SPORT AND PASTIME.
Football. RUGBY. THE SOUTHERN TOUR. Local enthusiasts were disappointed last Saturday night when the newa came through from Christchurch that ivollington hud been beaten in its representative match that afternoon. After the splendid gamo the .team hod played on tho Wednesday, in which they defeated Otago, the general football public thought tho Canterbury match was " the best of good things " for our team. However, as generally happens in another branch of sport, the " good thing " did not " come off," and Canterbury scored a win by the narrow margin of one point. Both matches have been well reported in the daily issues, and are now history, so that it would be a waste of time to refer to the play in them. Regarding the players, Wallace created a great impression both in Dunedin and Christcburch, tho opinion being expressed that he is without an equal at the present time at centre three-quarter. Do Vere, in Dunedin, proved himself a clever, smart, and tricky player, but could not do justice to himself in Christchurch. Kelly £layed splendidly against Otago, rwhilo ho andlcd his team well. He was too keenly watched in Christchurch, and he took his "gruelling" well, as many as half-a-dozen opponents dashing on him at times, Meredith was a success, and Bonar put in some fine work aguinst Otago. Hales was in 1 and out, at times doing splendid work, and at others shaping poorly. Manson and Pritchard justified their selection as wings, and of tho forwards Hardham, M'Anally, Adams, and O'Brien were perhaps more noticeable than their comrades. Tho team enjoyed the trip, tho football authorities in Dunedin and Christchurch doing their utmost to mako the stay in their respective cities an enjoyable one. A host of names have been mentioned as contributing in this way, but without mentioning anyone in particular, I am desired to convey the team's thanks to one and all for their successful efforts in this direction. Mr. N. Galbraith, who accompanied the representative team as manager, carried out his duties with remarkable success, winning golden opinions both from the team and from the officials of the two lister Unions. The cabled remarks by the Rev. Mullineux on the " pointing " practised by several players fn the games in which the English team havo played on the Australian side are such that they should be forcibly brought homo to our own players, even here in Wellington. Rugby football is a sport with perhaps too many rules to govern it, but " pointing," as the head of the English team has noticed it, and as we know it from closo contact with the game, will undoubtedly, if not put down with a firm hand, tend to kill the " good old game." It may be said that referees have the absolute power, and they should be ablo to cope with it. A few instances of " pointing " will show that I consider the referee is incapable of detecting many of these unfair tactics. In the front row of the scrum, a player, finding himself beaten in getting possession, places his arm in the face of his opponent, and thus prevents him seeing tho ball when it is put in. If that is not sufficient he reaches out and holds his opponent's leg back, so ns to prevent him " hooking." Again, you will notice a scrummager M'orking his way through only to find himself successfully blocked by two of his opponents having their legs crossed. Leaving tho scrum, and coming to the line-out, how often does one see a player starting a loose rush and breaking away from the " ruck," when ho is suddenly pulled up by a player holding him. [In passing, this bit of " pointing " has caused two prominent players to bo put off the field this season, because, when they found themselves held in this manner, they struck the players who were holding them back.] Instances could be multiplied, but space will not permit. Enough has been said, however, to show that the ovil does exist, and to a great extent, and I appeal to our players to play the game as a sport, as it really is. George Stephonson was very happy jrhen travelling with the Wellington team Wrora Dunedin to Christchurch last Thursday. He relieved an otherwise tedious iournoy with songs and jokes, nnd the local players voto him "a jolly good fellow." Two decisions of Referee Cresswell in the Canterbury- Wellington match have been brought under my notice, and if correctly reported to me, they were wrong, as the Referees' Association here reads the rule. The first was a serious one, and is in relation to the penalty goal scored against Wellington. Canterbury obtained possession in a scrum, and the ball was being heeled out. Pritchard, in dashing round the scrum, fell, and before he could got up again the whistle blew for obstruction, or, as wo call it, " off-side." Law 11, section a, is interpreted to read in Wellington that if a wing player attempts to get back on side ho is not penalised, but is penalised if he " wilfully obstructs by standing on his opponents' side of tho ball when it is in tho scrummage." This is the exact reading of tho rule, and tho referee in this instance, if I have lieard the faots aright, has misread this section. Tho other instanco was a free kick given against Kelly (I believe) for picking the ball out of a scrummage. In the piece of play in question the ball was in a scrambling rush, and became temporarily blocked. Kelly picked it up, and was promptly penalised. In this instanco Wellington was attacking. A scrummage in Wellington is held to be " when the ball is put down between players who have closed round on their respective sides," and one player on, each side is sufficient to constitute a scrummage if they form for the purpose, and the ball is put down between them. I do not wish to infer that the match would have gone tho other way but for these decisions, but still, if it is pointed out that a referee has interpreted certain rules wrongly surely the right to criticise cannot bo denied, and if tho referees in different centres interpret the rules differently the Appeal Council, as the controlling body, should givo definito rulings us a guidance 1 to the various Referees' Associations.
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SPORT AND PASTIME., Evening Post, Volume LVIII, Issue 37, 12 August 1899, Supplement
SPORT AND PASTIME. Evening Post, Volume LVIII, Issue 37, 12 August 1899, Supplement
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