RUGBY. One has to go far back in Wellington club football to find, an instance of match postponement on two consecutive Saturdays. With a season naturallylimited by at least two months as compared with the English football year, "rep." matches and other fixtures tend further to curtail the time. Therefore two postponements — two lost Saturdays are apt to dislocate things right through the season. For one thing, it should be contrived, if possible, that there are two full rounds in Senior football. At present beaten clubs in the first round have seldom a chance of retaliation, and about three-quarters way through the season, they lose the greater part of their interest in the competition. Though the weather was pretty severe last Saturday in the forenoon, and for a brief period after, yet, if ladies can play hockey, men can play Rugby. Th© tame thing happened two years ago, when a howl went up about the postponement. In the Old Country the game goes on, Tain, snow, or anything, and really there was not sufficient visible cause for postponement last Saturday. Of course, bad weather means a bad gate, but that should not rule too strongly with the union. Better to play at all costs. Messrs. Gallaher, Meredith, Wilson, and Harris are to be congratulated on the team they have selected to do battle for New Zealand in Australia. Probably no better forward team has ever represented the Dominion — the men are fast, weighty, and — best of all — clever. The Otago contingent — Paton, Patterson, Ivimey, and Mitchell — are particularly skilful, both with their feet and in handling the ball. "Ranji" 'Wilson is so well known to local followers of the game that no comment is necessary, his form in the last inter-Island match gaining him his place. Maguire, Hayward, Francis, and Herring, of Auckland, arts the pick of the forwards of that province, and when one remembers the deeds of Auckland forwards in representative football of the last ten years little more need be said. Ridland and Blyth, of Southland and West Coast respectively, have big local reputations, and in the last inter-Island game both were singled out as above the ordinary. The backs, whilst hardly ap to the standard of the All Blacks, are a very good lot, and are worthily representative of New Zealand football. J. O'Leary has been a long time in winning his spurs, but his form last season in Auckland could not be overlooked. Some criticism has been levelled at the selection of Mynott, but the writer is quite in accord with the selectors. Mynott, though no longer young as a footballer, is nevertheless the .most solid five-eighth in New Zealand, and with Roberts will supply the necessary steadiness. Cameron, Mitchinson, Fryer, and Fuller could nob be overlooked, and a threequarter line composed of tho first three should produce some sparkling football. The announcement of Roberts's retirement was premature, and his selection will be popular with every football enthusiast in the Dominion. Burns, the second half-back in the team, is a Canterbury and South Island representative, and though by no means a brilliant back, is very solid, particularly in defensive play. James Ryan, Petone's idol, fully deserved his place, and the writer knows of no man he would rather have on his side as fullback in a hard game. Undoubtedly the team is a good one, and Australians are in for some brilliant football. ALTERATIONS IN RULES. It seems a pity, says the Athletic News, the Intercolonial Conference between representatives of the N(>w Zealand, Queensland, and New South Walse Rugby Unions had not been delayed by some weeks. Then they might have learned to what extent the International Board, at their March meeting at Edinburgh, had determined to sanction alterations in the rules of the game. Some of the suggestions made a long time ago by the Australasian authorities have, it is understood, been accepted by the Board, more particularly those having regard to touch play, taking a ball into touch, and length of the throw-out, but not many more. Still, the Colonial delegates, even though they mado many alterations in the laws, were not over-pressing in their requests that all of these should "bo approved by the Home authorities. Quite humbly they asked that, though their changes might not meet with the approval of the Rugby Football Union, they might be allowed to suit local and climatic necessities, it being pointed out that while tho alterations would obtain in matches played under the jurisdiction of the three Colonial Unions," they would not apply to matches with bodies outside of Australasia and New Zealand, in which case the laws as issued by the Rugby Football Union should govern the contests. But if all the alterations were not approved permission was particularly asked for two changes which, it is hoped, would be granted the three Colonial Unions. The first of these had reference to throws-out from touch, and proposed to make section A of law 12 read :—: — "(a) Throwing it out so as to alight at right angles to, and at least five yards from, the touchline, or . . ." The second concerned an altered definition of "held," and omission alike of the definition of "tackle" and law 6 (c). The altered definition of "held" reads :—: — "Held is when the ball is held by opposing players, and includes the case when the holder of the ball is held by one or more players of the opposite side so that he cannot pass it." The two particular requests seem reasonable enough; possibly the former will be found embodied m these laws of the game which have been drafted for publication. Some of the other alterations which were carried were interesting. New Zealand's request for four spells of twenty minutes each — that was turning back the clock to the early eighties with a vengeance — was lost, but it was decided to incorporate into rule 4 the words — "The period of play shall be divided into two or four equal spells." The wording of the constitution of a scrummage was altered, and by a majority it was decided that the referee shall himself put the ball into a scrummage. Memories of byegone days will be revived by this agreement. The trend of the laws regarding trymaking, touching-down, and fair catching was altered, but more important was the transmogrification of rule 7, thus : "A player is placed off-side if he crosses an imaginary line drawn through the back of the scrummage on his own side while the ball is in the scrummage, or if the ball has been . . . must be behind the ball when kicked." Here we have evidence of the influences of the Northern Union game upon the Colonial Rugby Union mind. That change will not be approved in this country. Another plagiarism of the Northern Union rules is "the abolition of the charge before the kick has been taken. Finally, "it was agreed that the latter part of law 19, headed : 'Other irregularities not provided f or ' " (as far as wo know this is the latter part of law 20 !) "be deleted, and that in lieu thereof the following, to be called law 20, be substituted " :—: — "If whan a law is broken or auy irregularity of play occurs, any advantage
is gained therefrom by the opposing side, the referee shall not blow his whistle, but shall allow the game to proceed j but if no advantage is gained by such side, and if no penalty is provided, the ball shall be taken back to the place where the breach of the law or the irregularity of play occurred and a scrummage formed there." This alteration seems perfectly reasonable, and might advantageously be copied into the rule-book of the Home Union. But generally the approved alterations are not remarkable. If the colonial players wish to play according to their terms, why not let them ? But the ' code must not be used in matches between Motherland and Colonies. It would not do in several instances. NOETHEEN UNION TEAM. Mr. A. F. Harding, for several yeav , one of the leaders in Welsh football, contributes the following personal notes on the Welsh members of tho Northern Union team, which has just arrived at "Fremantle, prior to a tour of Australia and New Zealand :—: — Frank Young, one of the full-backs coming out with the Northern Union side, was for several sea-sons playing amateur 'Rugby football for Cardiff Reserves, then one season for Cardiff, and reserve for Wales that season. Going to London, he played for the London Welsh and several times for Bristol, which team he tried to join, but the Welsh Union refused to give him transfer. He had hard luck in always being kept from international honours by Winfield, who also kept him out of the Cardiff side. He is a lovely kick, of the Jackett type, and a useful tackier. George Euddick, who, though, born in Wales, and in ever respect a thorough Welshman, has played no Welsh firstclass football, but only for his native town clug, Brecon, which is third-rate. He was a promising cyclist, and going North, became one of the Broughton Rangers' best forwards. He- is particularly good in dribbling, having probably played Association football in Brecon. A forward always on the ball and a good tackier, keen as a terrier. Johnnie Thomas, one of the halfbacks, played amateur Eugby football for Bridgend, a Glamorganshire side, also Glamorgan County, and in the Welsh. International Trial Match. Ho promised to be one of the most brilliant outside halves in Wales, and was thought very highly of by the Welsh Union. Jim Davies (half-back) was one of Swansea's most promising three-quarter backs, and was greatly missed by that town. He played in the days> of threequarters of the standard of Trew, Dan Eees, and Gordon, and was very highly esteemed in West Wales. Frank Shugars is a big bustling for war dof the Ehondda Valley type. Prior to joining the Northern Union, he played for Penygraig (the club that brought P. F. Bush to light) and the Glamorgan County side. Playing at Cardiff for the- East of Wales against the West, ne made a great name for himself, and, had he N not gone North, was looked upon as a certain Welsh international. A great worker, always in the thick of it, and a tackier of the best type. Chic Jenkins has always been a sound, useful three-quarter. He is a Welshman, and comes from Ebbw Vale, a mining town in the Monmouthshire- Valley. He is fairly speedy and good at cutting out an opening. F. Boylen played for England as an amateur, and was anxious to tour the Antipodes with the Anglo-Welsh side. He- is a burly forward, and assisted Durham County as an amateur. ASSOCIATION. (By "Vanguard.") Enthusiasts of the Association codo were asking one another on Saturday afternoon last why all games were "off. The answer was not obvious. During the hour and a half ordinarily occupied by matches not a drop of rain fell, and the grounds at Miramar are reported to have been in a tolerable condition for play. The postponement was unfortunate, in view of the previous week's inevitable stoppage of games, and not much progress has so far been made towards eith.Gr the championship or the form which will be urgently needed when the Brown Shield is in danger. What is wanted now is an uninterrupted succession of good play_ to make up for lost time and opportunities, i Mr. H. G. Mayex, a member of the local Management Committee, has just returned from a visit to Dunedin. While there he was in conversation with some of the officials of the Otago Football Association, who anticipate a very good season. He also slates that the Southern Association is very keen with regard to the Brown Shield, and is sending north a team which will take some beating. Word has been received by the secretary of the New Zealand Football Association (Mr. B. L. Salmon), from Poverty Bay, that an association has been formed there, and they wish to become affiliated to the parent "body. At present there are four teams playing, and the prospects for the future seem very bright. The suggestion that a match be played between Wednesday and Saturday players on 3rd June, on the Basin Eeserve, is likely to bear fruit. Permission has, it is understood, been asked for the use of the ground on that date, and in view of the excellence of some of the Wednesday material the Saturday men will need to put their best foot forward. The late Mr. F. E. Baume, K.C., M.P , news of whose death in Germany was received this week, was for four years actively connected with Association football in. Auckland, being president of th© Auckland Association in 1907, and a vice-president of the New Zealand Football Council since that year. The sad news of his death will be a -blow to "Soccer" enthusiasts, more especially in the Auckland province, where his genial disposition, and help to the game generally were much appreciated. At Tuesday's meeting of the Wellington Referees' Association the following was moved by Mr. B. L. Salmon and earned : — "That prior to the- commencement, of a match on a wet day, both captains be consulted as to whether they will have the option of changing the ball at half-time, owing to its having become wet and sodden." A short general meeting of the Wellington Football Association is called for Wednesday, 25th inst., to make some alterations to the rules in regard to Wednesday and Saturday players. At the same meeting a member will move that the byhvw governing the transfer of a player 'from one team to another on completion, of the first round be deleted. When. Scotland defeated England by 2 goals to nil at Glasgow, in April, the sight when the teams lined up for the fray just before half-past three was indeed a remarkable one, though the additional accommodation that had been furnished since the- game of 1908 prevented any of the scenes of crushing whirih then occurred. It is true that the record of 121,520 persons paying was not approached, but the figures of 1906 (102,741) have probably just been cut, though exact information could not be given by the S.F.A. Hon. treasurer. At \ any rate, the company reached six figures, and the gate money was officially | given as £4417, against £4930 in 1908, and £4381 four years nigo. The stands are estimated to yield about £2000. So perfect were the arrangements, so orderly the vast crowd, drawn from both sides of the Border, that there was. not a single case necessitating the attention of the etaff of the bt. Andrew's Ambu- j laace Aseociation in attendance,"
The first annual meeting of the Tasmanian British •Football Association was held at the V.M.C.A. buildings, Hobart, on 18th April. There was a good attendance. The committee's report was encouraging, the prospects of the coming season being described as very bright, as two more clubs probably will be formed in Hobart. The New Norfolk \ Club has been strengthened by several new men, and arrangement* are being made for the town clubs to make the journey frequently during the coming season to play the country team. Correspondence was read from the associations in the other States re inter-State matches, and it was resolved that the association should foster this movement, which must tend largely to develop the game. The treasurer's report showed' a satisfactory balance. His Excellency the Governor has accepted the patronage of the association. The president (Right Rev. Dr. Mercer, Bishop of Tasmania) sent a most encouraging letter, and expressed his pleasure that the prospects for the coming season were so excellent, aJid that the playing of the games had been in a sportsmanlike and manly manner. Mr. J. J. B. Honeysett, hon. secretary and hoji. treasurer of the Tasmanian British Football Association, writes to the- Referee : —"The season opened very successfully in Hobart on Saturday, 23rd April, two matches being played on, the South Melbourne ground before a splendid attendance of spectators. A team from H.M.S. Challenger defeated one from s.s. Westralia by 6 goals to nil; while Hobart drew with a team from H.M.S. Psyche, each side scoring two. We were hoping to have arranged a game with the Powerful, but owing to her uncertain movements—gunfiring —we were unsuccessful in this respect. We have five clubs affiliated, and hope to have a couple more going before the season closes. Owing to the hilly formation, of Hobart, it is a difficult matter to obtain suitable grounds. There are only two turf cricket pitches m Hobart,_ viz., on the top ground (Tasmanian Cricket Association) and the New Town Sports Ground, both of which are used for the_ Australian game every Saturday during the football season. We pUy our games as near the city as possible, so as to maintain public interest. We are_ doing pioneer work, and have to distribute our experienced players ha the various clubs for coaching purposes. We have many very capable players, who will undoubtedly do well when they are called upon for'inter-State matches. Unfortunately, we are unable to retain the new arrivals, who are often first-class players, as, owing to the present. financial position of the colony, there is no inducement for them to stay. However, this state of affairs cannot last very much longer. There will be a boom in Tasmania before many years. We have a most delightful climate, and wonderfully fertile land. When these advantages are fully known to the English people, and facilities are extended to them, viz., reduced fares and liberal land laws, we may expect our share of English emigrants, and among them a fair sprinkling of soccer footballers." ! j ! j j ;
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