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THE RUGBY GAME HOW FARE THE VARIOUS CLUBS ?

THE COMING SEASON PROSPECTS IN DIFFERENT CODES

" Falling leaf and fading flower," harbingers of the cool blasts of Avinter. are here to remind us that King Willow is about to make his farewell bow for the season and give way to the good old game of Rugby. It seems but a few short weeks ago since the selec* of the New Zealand iootball world wera sent on theb' way rejoicing to meet the best ti>at Cilifornian ''inigger" could produce, and now their victorious tou» lb only a memory. They went and they conquered, and the New Zealand public was well pleased with th?lf stewardship of the trust »fc placed in them. With their retula pracl/ically All thoughts of football faded from the horizon, but now ,tlio near approach oi the Rugby spason is wafting them back to us. Soon shall we beav the clamour that greets the ! liard*earned try and the mighty cheer that arises when the ball rises from tha gi'ouhd, soars skyward, and then, after A moment of suspense, topples over the bar and evens up the scores or perhaps places the losing team in front. Already tho various teams are strengthening their sinews and working off the condition accumulated during the recess in. preparation for tlie tussles to come. Gymnasiums at nights are scenes of animation, and practice matches, the preludes to the sterner stuff to follow, will soon be in full swing. This year some of the old familiar figures will be missed on the fields of play, but their places will be filled by the younger men, some j of them untried in Senior PuUgby but nevertheless, keen to win representative honour*. ATHLETIC CLfTR. The well-known blue and black colours of the Athletic Club were well in the limelight last season, when they annexed ' not. only tho senior championship but t'lo seven-a-sida tournament. Also they showed up well in tha junior and low<*r grade matches, their younger members proving themselves to be keen exponents of the game. Apart from this enthusiasm several of them have displayed a great deal more than a rudimentary knowledge o[ "footer." and +he club will be in the happy - position of drawing on a promising lot oi reserves lor their senior team should the occasion arise. As yt n" transferments or retirements from tlio ranks of their senior representatives have been announced. Roberts, their redoubtable lialf-back (who, by the bye, has been playing excellent cricket sinco his return from the Pacific Siope, whither hs went with the All Blacks), will probably be seen in his old place behind thp. scrum; also the other backs, including Madden, Adams, and S. Wilson. Their forwards, among whom are 'Murphy, Cuiininghame, Ryan, and Osbotne, and who last season proved a sturdy lot, will once more take the field, and can be relied upon t<-» give a. good account of themselves. A feature of tlie club has been the influx of i large number of new lnembcts, which tnatlc it nccessar\ to enter two fifth grade teams during the 1 past season, mcl altogether the club's prospects bear a decidedly roseate hue. PETONE CLUB. It may be taken as significant of the prospects of the Petone Club that not ona resignation Avas received at tlis suburbanites' annual meeting which war. held this week. There are a few "uncertainties," but these are laigely coun-ter-balanced by several probable important acquisitions to the local liug'ny rankfl. The redoubtable Ryan c|ii:ii l tfl., the brothers Jim, Joe, Will, and Ed<!it\ will all be in the field, the fir.^t named having decided to don thr> jercey and continue playing throughout tho wholn BRason. Scions of a great football family, these four players alone suffice to make any fifteen interesting and a power to be reckoned Avith. Cliff Ramsdou will stand doArji this season, much to thp. regret of hip. club and the footballing public in general. The brilliant younjj back is still forced to nurse the kne& winch lost him a trip to California, his-i year. Jack M'Kenzie. whose Califarnian experience will doubtless stand him in good stead, may go to Auckland to live. Failing this he will be seen on the fiveeighth line again. On the other hand comforting news come.* from Palmerston North, it being understood thai Stuart M'Farlane, the giant place-kicker, Avill shortly be back in. the village. Dan^ey has disposed of his business interests ni Pptone, but if in Wellington he will again be numbered among the "blues." 11. Nunn, the diminutive but nuggety lialf, will again be found behind the scrum, and veteran hooker W, Ready wili continue in active service. Both Parkers (full-back George and bi» brother Arthur, the < forward of pvomis6)_ are "sure things" for tliis season, and in fact the whole of the remainder of the team, not forgetting Parrant and Nankiville, avill again rally round Petone'a standard. "Ted" Smyrke. who has achieved honour both ac a cricketer and a footballer at Hawkes Bay and latterly at Petone, may be prevailed upon, it is stated, to represent his old club again on the football field. In all, Petone Avill have six teams in the competitions, representative of each grade. Some- half-dozeji new members havo been elected, and it is reported, that they include some good material. ORIENTAL CLUB. The " Ories," A?ho were third in the senio*. 1 competition last season, may confidently look forward to the future. The average standard of their players is excellent and the club includes individual players who can more than hold their own on any fc^jball field. Two of its Avell-known menßers will not be seen in Wellington Rugby this year, and their loss will be keenly felt. Uillespie ' lias made a move to Auckland and H. Paton has transferred to Greymouth. The latter is a sterling player in the forward division and his ability to find the goal posts with his kicking when other players AVonltl not have, a look in is common comment He was one of the representative fifteen who played against Auckland, also tha "All Blacks" in their sensational match prior to leaving for California, and his departure will cause a vacancy that will be hard to fill. But tho club still has champions left in Kinvig, the three-quarter Wellington "rpp.," and several others. In their match with Petone last year the " Oiies " were able at short notice to place no less than five juniors in their senior team, and with such a likely tot of younger men to call upon they have little to b» afraid of. MELROSE CLUB. On the present showing the Melrose first fifteen will be much the same as last year. Twomey, Sullivan Biothers, Capper, and A. Gilchrist, all of whom represented Wellington last year, will don the club's colours again this season. B. Oakes, the other Melrose player who earned representative honours last

season, has gone to Hawera, and should be a valuable acquisition to the cow country contingent. Other important defections are : W. Gilchrist, who is now located 1 at New Plymouth, H. Marshall, and Collins. The two latter players have gone over to the ranks of the Northern Union League. In _ addition to the names already mentioned, the familiar figures of Flack, Rivers, Dee, Lamb, and Barber will again rally round tlie Melrose banner. There is plenty of promising material among the juniors available to fill the gaps in the first fifteen. Prominent among these are : V. Allan, C. Spearman, M'Morran, and D. Spearman. The club will again be represented in all five grades of Rugby. The re-election of Mr. J. Burns as patron was the signal for a popular demonstration at the club's annual meeting on Tuesday. As one of the bulwarks of the 'Melrose Club Mr. Burns has for years guided the destinies of the younger players. He has been patron not merely in name, and has for many seasons past thrown himself heart and soul into fostering the Melrose Club and Rugby generally. PONEKE CLUB. Poneke had bad luck last season in having several of it." players rendered hors de, combat very soon after tiie Opening stages, and it was this fact no doubt which was to a. certain extent .responsible for their defeats outnumbering their successes, but the outlook for tho team is distinctly encouraging. Its ranks include J. Tilyard. the speery fiveeighths, Mitchinsou, the Wellington and "All Black" representative three-quar-ter, • who it ' is to be hoped will once more delight the spectators with his brilliant tactics, and a> hoi lot of forwards—Bowie, Elliott, Jacobsen, and Brewer, all keen and doughty players. Like most of the other clubs, Poneke has some good talent in its lower grades, as was demonstrated last season, wheu junior members were often called upon to fill gaps in the senior ranks. WELLINGTON CLUB. The fortunes of every club ebb and flow, but never in its history hae the Wellington Club had such a bright outlook as it, has at present. No fewer than , thirty-nine new members have been elected to the club, and among this large number there are certain to be some who are capable of upholding all the ' best traditions of tho gajne. With Mr. V. R. Meredith a* coach to teach the players ir the way that they^ should go on the football field, the club is bound to make an impression during the ensuing season. Last season wa« the most • successful the club has experienced, and, this being the case, the players will no doubt be spurred to fresh efforts. It lias a very capable lot of officers, keen that it should not allow its long and honourable record to become tarnished, and with such men to guide its destinies the club is bound to continue on its career of prosperity. It ha* among its players many sterling men, who iv the past have shown wha.fc they are capable .of. Among the backranfcer.l are Grace, M'Qrcgor, and C. Irons, all with football reputations, whilst the front-rankers include such experienced men as Francis, N. Irons, and Weir. VICTORIA COLLLEGE. Victoria College will be minus the services of Grey and Quilliam, both of whom have returned to New Plymouth. The only other defections will be Sandal and Paulsen. Both have removed from the district. W. J. Robertson, after having spent two years in retirement, is resuming "rugger" this season, and will be associated with the Collegians". Beard Tiros, will again champion the Greens' cause, and Ryan. Bmsnan, Fair, Sim, Miller, Shaw, ami Bennett will respond to the roll-call. '* ST. JAMES. Owing to the uncertainty of its prospects, notes on the St. James Club's personnel are not possible this week. 18 RUGBY LOSING ITS HOLD? We have reached a serious crisis in amateur Rugby football— this was the boy-note o{ some interesting remarks made on the subject of the game by the club patron, Mr. J. Burns, &i the annual meeting of the Melrose Club this week. Mr. - Burns went on to point out that i,t behoved footballers to take stock of Hieir position. The receipts far the #ame generally in New Zealand were falling off, and the expenses were increasing. Much mm** had t<> be paid tor grounds, and Rugby had not that hold on the public that it used to have. The public would not be satisfied nowadays with only o:ib class of winter sport. They must liav© variety. Followers of Rugby we?e >ip against a big proposition, s.nd ho'v lo cope witli it was & difficult matte^ The remedy lay entirely with the clubs Lhmeselvps, although, had the R.ug_by Union taken a greater interest in jumoy football yeai's ago the position of the good old game would have been much stronger to-day. To-day, however, hhe union waa doing a lot in its own way, in the face of heavy expenditure. One thing that' would have to be taken into consideration would be the position of the insurance fund. In its endeavour to cope with the financial situation tbe union had last year resorted to a shilling gate at the Park. Personally h« did not know wbethev this had turned out a> success or not. The receipts had increased slightly, but he did not know whether this was due to the increased gate! Touching on another matter, the speaker pointed out that the union must or necessity have tho leading teams at the Park each Saturday. It was all a matter of finance. The public must be treated to the "best" offering. Personally, he did not thing that footballers played to the gallery, and he therefore exhorted members of the Melrose seniors to "grin and bear it," if they found this year that they were not as strong as they were lastt- year, and that they were not called upon to play_ at the Park very often. As to the union, the speaker said that retrenchment would have to be made somnwhere. To-day they were threatened with the loss of amateur Rugby — there was no use denying the fact!

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THE RUGBY GAME HOW FARE THE VARIOUS CLUBS ? THE COMING SEASON PROSPECTS IN DIFFERENT CODES, Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 68, 21 March 1914

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THE RUGBY GAME HOW FARE THE VARIOUS CLUBS ? THE COMING SEASON PROSPECTS IN DIFFERENT CODES Evening Post, Volume LXXXVII, Issue 68, 21 March 1914

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