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ALMOST DEFEATED ALL BLACKS' NARROW ESCAPE

WELLINGTON'S GREAT FIGHT A POINT THE DIFFERENCE. A HARD AND SENSATIONAL GAME. A bright sun and a balmy atmosphere yesterday told of a football season drawing to its close, and ifc would .not have been surprising if the public, temporarily tiring of the good old Rugby game, had 1 not worried themselves about the match between the men of the fernleaf and the Wellington representatives. But the followers of football are insatiable, and, not content with the many matches that had gone before, they flocked in their thousands to Athletic Park to see the elect of the Dominion football world do *battle. In, spite of the fact that the holiday was by no means a general one, the attendance must have numbered between 7000 and 8000. The covered-in stands w<?re two-thirds occupied, the open stands were well patronised, and the clay bank, despised and rejected except on special occasions, was also a favourite viewpoint. His Excellency the Governor (Lord Liverpool) occupied the Vice-Regal box. As for the game itself,' it was — especially in the second half — a splendid exposition of Rugby. A strong wind swept upfield and played all manner of tricks with the ball when it rose any distance from the ground, but, this fact notwithstanding, play was fast and merry enough for the most jaded spectator. Much of it was brilliant back work, and the tension was great towards the finish, when it looked as though the team for California might be defeated before they had left their own shores. In this respect it. seemed possible that history might repeat itself, and the touring team suffer the same treatment by Wellington's chosen as the celebrated All-Black combination of a few years ago. Of course, the conditions on the two occasions were vastly at variance. When Wellington defeated the team for the Old Land the field of play was in an execrable condition and the weather was in keeping, but yesterday the ground was in tip-top form, having recovered from the soaking rain of a day or two previously. On yesterday's play there was, as the scores indicate, very little difference in the strength of the two teams. Both of them were probably as doughty combinations as it would be possible to pub in the field, either inside or outside of New Zealand The packs were well matched, although tne All Blacks conld perhaps apply a little more pressure to the square inch than the VVellington pack, and the backs on both sides were very speedy and played a good, clean, open game. The teams were — , « New Zealand : Full-back, J. Stohr ; three-quarters, T. Lynch, 'F. - Mitcblhson, J. • E. Cuth'ill ; fiveeightlis, R. Roberts, G.. D. Gray ; half, H. Taylor ; wing-forward, H. V. Murray; forwards, M. Gain, H. Dewar, J. A. Bruce, H. Atkinson, J, Downing, J. !B, Graham, J. Douglas. Wellington : Full-back, Parker ; threequarters, 0. T. Young, J. Ryan, E. Ryan; five-eighths, H. M'Leod, Kinvig; half, Ntinn; wing-forward, J. Cunninghame; forwards, . J. Francis, W. Sullivan, R. Paton, H. Paton, A. Wilson, C. M'Kay, G. Miller. , The wind waß against Wellington (whites) for the first spell. On opening they swarmed upfield, making matters lively right from the outset, but they had to retrace their steps when Roberts kicked high to the twenty-five. Followed a tightly-packed scrum, from which the ball was whisked fway by Taylor with great despatch into Roberts's hands, and then sent <on to Gray. The movement I was not a promising one, the ball shooting straight across the field instead of any fresh ground being broken. By pressure steadily applied, the, blacks worked their opponents into tlieir own region, where the ball was hooked out to Gray. He was not expecting it, however, and it fell from his grasp. In the bounce he took it again, but it was too late to make, any .prpgress by going alone. The' pack lent assistance, and the pace grew faster, a, jumble of blacks and whites, with the latter, slowly retreating towards the line, ' showing that a score by the t6uring team was imminent. Scrum followed scrum, until Douglas shot through the opposing backs, and then over. Roberts's kick fell jußt inside the posts. ' All Blacks-- 3 ' Wellington ' .'. 0 Only a few moments and the Wellington team were giving the All Blacks more trouble than they could cope with, and were dealing out some of the hot stuff they themselves had just experienced. Scenting danger, Stohr dashed forward in an effort to thwart a deadly loose rush by the other side, but the whites, with the goal-line so lyindy, refused to be turned aside from their desire, and Miller, after a natty, side-stepping little run fell over the line. H. Paton failed to improve on the- try, and scores were even— • All Blacks ... .., .... 3 ' Wellington ' .: 3 With the kick-out the blacks' flues quarter line, fed by. Taylor, attempted to do things, and. made a good deal of headway. The whites responded with a forward flurry, which they kept up until they were checked by a scrum at halfway. Here Gray, keen-eyed, behind the half-back, made an opening, and was quickly in full flight. When his progress was barred he sent the bail along to Lynch, who emerged a scorer from a. confused heap of prostrate forwards. Roberts's kick was a beauty, just enough allowance being made for the wind. All Blacks 8 Wellington 3 For' the next few moment* pl^y was aJLin favour of the black*. In tHe loose they set the Wellington men a 1 merry task at defending, and threatened the latters' line more than once. But from a scramble near the corner Monis (who had replaced Nupn at halfway owing to the latter being injured) swung omartly round to the front of the forwards in possession of the ball, and kicked to the twenty-five. The let-up .did not. last long, and when in a precarious position • the whites were penalised, Roberts kicking a splendid goal. All Blacks ..." 11 Wellington 3 At this stage Sullivan, who had re^ ceived a nasty kick, had to leave the field. Aggressive tactics by the whites made play lively for the blacks, whose turn it now was to be placed under reatraint on the line. An illegality resulted in Wellington being sent back, but Miller, with a dashing effort, regained the lost ground, and the whites strove hard to penetrate the -blacKs' defence. A breakaway by the backs lifted the pressure, and, led by Douglas and Downing, the forwards looked like business antil v. great kick by Parker found halfway. A line-out waß followed by a scrum, trom which Taylor handed the ball on to Gray, and Cuthill, taking a hand, sprinted down the side of the field to the twenty-five. Then again Ov».y pub iv ma Bec.uxed th^ bj&Uj gnd, let

Roberts have it. Dodging his man cleverly, the latter threw high to Lynch, who jumped into the air, handled cleanly, and sped across the line. Roberts kicked the goal. All Blacks 16 Wellington 3 Young, on the Wellington three-quar-ter wing, came into prominence with a great sprint from twenty-five to twentyfive. He beat Cuthill, but was brought ,to grief immediately afterwards, and the spell ended with the scores unaltered after some pretty flashes of play. When the second spell opened Cuthill, on the wing, exchanged places with Stohr, the full-back. Quick as a flash Taylor got the ball away and led the blacks, but Jimmy Ryan, amid ap. plause, very deftly averted danger with a magnificent kick, which found the line. The whites' backs opened up the game, and the prettiest passing rush of the day was witnessed, Kinvig, M'Leod, E. Ryan, and J. Ryan participating, the last-named outwitting Stohr and Cuthill, and scoring an excellent try, which was converted by H. Paton, All Blacks 16 Wellington 8 Cuthill, taking the ball beautifully at long range when everything depended on him, snapped it along to half-way. Downing beat his way right through the Wellington pack, but was pressed t«s closely, and had to shepherd the ball when it was too late to get rid of it properly Gray got it away nicely from the scrum, but Morris returned it neatly. He did not follow up, however, and Stohr, taking advantage of the oversight, booted it back to the centre again. On the far side of the field a streak of white indicated that Morris had dashed right through the blacks, and the ball shot back to their twenty-five flag. A promising passing bout by the blacks was beautifully checkmated by J. Ryan, and Miller, showing pace, forced and dodged his way through the thick of the- fray. Clearing the backs he had an open field. Taylor set off in hot pursuit, but missed in his attempt to bring down the quarry. The hindrance was just enough to let one of the forwards in, however, and Miller was brought low. The ball shot along the ground, and a force was all that happened. Compensation for this bit of bad. luck was not long in coming, Paton sending the ball over a moment afterwards, amid a roar of approval, from a penalty kick. All Blacks ..« ... i. t 16 Wellington 11 With the discrepancy in the scores growing less and less, the crowd wildly spurred on Wellington. The whites were putting up a great fight, aided by the wind, which had been so helpful to their opponents in the first spell. Parker tried to make a break for the line, but was swung off his feet by Lynch. A penalty at halfway, and H. Paton es 6ayed a kick from the vicinity of the flag. The ball rose high off the ground, amid a hum of admiration, and cleared the bar magnificently— one of the thrills of the match. All Blacks ...' ... .J. 16 Wellington 14 Their prestige' was threatened, and the men for California hardened up still more. Intense excitement prevailed. The wind was playing up badly vftth the kicking, the ball dodging mostly across-field when the backs attempted to kick in the teeth of it. The blacks were still kept hard at it on the defenco until Gray marked and found the line at midway. Downing startenl a lively lone-handed dash, and by following up his kick turned the tables on the whites. Hard play in the loose, with both sides getting "blown," was in favour of the blacks, who fought their way right up to the line. Hero a scrum eventuated, and the wary v Roberts beat his opponents for the ball and dropped it into Stohr' 8 grasp, the, latter diving over at the corner. Roberts's kick »vas just spoije'd by the wind. All Blacks „ 19 Wellington 14 Dodging deftly, Cuthill pirouetted through the whites, but lost the ball, and Jimmy Ryan, bringing headwork and a strong kick to bear, snatched his side out of danger. A charge by the white brigade and Jimmy Ryan looked full of business, but knocked on. M'Lead made a desperate sortie from the back of the pack,, but did not make much impression forward, and then Miller made a ho%» stampede for the line. His kick was smothered, by Cuthill, and the ball hit the posts and bounded back into the field several yards from the posts. Then came the biggest sensation of a sensational match. Kinvig darted down on the ball and, hemmed in by the opposing forwards, potted a magnificent goal, the crowd hurrahing wildly. All Blacks .... 19 Wellington 18 With a final flutter the whites endeavoured to head the score, and Parker tried his luck at a long pot. It failed, and with its failure vanished all chance of victory, the whistle sounding just afterwards. Mr. Francis was referee. AUSTRALIANS BEATEN BY SOUTHLAND (BT TBIiXGSAFH — TRESS ASSOCIATION.; INVERCARGILL, 10th Sept. The Australians commenced the fifth ma^ch of their tour against Southland on Rugby, Park this afternoon. The attendance was about 4000. Southland were the first to attack', and soon compelled the visitors to force. The Australians tried many passing bouts, ,but their combination was poor, and they lost frequent chances. Past following up by Baird stopped Simonson's' return, and' the ball went over the line, and A. M'Neece scored. Southland 3—o. A great forward rush by Southland soon afterwards ended in Whittaker scoring. Martin converted, and the first spell ended — Southland, 8 points ; Australia, nil. Southland attacked in the second spell, and shortly after the stai't A. M'Neece scored between the posts, as the result of a faulty kick by an Australian. The try was converted by Martin. _ Southland, 13 points ; Australia, nil. Southland continued to attack until well on to the end of the spell, when the Australians opened out and played attractive football. After pressing ' for some time, Wood scored from a long line-out pass, but no goal resulted. The Australians kept in the Southland territory, and within a few minutes of time Murphy scored from a scrum on the line, and Simonson concerted. The game ended soon afterwards with the scores reading — Southland, 13 points ; Australia, 8 points. BULLER v. NELSON NELSON, 10th September. An interprovincial Rugby match, Buller v. Nelson^ played here to-day, resulted in a win for th» visiting team by 16 points to 3.

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ALMOST DEFEATED ALL BLACKS' NARROW ESCAPE, Evening Post, Volume LXXXVI, Issue 63, 11 September 1913

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ALMOST DEFEATED ALL BLACKS' NARROW ESCAPE Evening Post, Volume LXXXVI, Issue 63, 11 September 1913

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