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THE PROFESSIONAL "ALL BLACKS."

MATCH AGAINST HUDDERSFIELD.

(Br A. H. Baskebville.) HTIDDBRSFIELD, October 12. HnddersfieH proved strong opponents, but were beaten by 19 points to 8 Some idea of the huge contract taken up by the new "All Blacks" ivaa picked up at Huddersfield to-day. TVo matches havo enabled us to realieo how great is the difference between th© Northern Union code and our old rules, and also to judge the calibre of our future opponents. Hudderefield are stronger than the majority of teams in the Northern Union. Wo cannot allow for the fact that they were fighting, "with their back to the wa11, ,, because all our future opponents will be doing the same. Wo listen to outside epectators though, who state that the importance of the occasion spurred them to a greater effort than usual, so that they played th© gamo of their lives. Wβ all admit that there will bo some strenuous contests in future, if wo keep these facts in view. There is no getting away from the truth—these Northern Union clube play grand football. They are all preparing and laying for us, and in a professional club you know what that moans. No stone is being left unturned to bring about our downfall. Wβ are not dismayed, but tho New Zoalandcrs cannQt shut their eyes to the fact that if they are to repeat the 1905 performance, their efforts will be superhuman in some cases. The opposition provided us at Huddersfield waa good until we secured the lead, then it fell all to pieces. I was informed that this is a characteristic feature-of their play. They appear to fall away at the finish, tso perhaps the majority of our matches will bo won in' the last few minutes. These conditions are not very eoothing to the feelings of interested Now Zealand onlookers, like myself, for. instance. However, they provide enough excitement for Northern Union and that is what we are here for. I never saw a crowd in euch a state of norve tension as that at Huddersfield_ on Saturday. They are sports, though—after the match is over—and although I know a section of them did not relieh defeat, most of the onlookers congratulated us, and were prepared to admit that the honours of the match went to tho more deserving eide. Tho New Zealandere triumphed over Huddersfiold as decisively as they did over Bramley in the first match. Two circumstances combined to keep tho 6coro low—a galo of wind, and a freak ball, which appeared as round as an orange. The Blacks could not propel it against tho wind in the first spell, nor pass it with the wind in the second. .Again, Messenger could not under any circumstances find the goal owing to its unusual proportions. Wrigley had a few shots, and his physique enabled him to get two over. The attendance was well over 10,000. The "gate" amounted to over £405, and was very satisfactory, considering the adverse weather conditions. THE GAME AGAINST WIDNES. WIDNES, October 16. The New Zealandere made their debut in Lancashire to-day. Great interest is being taken in their movements, and whon they arrive at a station crowds assemble to greet them. Widnes, in proportion to its size, gave tho Now Zealanders a royal reception. A large assemblage met them at the station at noon, and the affair assumed tho shape of a triumphal procession. All roads led'•to* Widtree; Large crowds came from Liverpool and Manchester at excursion rates, so that over 6000 rjpoplo lined the enclosure. It was a ftill "house" and a record for the ground. The railway companies are in a mensuro responsible for our popularity, as they are organising excursions from the surrounding districts to overmatch.

The New Zealnnders won the match by 26 pojnts to 11. Talk about exciting games I Why, the second epell of thh game was" marvellous. The spectators, a large number of whom were outsiders, owing to it being a Wednesday ranfrh, were the most iuipartial wo have encountered so far. TJie,y cheered gowT piny on both sides. Thus a continual roar of applause was heard when tho players settled down, and got into their stride. It is a funny thing, but every team we have met no far has to use a local term —"played the game of their lives." Their supporters say they perform far better than tho most snjignine thought them capable of. This'causes great local enthusiasm, of course, and naturally they want to see us again; in fact, some talk of eat isf act ion in a way which makes mo think our programme ,of matches could be gone through twice with advantage, and it is certam bigger "gates" would result in some coses. The London "Daily Mail/ describing the match, saye:—The New Zealanders played a great game—always interesting, and* at times absolutely enthralling. Taken all round, the side may be said to be what might be called their second team; there must be a first sido when Messenger, Smith, Todd, Johnston and Mackrell are included. Tho gate at Widnes was about £256 —a record for tho ground.

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THE PROFESSIONAL "ALL BLACKS." Press, Volume LXIII, Issue 12974, 29 November 1907

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