters: F. Wilson, G. Murray, and Johnston. Five-eighths: It. Magee and G. -later. Half-back: Morse. Wing forward: 05. Gillett (captain). Forwards: J. McGuire, i-\ lfcring, H. Francis, W. Cunningham. G. Nicholson, C. Seeling, and K. Hayward. Emergencies: Racks —Coote and Winder; forwards —Maguiro (Grafton) and Young. Mr John Williams, of Dunedin, referred. The attendance at two o'clock was, conservatively estimated, 10 100. The main stand was packed, and the auxiliary stand on the northern side was also well filled, while the remainder of the seating accommodation was being quickly taken up. The attendance at 3 o'clock would probably exceed 14,000. The takings amounted to over £1000. The Mayor and Airs alyers, and Mr G. Campbell (president of the New Zealand Union) were also present. The public schools match, Auckland v. Franklin, provided the spectators with plenty of sensation in the matter of scoring, the local boys running over the visitors to the tune of over half a century of points. The exact score was Auckland fill points, Franklin nil. The Auckland junior reps. v. WhanEgarei provided a capital prologue to the Wellington match. The sides were evenly matched, and some exciting play was witnessed. The first spell ended with the scores: Auckland 6, Whangarei 3, all penalty goals, which gives some idea of how close the play was. Both the Auckland scores were registered by Sergeant, ivhiJe Whangarei's score' was tmde by Harding. Whangarei were pressingtowards the end of the spell, and after resuming, had all the best of the play, narrowly missing a score on a couple of occasions. From a scrum formed near the line, L. McLean got over, and Harding made a good but ineffectual shot at goaf (Auckland 6, Whangarei 6.) Whangarei continued to have the best of the play bat the game ended" without further Kore. His Excellency the Governor (Lord Plunket), Lady Plunket and party arrived at the ground at a quarter to three and on reaching the delegates' stand were' heartily cheered, the people standing whilst tho National Anthem was played. The Ministerial party arrived shortly afterwards, and were greeted with cheers. 'IHE GAME. It was just 12 minutes to three, when Gillett led the Auckland team on to the field, followed immediately afterwards by the Wellington men, Tne teams then walked down to the stand, where the vice-regal party were seated, and gave three hearty cheers for his Excellency. Auckland won the toss, and Wellington kicked off from the eastern end, having the advantage of a strong easterly breeze. Rush set the ball in motion at five minutes to three. Tlie exchange of kicks ended in Renwick finding the line at centre. Wellington secured from the first scrum, but for " lifting " Auckland was awardied a free kick. Morse marked from the line, and Gillett kickiDg hard, play went to Wellington's 25. Green secured from the throw-in, and sent play back to centre, with a useful kick. The Auckland forwards broke away from the line, but Roberts stopped the rush. Play remained neutral. Wellington set up an attack, but offside play pulled them up, and Ryan failing to field Gillett's kick, play was close to Wellington's line. Auckland secured from the throw-in, and a passing rush. Morse to Magee to Hater, the last player's pass was intercepted by -litehinson, who was stopped by Wilson. Auckland's forwards broke away, and l Evensen failing to field the ball, matters looked dangerous for Wellington, but a lucky kick by one of the forwards got them out of trouble. Murray, however, With a beautiful kick, sent them right back to the Wellington goaL Wellington's forwards, headed by Hardham and Wilson, carried the leather down the field, where Renwick picked up. but was cellared before lie could get rid of the ball, and Wellington getting possession, a passing run, in which McLeod 1 , Mitchinson and Kvensen were prominent, threatened Auckland's line, the leather goiiifc' into touch right at the corner. Auckland's forwards cleared their line, and with a great rush, in which all took J hand, sent play to well past centre. Wellington were getting the ball in the Mnini more often than Auckland, but the locaLs were harrying them in the loose work-, ivicholson and Herring headed a rush which looked dangerous, Magee just nipping it in the nick of time. "Wellington broke away from the line-out, Hardham showing ~u t in some good foot *°rk which was well stopped by Kenwick. Wellington returned to the at™*i and) a faulty kick by Renwick gave Roberts a chance. He cross-kicked, and Johnson being collared with the ball, Blatters looked threatening fur Auckland, b -t Morse, whipping in, secured and to Gillett, who kicked well down «w field. Auckland attacked hotly, and •iter some loose passing, Wilson got across, but just went into touch at the Corner flag, and shortly after Wellington relief with a force after lflmins. play. Auckland kept up a strong attack, passing the ball about freoly in front of Wellington's goaL Morßo passing out finely to *HE<*, but the latter dropped tlie ball, **-. WtHiwKtc-!.. rallyhMS round saved the
situation. From the scrum the ball was sent out to Bater, who wriggled across, but lost tlie ball, and Wellington forced. Auckland were having much the best of the play, and Francis getting away, passed out to Herring, who was collared before getting the ball away, thus losing a certain chance to score. Auckland kept their supporters on the tip-toe of excitement, and there appeared every chance of a score, but the opportunity was lost through Morse giving a faulty pass. Wellington were enabled to clear their line through the instrumentality of Green and Roberts. Here Magee tried at goal from a mark, making a fine attempt, but the ball fell a little short. Rush headed an attack into Auckland's 25, and Magee and Hayward sent them back to centre with timeh kicks. With the aid of a mark Wellington returned near Auckland's 2ii. Roberts opened up an attack just on Auckland's 25. Johnston intercepted heautilully. and raced to the opposing 25. where he cross-kicked, but the wind carried the ball clear of Nicholson, and an absolutely sure chance of scoring was lost. Wellington saved with a line kick to centre. An exchange of kicks left play at midfield. A. Wilson broke away, and dribbled to Murray, who picked up. w dson shoved him off the ball, and continued the rusn. Wellington were having slightly the best of scrambling play when the hall got out in Auckland's 25. Bater put H "llington into a tight corner by kicking down to their goal. Rush turned the tables, taking play into Auckland's 25, and to Renwick, who made a poor return. Green. Roberts, and Kvensen took the ball to Auckland's line, but the defence was solid, Auckland eventually clearing and obtaining the mastery in the loose,' rushed play to the opposing 25 line, where Herring put in some very clever work I-rancis secured, and made n dash for the line, and then threw out to Wilson, who was forced out at the corner \ free kick gave relief to Wellington. Gillett made _ nlcc opening, and sent on to i„"i ° „ Ut in R P lpnc 'Wl.v, and passed to Hater, who scored on the far side of the posts after 33 minutes' play. Maffee converted— , --__.- Auckland ~.. k Wellington .......' nil Wellington attacked from the kick-out but their work was loose, and from Roberts to Mitchinson to Ma-r ee ended in the last - named knocking forward at the 20. Keeping up the attack, Wilsoc secured from the line out, made a splendid opening, and hounded on to A.exander, who scored near the corner. Ryan failed at goal, Auckland 5 WeUinjjton » 3 The spoil ended without further score. SECOND SPELL. Francis kicked off for Auckland at 13 minutes to 4. Ryan returned to near centre. Gillett smothered Evensen, preventing his return, and the ball was forced) out in Wellington's 25. Magee intercepted a pass, and ran into Auckland's 25. where he kicked to midfield, and over the heads of all the Auckland backs. Wilson outpaced the opposition, and secured the ball, but in trying to get round slipped in front of his goal. A ti<»ht scrummage ensued, but eventually Johnston, Magcc and Seeling transferred play to the half. A mis-field by Murray again let Wellington into the Auckland 25, but temporarily only, for Johnston, with a nice line kick, returned) play past the half. Through hesitating Murray nearly let his side down rather badly, but Nicholson saved the situation. An interchange of kicks left play at centre. Herring started the Auckland backs moving, but Murray was pushed out at the 25. Roberts made a dashing run down the line and kicked to Auckland's 25. Wilson and Morse dived for the ball, and missed it. Both sides rallied round the ball, and tight work followed, Auckland eventually finding relief with a free kick, Gillett sending out at centre. The visitors' backs went across the field with a dangerous passing run. which was spoilt by faulty handling. Auckland broke away from the line out, and Gillett kicked past the half. Wellington secured the ball from the scrum, but Bater got on to Roberts before the latter could make use of his opportunity. Roberts got the ball away, but Wilson turned the tide, and kicked out near the corner. Gillett and Herring were conspicuous in passmg, which threatened Wellington. For illegail play in a scramble on Wellington's line, Auckland were penalised; the relief to Wellington was only momentary. Magee had a penalty shot, bnt the ball fell short. Auckland sent the visitors into the tatter's 25, and then Wellington gained by an exchange of kicks. Roberts and Mitchinson im- | proved the position, and took play to Auckland's 25. Wilson saved by running round and kicking out past centre. Ryan, failing to field, let Auckland into his 25. Auckland made strenuous efforts to score, and though Wellington found relief by the smart play of their backs, they had a busy time defending. Play was as willing as one could wish, and both sides were intercepting passes frequently, the result being that play vacillatea between the centre and Wellington's goal. At one stage Herring trot across, but the local supporters' hopes were dashed to the ground, because the players who had previously handled the ball stepped over the boundary line. In the middle of loose play Bater picked up cleverly, and. cutting in, made a nice opening for Murray, who was far out on the wing. The latter hustled across, and', although grassed by Mitchinson and McLeod. succeeded in grounding the ball. Magee converted from a difficult angle. Auckland 10 Wellington —. 3 Wellington got down to Auckland's 25 from tho kick out, but a long kick by Gillett sent them back to their 25. Luck seemed to be going against Wellington. The ball bounced away from a couple of their backs, but Ryan managed to secure. He was hard pressed, however, and ran back quite teu yards to get round the Auckland players. Finding himself still hemmed in, he attempted to extricate himself by running round behind his glial, but was collared, and a scrum formed 10 yards out. Within the next minute, the ball was again forced over Wellington's line, and Roberts saved. Auckland were awarded a penalty kick near the 25, and Magee landed a beautiful goal. Auckland „ 13 Wellington — 3 Roberts led an attack from the kickout, and at midfield made a short kick. Bater secured, and with 11 great burst got past the Wellington backs. He was hotly pursued, but got over and scored. Magcc converted. Auckland 18 Wellington 3 Auckland were punishing the visitors with a vengeance, and another try was soon notched. This was a beautiful piece of work, and the ball was handled by Francis.. Nicholson, Seeling, Gillett, Bater, Ma-
gee, Johnston anid Murray, the last-named getting over. The passing was so rapid that it was almost impossible to follow the course of the ball. Magee's shot was just outside the posts. .Auckland , 21 Wellington 3 From a line-out. Seeling gave the ball to Nicholson, who dashed over and scored, little resistance being offered. Magee failed with the kick. Auckland _. ~ 24 Wellington 3 Wellington, in the earlier stages, had played remarkably well, but were now completely demoralised, the pace evidently being too hot. Tresize retired at this stage. The Auckland forwards rushed the ball across once more, and Wellington just saved by kicking across the dead ball line, and no-side sounded with the scores — Auckland ...-. .._....< 24 Wellington ~..... 3 THE GAME REVIEWED. The final score, though it is so Heavily in Auckland's favour, gives little idea of the real character of the game. Before play started it was generally believed that Auckland's forwards would pull off another victory for us. But by half-time Auckland was leading by only five points to three, and could not be said to have had. much the best of the argument. The Wellington forwards certainly played with great dash for the first half of the game. They frequently beat our men in footwork and on the line-out, and they used their weight in the scrums for all it was worth. Auckland generally succeeded in rushing the ball down towards the Wellington end, when it became absolutely necessary to clear the lino, but on the whole our forwards certainly did not at first display that marked superiority over Wellington that they were expected to show. They seemed slow to get off the mark, and on the line-out, particularly, they often waited too long, instead of passing out quickly or putting the ball down to dribble. It is possible that their two recent easy victories over weak teams had made them over-confident, and most likely had put thejn off their usual dashing game. But whatever the cause, the fact remains that up to half-time the Wellington pack had successfully kept our forwards at bay for most of the game; and as the Wellington backs, more especially Green. Roberts, and Mitchinson, were distinctly better than our own, Auckland's supporters had a good many anxious moments to get through before the tide finally turned in our favour. As soon as tlie second spell began, it was evident that the pace was telling on the Wellington forwards. Gillett's clever work on the touc hline made several openings for Auckland, but for some time slight mistakes, and on one occasion genuine bad luck, prevented a score. But Auckland kept up the pressure, in spite of the strenuous efforts of Roberts and Mitchinson to break through, and at last they were rewarded. The Auckland forwards were now playing more vigorously, and their fine tackling prevented the Wellington backs from making much headway, while, as tbe men behind the scrums were now being rushed by our heavy forwards, their line kicking, which had been good hitherto, began to lose length and direction. After the second try had been gained — it was due to a clever pick up in the loose by Bater, who made a fine opening for Murray — it was evident that Wellington was fading away. The next score — a fine penalty goal kicked by Magee — was too much for them, and from this moment the Auckland forwards absolutely controlled the game. The consequence was that the many thousands present were treated to one of the finest exhibitions of passing rushes that has been seen here for many a day. Breaking away from the line-out, or pushing up in the loose, our fast and heavy forwards simply overwhelmed the opposition. Murray's socond try was originally due to Francis who got away splendidly from linevout, and passed to Seeling, who started the ball across the field. It went through seven pairs of hands in all before it got to Murray, the men going at top speed, and pacing with beautiful precision. Almost immediately afterwards Seeling and Nicholson went through with a sudden dash that left the defenders staring helplessly at them. Seeling got away from a line-out with a splendid rush, and passed like a flash to Nicholson, who was well clear of the line of defence, and had only to walk over and ground the ball. It was a lovely bit of play, which only first-class forwards could have executed. But in the last twenty minutes of the game there were constant flashes of brilliancy that more than redeemed the reputation of the Auckland forwards, and enabled Wellington's supporters to understand how and why we have retained the Ra.nfurly Shield against such determined opposition. From what has been said, it may be gathered that the game was chiefly a forward one; but it must not be imagined that the backs had little to do. The Wellington backs tried desperately to open up the game, and make use of their superiority in this respect, and our own backs liad thus a good deal of defensive work to do in the first half of the game. Morse played cleverly and pluckily behind the scrum: Magee was, as usual, steady and safe, and, in addition, did some splendid goal kicking; and Bater, though a little shaky in tight places, showed great cleverness in picking up and passing out. In th? three-quarter line, Murray was sound in defence, as always, and he played more evenly than in the la-t two matches. Wilson did all that was required of him, kicking exceptionally well; and on one occasion relieved with a tine run across the ground and round to the opposite wing, where a score might have resulted if he had passed to his supporters. Johnston did some good work, but was rather patchy, nearly letting the Wellington wing three-quarter in once. Renwick's only fault was that he was often too near the three-quarter line, and had to run hack to get the long kicks from Wellington backs. On the whole, his own kicking was first-class, and the play of our backs generally was quite up to the level of their best games this Beason. As to the Wellington bocks, on the whole they played as well as could be expected with their forwards badly beaten toward the end of the game. Green is a decidedly clever half, though rather small for so hard worked a position. Roberts was as good as ever; and one opening which he made in the first s|>ell was a particularly fine effort that would have inevitably" ended iv a score if the wing threcquarter had not dropped the ball. Mitchinson, who, like Green, is on the light side, made some fine dashes, and is evidently a hard man to stop. Magee and Evensen were /air in all departments, and Ryan, the fullback, except for running ba«k behind his own goal line on one conspicuous occasion,, did his work well, and kicked coolly and accurately till he waa rushed by the forwards at the end of the game. The Wellington forwards all worked
Te ry hard, the most noticeable being "Ranji." Wilson, who on his play should be good enough for the N.Z. "rep." team. But it was evident when the decisive struggle came in the last half of the second spell that they could not keep up their end against our men. Of our own forwards, it is sufficient to Bay that Gillett, Seeling, Nicholson and Francis played up to their best form, while the other men ably supported them. A word oi praise is due to Magee's fine goal-kicking; and on the whole the Auckland team and the local Rugby Union may fairly be congratulated on the brilliant victory, which leaves them still the proud possessors of the Ranfurly Shield. THE TEAMS ENTERTAINED. The Auckland and Wellington teams were entertained at dinner by the A.R.U. at the Imperial Hotel after the match. Mr. A. E. Devore, president of th 3 A.R.U., presided, and among those present were Messrs. G. F. C. Campbell, president of the New Zealand Rugby Union, J. Murray, manager of the Wellintgon team, and) Mr. E. D. Hoben, founder of the New Zealand Rugby Union. Mr. Devore presented R, Magee with the football used in the match in recognition of that player's goal kicking performance, and the players of both teams inscribed their names on the ball. F. Roberts, captain of the visiting team, and also the manager, referred to the " absolute impartiality of the Auckland football public," and congratulated the A.R-U. on the possession of a great team. The teams attended l a water-excursion yesterday, and the outing proved most enjoyable. Tlie Wellington team left Onehunga for the South this afternoon, and will play the Taranaki reps, at New Plymouth on Thursday next, and Wanganui at Wanganui on Saturday. CANTERBURY v. SOUTHLAND. EASY WIN FOR THE FORMER. CHRISTCHURCH, Saturday. The Canterbury- and Southland teams met to-day on a good ground in fine weather. In the first spell Southland held the upper hand in forwards, especially on tho line-out, but their good work was checked by long kicking. The Canterbury backs handled the ball very cleverly, and Fryer scored two tries, aftei smart passing rushes. Towards the end of t'e spell the Canterbury forwards rallied, and, after ropeated attempts, Gathhome added the third try. In the second spell, Canterbury had all the better of the play, Southland rallies being good but spasmodic. The Canterbury forwards were getting the ball in the scrum and gave the backs every opportunity. Fuller scored and converted, and soon afterwards scored again. Southland then rallied, and Blackham and Pyle put in good runs, enabling Gennins to score between the posts. Glasgow converted. Fryer made splendid runs from the halfway and scored by himself, beating all opposition, and Doeil converted. Canterbury eventually won by twenty-two to five. HAWKE'S BAT v. HOROWHETTUA. NAPIER, Saturday. Hawke's Bay defeated Horowhenua by 35 points to nil. DUNEDEN NOTES. (By Telegraph.—Special to "Star.") DUNEDIN, Saturday. * THE RUGBY FIXTURES. A country week began to-day. Vincent beat Maniototo iv all departments of the game, winning by 32 to G. Vincent's play, both in the back and forward divisions, was quite equal to tlie best seen this suason. Varcoe olayed a great game at five-eighths, and Divyer was conspicuous at centre threcquarter. North Otago (10) beat South Otago (3). It was a very poor game; North Otago won by the superiority of their forwards, The bock play on both sides was disappointing. ASSOCLVTION. The Association senior results are: — Mornington A (1 goal) v. Maori Hill (0) ; Southern (6) v. Roslyn (3); Waikari (10) v. Mornington (3).
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THE RANFURLY SHIELD., Auckland Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 196, 17 August 1908
THE RANFURLY SHIELD. Auckland Star, Volume XXXIX, Issue 196, 17 August 1908
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