The Poneke Football Club.
[By A. F. Wiren.J
THIS club, having won the senior championship for Wellington for the season 1903 — the first time it has achieved that feat since 1894 — a short history of its career since its formation may be of interest to footbaJl readeJfs. When the club was founded, in 1883, there were but two senaor clubs in Wellington, viz., the Wellington and Athletic, and one junior clvb — the Wellington College. For the first three years of its existence, the club played, with one or two exceptions, iunior teams, and registered for its colours the red and black hoops which have since been carried to victory at Auckland, Napier, the Wairarapa, Palmerston North, Nelson, and Christchurch. The club was fortunate at the start to possess two very able officers in the persons of Sid Nicholl® as captain, and Jas. Hutchison as secretary, the latter now holding the high office of president of the Otago Rugby FootbaJl Union. The "Reds," at the outset cultivated a fast and open style of play, and it may be noted that their passing was praised by tha papers in their first match, and this soon brought them into the favourable notice of the public. The club however, failed in its efforts to win the junior cup and met with a like fate the following: year, although it took part in the final for that trophy. In those days one loss was sufficient to put a team out of the competition. The Asher Cup, however, fell to the club. That season the team journeyed to Christchurch and played the East Christchurch team, a fixture which was kept up for some years. The Reds', though much the lighter team, were only beaten by a try to nil. In 1885, the club won all the matches it played, and carried off the junior cup, besides defeating two Nelson clubs and also the Menvale and East Christchurch teams. The latter waa that year the crack senior club of the Cathedral City, and had, just prior to meeting the Ponekes, defeated the Athletics, the then premier team of Wellington. The Reds won, after a great tussle, by a try, obtained by Sim, to ml. . This year was the first in which Poneke players were selected to play in a Wellington representative team, Messrs. Astill and Beck taking part in the game at Dunedm against Otago; and before the season was ended five other members of the club also attained the honour of playing for the city. The club started a gymnasium this Yea Ibeing the first football club in the colony to do so. Harry Roberts, the famous old halfback, joined the Reds at the tail end of 1885, and played in the matches against the Christchurch clubs. Next year, the club had a particular!? powerful team. Whiteside, of Auckland, perhaps the greatest trv-petter New Zealand ever turned out had snent tho previous summer in Wellinnrton, and he took part in the team's vi=it to Chriis+church at Easter. Both East ChH=trhuroh a.nd Merivale went down hpfnf-p the Reds, the former bv two tries to nil, the la+ter Tw a oroal i^d i tw o ril. Both tries in the Mpri™le mH'tch wp a-sunecl bv Wri**"^ 0 . qp,T-yi(>p<s t-^O olflb lest «Tif>rtlv flffpTv a^cls* as at+TßP+ion^ in. AncMa-nd TVoto; +"1 ct^onpr for t^P 1 lencr+Tw 01""00 1 "" 0 The PonP'kes that season pnterpd for a^d won the. senior champion shin, alfhov" T h defeated in its onenino; mq-tch bv the Athletics bv a potted sroal to a t^v. The two tenms met. liter on for flip finqf crarnA, whir»h t^Pi I?P<"Ts. won }i-t a goal to nil. The Poneke score in each game was notched by Ellison. Nine of the club's members played reprepentative football that season, eight taking a hand in the defeat of the Sydney men by 18 points to nil. In 1887. the club continued in its winning vein, and again won the senior cup, which, having been won two years in succession, became the club's own property. The trophy was subsequently given to Ellison in appreciation of the many services he had rendered the club. The Reds supplied ten representatives in 1887. The team had another very fine season in 1888, and did not have a single >v>mt notched against them, although, taking part, in ten matches, including East Christchuroh, Morivale, Palmerston North, and Masterton. Thirteen Poneke men reached representative honours, seven of them taking part in the drawn game against England, and the senior oup was again carried off ov the club. The Cobb and Co. trophy was likewise won, and has since been given to myself. In 1889, the club opened with four foreign matches, defeating the Prince Alberts (Nelson), Grafton (Auckland'), and Pirates (Napier), and drawing with Ponsonby (Auckland). Of their play
in Auckland, one writer said — ■ "The point in, which they showed a great superiority to both local teams, and which, indeed, was their great strength, was the splendid combination displayed by their forward division. With the exception of Mclntyre, perhaps, the individual members of the Wellington club were not at all superior to the individual members of the Ponsonby and Grafton teams, but m the aggregate, for speed, clever dribbling, cute packing, and hard and continuous following, the Poneke players certainly came out ahead of our men." Gage, Ellison, and Williams did not take part in these games, being absent with the Maori team in England, but the former returned to Wellington earlier than his companions, and helped materially to win the championship for his club. He scored in every_ match, and against a powerful Athletic Glub team he potted three goals In four successive seasons In senior cup matches the club's line had oailv been crossed once, a fact which speaks volumes for the defence. The following thirteen played in one or more of the Wellington representative fixtures for 1889 — Nicholls (who acted as captain), Bndson, Sim. Moorhouse, Lee, Roberts, Gage, Ellison. Astill, Reich, Stuart, Coulton, and Molntyre. There were ten wearers of the red and black uniform in the Wellington team which defeated Auckland by a goal to a try. The Northern back team that day consisted of the following — W. Warbrick, Masefield, Wynyard, Jervis, Braund, Elliott, and Rees. Twelve Poneke men took part in the match between Wellington and the Native team, nine on the Wellington side, and three on the other. The season of 1890 was remarkable for two things. First, the defeat of the club's teams in cup fixtures by the Melrose and Wellington Clubs, and secondly, the mild treatment by the Wellington Rugby Fpotball Union in connection with the enquiry regarding the secession of two prominent members of the club, treatment totally opposite to that accorded another leading player later on in the season. This latter episode caused the team to withdraw from the remainder of its fixtures. Had the New Zealand Union been in existence at that time, it would have settled the firstnamed trouble, and the Poneke team would rot then, although roughly hit, have taken what was, no doubt, a mistaken course. Strangely enough, the Melrose Club did not follow up its fine victory, but shortly after, for the time being, wp.nt to pieces, amd it is but iust to say that the Wellington team had established siichi a strong lead for tho championship that the withdrawal of the PoneVe Club made little difference to its chances. Tho R^s in 1890 notcW wins against East Christchurch, Merivale, and Maisterton. In ]WI, the team hq,d o^lv a fmrlv cllCpeo<sfulc 11C peo<5ful season, although qceic+pri +hn+ v"ir bv Cnradns wl "Aril" T^elW Nipbolls, lion-pvAr, left ih** eitv- i n +\t P PHf!v T31 v t of •'"lip cpjj^ov, Rnc l Tiis, n lor>Q "omlrl not bo fill p.rl jn a rl"v. bar! >>p<vr) rqptf"' 1 ! of t^« ''bib >]'"'« ifc foiin. rli + ,on. and <=irlp ever a m^m able or nopulajr Ip'a.ripr. TTp was q^i-n energetic*, flrin, frank, e^perv, arid wpi] up in ■'"he finp points of tbp cramp TV°nitpi t^ie ■wnipnrlirl success +ha> M,tj ciVp bad oniovArl, Tip was npvp,r Hoai=+ful rxnr rijrl he i\\fpr frnrr, c, w -plll fvrl f v r 1 T, An( rl q-i r l h«rl a knack of brintnno- out of a man a 1 ! t1"1^t 1 " 1^ Wil 'hpc+ in Tiim, "^n^qnri Ipri +\,n fp.q'-n in IPOO an(^ hP^nn * iipw Prq • i - 1 tp "Pprlc' ]inn w^c nr'v r>Tn«<:prT nri^p T> 4-1 * 1 * * riori o** hv +1-..P ch-ib pri^T +V.p t^n' r^ fif_ +^f>n norci nipiftTN-nn in f->pir r>nmnp+fir>n. Two fore-iorn matohps were houpvpr Ir«i+ mit of tVee n'a-verl. The followmg year, Ellison, the club s skipper, had the honour of leading the New Zealand team to victory in Australia. Gage, Wynyard, Stuart and Ohphant (the latter being sent over after the second game with New South Wales) were also members of the New Zealand team. There were, however, some able players left, such as Pudney W. Roberts, White' Pender, Kelly, Davidson, Lee, Blacklock and Young, and they did not suffer defeat after the departure of their comrades, and succeeded in annexing the senior championship. The second fifteen were the runners-up for the iunior cup. The club had another excellent season in 1894, for the end of that year saw it still holding the position of premiers — the seventh time in nine seasons. During these nine years only five senior championship matches were lost. The combination between the backs was a feature of the season Wynyard was captain, Ellison's knee
pi eventing him fiom playing in neaily all the games. The latter had been a most successful skipper, and his trip with the Native team to England had enabled him to pick up an immense number of ideas and wrinkles, and, although there have been many most able football generals in this and other places in the colony, I doubt very much whether any of them ever understood the game in all its branches, both forward and back, as thoroughly as did Ellison. Moreover, as a forward, and especially as a try-getting one, he probably has never had a superior in the colony. For Warbnck's team he secured more tries than any other member, with the exception of Keogh, who, playing at half-back, certainly had better opportunities to score. Ellison was quick to pick up an opposing team's system, or lack of one, as the case may be and, bv a counter movement or two, would rudely upset all their tactics. The club was, after this 1 , destined to take a goodly share of defeats, although the reverses did not come all at once. Gage and Wynyard had left the city, and Roberts had joined the Petone Club. On the other hand. McAnallv began to develop into a, fine forward, and two excellent recruits had been picked up m Lusk and Poland. The team, however, won more matches than it lost, and some consolation was derived from the fact that the third fifteen won the third-class competition. There were eight Reds in the Wellington representative team in 1895. In 1896 the club had but a moderately successful season, although its greatest defeat was by a potted goal and a try to nil. The Ponekes had eight representative Blavers. seven of them taking part in the drawn game against Otago. Roberts had returned to the fold, and Gage to the cty. Lusk did some excellent place-kicking, and the passing between these three, Pudney. and Galloway was at times finely executed, T\hile Davidson was at his best at fullback. The year 1897 saw the club, for the first time in the matter of wins, on the wrong side of the ledger. Although there were some good players amongst the forwards, nearly all thei back work had to be done bv Pudnev, Roberts, and Wallace. This was the latter's first season as a senior, and he also got his representative cap. Ei^ht other Red and Blacks also sained this distinction. The third-class championship was again annexed by the club. Frank Young was 1 in the original selection of the New Zealand team for Australia but could not make the trip, while W. Roberts, who joined the team after the first reverse, scored three tries in the decisive match with Npw South Wales. In 1898, the club had a distinctly bad time of it. losing eight matches out of ten. Wallace broke his leg in the second gamp of the season. ar>d the nlav of the backs was very weak. Slattprv put in some excellent work, however, while the forwards did their ■sTinro gpnerallv in a creditable manner. Whit«, MoAn-illv. and £ellv sained interprovincial honours. Covtivitpd ny page 17.
The jear 1899 saw the club at its lowest ebb, and for the only time dunng ltfe, caieer it was at the bottom ot the senior championship table. All its matches were lost, with the exception ot one cbawn game. In addition, the team played a draw with Palmerston North. The club furnished tluee representative men in the persons of Wallace, Roberts, and Me Anally. In 1900, the clouds had begun to kit, and the prospects for the future were rosy. There were some fine young forwards coming along 'a their play, while the backs weie an improved set. The club won the second and fourth class championships, and was runnerup for the third-class. The club again placed three players in the representative team. . , The season of 1901 found the club once more holding its own, for it finished second in the championship table. Tw o drawn frames were played with that year's w-inners. viz., the Wellington Club. The Yellows possessed an excellent all-round combination, and were ahead of the) Reds in hooking the ball and in the half-back play. Only one defeat was inflicted on the olub, and that by 8 points to 3. Slattery gained ten tries, the most ever got in one season for the club. Nine men found their w ay into the representatives from the ranks of the club. In 1902, the first fifteen was leading for the senior championship up to the eighth match, when Wellington won from them by 6 to 3, and the next game was also lost, this time to Melrose who defeated them badly by 19 to nil ' Wallace notched 40 points, by securing eight tries and converting six tries and one mark. This was the largest' total ever got in one season tor the Reds. The first fifteen finished second in senior championship fixtures. Seven representatives were members or the club, which again annexed the 3U This year the form shown by both forwards and backs has been consistently good, and the team one of the soundest the club has ever had, with the re^ suit that the club has once more regained the proud position of ™**™<* the senior championship. The men trained steadily throughout and were weT coached by Mr. W. J. Wlnte one of the best forwards the club has had Wallace proved himself an skipper He was firm fair, and h»,rdworlS. a,nd his play snch that wj«j he was selected as a member of the New
Zealand team it was felt that he had thoroughly earned his laurels. VV. Robeits tilled the breach caused by Wallace's absence in a solid and able manner. The club has also this year won the junior championship. No sketch of the Poneke Club is complete without reference to its piesident (Dr. A. K. Newman), who has always taken an immense interest in its welfare, and has helped in various w ays to promote its interests. He has for years and years given a handsome trophy to the most useful member of the club. The following fifty-two players have represented Wellington — Astill, Abrini, Beck G. and W., Bndson, Brunsden, Coulton, Cairadus, Cross, Dixon, Davidson, Ellison, Fanning, Gage, Galloway, Gray, Judd, Kelly, Lee, Lusk, Mclntyre, McAnally, MoMahon, Merlet, Moore. Moorhouse, Muir, Milner, Mann Nicholls, Oliphant D., OBrien, Pudnev, Pender, Poland, Roberts H. and W., Reich, Storey. Sim, Stuart, Sullivan, Slatterv Slater, Sweeney, Thompson R. Williams G., White, W. T. Wynyard, Wallace, D. Wilson, and Young. Represented New Zealand Ellison, Gage, Oliphant. W. Roberts, Stuart, W T. Wynyard, Wallace and Young. Represented North Island • Gaee. W. Egberts, W. T. Wynyard, and Wallace. Ellison and Gage have captained New Zealand teams. Stuart, was a member of the English team of 1888, and Lusk of the New South Wales team of 1894, Ellison, Gage, and Williams of the Native team, while two other members of the latter also played for Poneke, viz., Wynyard and Lee. Porteous, Butland, R. Roberts, Fanning, Maber, Cross, and Oliphant have also played for New Zealand, and Caradus and Brunsden in the inter-island match, and have also been Poneke players, although not picked as such at the time. Ellison, Gage Moorhouse, Nicholls, Pudnev, H. and W. Roberts Wallace, and Wynyard have captained Wellington representative teams. If it were possible to line up, in their best form, all the men who have played for the club, it is no exaggeration, to say that a team could be chosen capable of trying conclusions, with an excellent chance of success, with a,nv of the New Zealand teams (also supposed
to be at their best) which have toured Australia, powerful as those teams have proved themselves to have been. It may be added tha.t a large number of both old and new members of the
club have stuck to it throughout, and have often given material help when required. The following tables speak for themselves —
The first fifteen has played 38 foieign matches, winning 29, drawing 4, and losing 5 ; scoring 354 points to 105 Cunously the largest win and heaviest defeat has been in games with the Petone Club. In 1891 the Reds won by 34 to nil, and in 1899 they lost by 28 to 4.
Icores for. icoies againsi Year. q 3 >-< Q P • I cm C/ 3 CD a CO "S Ph 2 1 m | 5 a CD Ph co H i o Ph i i | CO 2 "3 o O _>» a CO Ph I T3 o . CD ~ •an C o tn O 1-3 w 1883 1884 1885 1886 1887 1888 1889 1890 1891 1892 1893 1894 1895 1896 1897 1898 1899 1900 1901 1902 1903 8 10 11 9 8 10 9 7 13 10 10 9 » 9 9 10 9 10 10 11 13 5 6 11 7 7 9 7 5 6 8 7 7 5 5 4 2 2 2 2 1 2 4 2 1 2 1 2 3 3 2 1 2 2 9 5 4 7 8 7 9 8 11 3 5 5 4 2 1 1 1 1 1 6 1 2 1 2 2 1 3 2 1 3 2 1 1 1 3 2 8 10 20 ! 12 ! 10 I 12 : » 13 14 13 14 11 8 5 4 3 9 18 20 32 I 2 1 3 2 4 1 1 2 1 4 5 9 5 4 5 4 1 1 1 Q 3 I 1 1 - 2 1 2 2 2 2 2 1 3 2 9 4 4 3 9 7 11 21 12 8 5 4 4 1 3 4 5 8 7 5 1 2 1 1 — I 3 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 1 3 1 2 1 2 1 — - 2 2 2 I 3 1 2 1 2 2 2 - 3 7 8 12 1 3 12 7 12 1 1 2 1 1 2 1 I i Totals 204 131 51 22 125 24 18 20 258 53 12 4 21 113 1627 points to 731.
RECORD OF FIRST FIFTEEN
G iVallaee Allison Slattery iVynyard jage Sobeits.W. .. tfuir, J. uusk Pudney jee Kelly Vleilet, A. . . tfclntyre ioal Is J from r J 26 18 1 3 12 0 8 3 7 2 0 0 5 c lues. JPots. 1 0 0 4 0 6 2 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 Groal Is i ii om M 3 0 1 1 2 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 3 lark ks. JPenall Ity C 7 1 1 2 2 1 0 0 4 0 0 0 0 0 Goal Is. Tries. 13 24 24 11 8 11 12 15 3 15 15 16 12 7 Points, 128 111 81 65 62 60 60 51 51 49 49 48 46 45
The Chief Scorers of the Clubs are .—. —
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