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CORRERPONDENCE., Issue 10425, 21 September 1897
[Every letter must be accompanied by the nam; wd address of the writer, not necessarily for publication, but as a guarantee of good faith. Rejected letters cannot be returned under aty circumstances whatever. Correspondents aio advised to keep copies of their letters, bb th:s rule will be adhered to strictly.] INTERPROVINCIAL FOOTBALL. TO THE EDrrOH. Sir,— The hafm done by the exhibition on tire Carisbrook Ground two Saturdays ago has, I venture to say, been to a great estent repaired by last Saturday's game, which Was in marked contrast to the Wellington match. Both teams were on the best of terms, and yon could not wish for a more impartial crowd. The same treatment was meted out to the Southland players when they played here, and the fact that the Wellington team did not receive a good reception was due solely to their own conduct. No unbiased person can say that the public were put out because Otago were losing, because the match against Southland was lost, and when the crowd started to " barrack " the Wellington players the score was 3 points all. Every footballer is aware that, for some reason or other, the feeling between Otago and Wellington is far from friendly, and this feeling is not confined to football alone, although in football it is particularly noticeable. But the feeling may be entertained without the representatives of. either province exhibiting it on the football field, and it would be far better for both provinces that the matches between them should be discontinued than that players should be allowed to disgrace themFelves aud their province on the football field.
I am quite satisfied that the Wellington team went on to the ground at Carisbrook determined to win the match at any cost. They knew that Otago's forwards were weak, that their backs were strong, and that Otago relied solely on their back play to win 'the match. If Otago's backs were crippled, Wellington must win ; and the result we all know. Is it not strangethatnota singleOtago forward was hurt? To carry my argument a little further, take the Wellington and Southland match. The Wellington team knew, both from their game with Southland last year and from the latter's two games with Otago this year, that Southland depended ou their forwards to win the match. What happened ? Within ten minutes of the start of the game four of the Southland forwards were hurt, and thejr backs were left alone. I don't suppose any of the spectators of the Otago and Wellington match could give you any particular instance of rough play by any one player. They can only speak in general terms, and point to the results as evidence of the rough play. Much as the players were to blame, I submit that the referee is greatly responsible —in fact, I don't see how he can possibly justify his action. Had he interfered when the first player was hurt the whole trouble would have been avoided, and to me his conduct is inexplicable, because by the laws of the game so much power is placed in his hands to deal with this matter. The idea of holding aainquiry seente to me,an absurd ODe, because the referee stated publicly that he saw no rough play at all; and you can't go past that, unless you first are prepared to charge the referee with incompetence. At the samo time, I believe that the articles which have appeared in our local papers will go a long way to put a stop to this rough play, which, if not put down with a firm hand, will undoubtedly kill our grand old game. The breach between Otago and Wellington has no doubt been widened by the occurrence, and it seems to me that the only thing the two provinces can do is to agree not to meet one another again, either in Dunedin or Wellington. Let them play their next match in Christchnrch, where party feeling will not be shown by the spectators ; and if the referee has sufficient backbone there will be no fear of rough play.—l am, etc., Footballer. ■ Dunedin, September 20. PORT CHALMERS GAS SUPPLY. TO the editor. Sir,—lt would be to the interest of the ratepayers in this town if the Borough Council acquired the gasworks, and thus be able to supply gas at a reduced rate. In most of the cities in the colonies the local body own the gasworks, as it is well known that they can be worked, if carried on as partof the municipal business, at less cost and more satisfactorily than if managed by a company. The gasworks would be an improving property, and would at once become a valuable asset to the borough, which could raise the necessary money at a small rate of interest—probably about 4 per cent.—l am, etc.. Gas. Port Chalmers, September 20.
CORRERPONDENCE., Issue 10425, 21 September 1897
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