WITH THE PROFESSIONAL "ALL BLACKS."
w THE BRAMLEY MATCH. NOTES ON THE PLAY. (By A. H. Baskebvimj:.) LEEDS, October 10. The New Zealand professional Rugby football team's tour opened auspiciously on Saturday at Bramley. Tho enthusiastic reception of the "All Blacks" by the Yorkshire people on their arrival created great interest all over Great Britain, so that about 8000 people assembled at the Barley Mow Ground, Bramley. to witness the first contest on English soil. The weather conditions were ideal. The ground was uneven in places, particularly near the goal lines, and this delect robbed the New Zealanders of two tries, ar least, during the match. The "All Blacks'" started with a 2—3 scrum formation, but found that the Heavier Jiramley pack, composed of six forwards, was too strong tor them. Towards the end of the game Tyler went into the pack, and thereafter it was 3—2—l. This worked better than the old placement. On tho whole, the six Bramley forwards were better in the scrum than our men. In the open, however, the "All Blacks" were far superior. They frequently swept, down the field with some five dribbling rushes. Johnston and Cross usually headed them, but tho others were not far behind when the work was strenuous. New Zealand did not take this match seriously, as their opponents had been underrated by the Northern Unionists, who were coaching and advising us. We had a semi-experimental team in th© field; consequently, our combination was not 6o good as it might have been at the beginning of the game. However, it improved considerably towards the end. Yorkshire forwards aro usually good men, and the Bramley pack proved themselves no exception to this rule. They tackled well, pushed hard in the serum, and also dribbled fairly well in the open. Their methods are, in fact, very similar in all respects to our own. Their backs passed well, but ran too straight across th© field with the ball. Their passing rushes sometimes ended on tho touch-line behind the spot whence they started. In other respects, they ar© very nippy. Bramley's "star' is Sedgwick, who scored the two tries for them. He used his brains, and toflk the opportunity when an opening came. His comrade backs appeared to be about up |to New Zealand interprovincial standard. New Zealand won the toss. Bramley set the ball rolling, and with a forward rush they smartly carried the ball into New Zealand's territory, but Messenger stopped them with a smart mark. Taking tho kick himself, he sent th© oval well down the field. A little later the Bramley men tried some "funny" business, which allowed us a free kick. Messenger then landed a magnificent goal two minutes after the starting bell 1 had rung. Northern Unionists oount all goals two points, and tries three points, 60 we were thus a brace in advance. After some give-and-take play, McGregor snapjxjd up the ball, and, with one of his oldtime dashes, made an opening. He passed to Rowe, and the steady little Aucklander crashed through a knot defenders before handing on to Wynyard. The latter then passed to Messenger, who scored near the corner flag. Messenger converted himself, and . it was stated-to be tho finest, kick ever seen on the ground." "_ ":'* ' Tho next remarkable incident was an electrifying run by Wrigley. H© delighted the crowd by sprinting along the touch-line, tieating three opponents, and then tho Bramley full-back. A clear run in was the result, but the uneven ground r.roved his downfall, and prevented a certain try. New Zealand then lost a territorial advantage through apparently not being at homo with the rules. They hesitated where their opponents took a risk. From a scrum on tho line Bramley secured possession, and from a passing run scored near tho corner. They failed to convert. Soon after the restart Messenger and Wrigley delighted the onlookers with a rare passing duet. After some loose play the "All Blacks' " three-quarters once more got going, and some splendid passing among them culminated in anotner try, Smith sprinting over near tho corner flag. Messenger made a good attempt at goal, but just failed to convert. The New Zealand forwards up to this had not given their }>acks- much chance, and Bramley were beating them for tho ball. However, the tide in this direction now began to turn. The "All Blacks" commenced to show great improvement in th© hooking department. From a scrum near midfield a Bramley back found tho line a few yards from the colonials', goal. Sedgwiok secured the ball, and hesitation on New Zealand's part allowed him to run im and score near tho goal posts. The kick at goal was a failure. The score now stood— New Zealand 10, Bramley 6. The crowd started'to "barrack" in a convincing Yorkshire fashion. Fast, open play, intensely exhilarating to watch, now began to take the place of the previous disorganised movements. A further improvement was noticeable in the "All Blacks' " scrum, and their forwards were also playing a magnificent game in tho open. They adapted themselves to the Northern Uniion requirements, and raced about after the ball like greyhounds. In the second half the "All Blacks'" forwards made th© pace from th© beginning. Tyler secured possession near the line, end after one of his quick, characteristic dashes scored near tho corner. 'Messenger placed a magnificent goal. The "All Black" forwards then swept down the field. The Bramley full-back snapped up the ball irom their feet, but he was tackled by Pearce. A scramble ensued, somebody snapped up the ball, four or five short, sharp passes among the faster forwards followed, and Tyler (by this time a popular favourite with the crowd) once more raced over the line, this time near the goal pests. Messenger converted. The scores now stood— New Zealand 20, Bramley 6, 1 and whatever chance tho latter pos- . sesed had totally disappeared. The "All Blncks" kept continually on the aggressive. ■ Cross then made an opening and gave Wrigley a pass. His weight enabled him to bullock his way over in a good position. Messenger failed to improve the score. The •'phantoms" still kept knocking at the door. From a scrum the best passing rush of the day started. Every back, almost, on our side handled the ball safely, but Rowe lost the end of the chain. Later on Messenger kicked a goal from a mark. All our forwards played well, Cro«s and Johnston being the best on th© ground. Mackrell and Dunning were very serviceable when passing among the forwards was required. Pearco and Tvler. particularly the latter, made j some brilliant runs. Turtill gave one of his best exhibitions of full-back play. Smith has lost none of his pace and dash —in fact, he seems even better than ever. Messenger is going to prove a thorn. He made no mistakes i to-day. Rowe has improved w/>ndor- ! fully. Wrigley has impressed the Northern Union critics and the public las well. His running and general play j to-day were magnificent. ; :
Permanent link to this item
WITH THE PROFESSIONAL "ALL BLACKS.", Press, Volume LXIII, Issue 12969, 23 November 1907
WITH THE PROFESSIONAL "ALL BLACKS." Press, Volume LXIII, Issue 12969, 23 November 1907
Using This Item
Fairfax Media is the copyright owner for the Press. You can reproduce in-copyright material from this newspaper for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons New Zealand BY-NC-SA licence. This newspaper is not available for commercial use without the consent of Fairfax Media. For advice on reproduction of out-of-copyright material from this newspaper, please refer to the Copyright guide.
This newspaper was digitised in partnership with Christchurch City Libraries (1921-1945).