OUT Door SPORTS AND PASTIMES
RUGBY FOOTBALL. Auckland v Wellington.
AS I sit down to write my review of the latest Auckland-Welling-ton representative match, memories of past encounters crowd over me, but I am not inclined to give them an airing at this stage. The feeling is strong within me these days that the representative matches played this season should not go down in the records, mainly because so many of the best Rugby players in the Dominion are 'helping to fight the battles of the Empire on that dire Gailipoli Peninsula; and that being so, I consider that these games should not -be put on the same plane as those decided when things are normal. "So many of Auckland's best players" have gone to the war," said one enthusiast to me, "that you could hardly expect the - representative team to be of a high standard this year." And what is true of Auckland is equally true of all other parts' of New Zealand, for, in scanning' the casualty lists since our boys have got into the fighting line, it will be found that, Rugby football in New Zealand has given some of its finest exponents to King and Empire. They have died as they played the Rugby game—clean and straight and with their faces to the opponents. I may be told, that there is room at the front still, for many of those who were playing on Saturday. I don't deny it, but it is only because the opportunity has not come their way that several of them are still playing the game here. Two of those who represented Wellington on Saturday came and went from the Park in khaki, one is' on the Defence permanent staff, two others are under the military age, and at least three more have handed their names in, and are waiting their call to go into Camp. This to prove that, although the games are still being played, Rugby footballers are doing their part, and will continue to do so until this dire war is over. * * * * A Grand Sight. This . being _ admitted, it is now my duty to chronicle in my own way what happened at the Athletic Park last Saturday. First and foremost, it was a grand afternoon with the conditions ideal for the playing of Rugby football, and the sight of so many thousands of people round the playing field proved to me that, for the time being, it is well to get our thoughts away from the war business for a little while, and that the Rugby Unions of both Auckland and Wellington were wise in arranging this match. A couple of old-time Auckland friends had their first view of Athletic Park last Saturday, and they were unstinted in their admiration of it as a playing area. Andi it did look well, without the shadow of a doubt, the grass being nice and green and well cropped, the springiness of the turf making it just the thing for the playing of an interprovincial game of Rugby football. * * * * _ The Play. The opening stages saw the Wellington forwards going great guns, so much so that play was only in progress 18 minutes when the black-jerseyed brigade had credited themselves with 11 points. The first try was awarded W. Ready for an act of obstruction on the part of one of the Auckland backs, but, from where I was sitting, the "action hardly called for the referee using the full power he did. It is true that Ready was in full trek after the ball at the time, but there were so many players round about that it was a* very problematical thing to say what would have happened, even if the obstruction seen by the referee had not occurred. A free kick for the obstruction would have met the offence, in my opinion, but the referee is sole judge of matters of fact. About the second try there was no mistake, however, W. Ryan forcing himself over with the ball in his possession. There was more than a shade of doubt about the third one, however. J. Tilyard made a fine run from about half-way, and the opening that followed was a beauty. H. Tancred and W. Ryan carried on the movement in good style, the latter sending his pass to J. G. Kinvig. After making a little ground Kinvig was in trouble, and, finding no one to support him, he threw the ball out into the open. J. Ryan raced up to get it, and in his first attempt to
gather home the ball 1 , he knocked it on. His second try, however, was more successful, as also was his cut in, which; left the Auckland defence completely' nonplussed. It looked such a simple thing asl-.Ryan grounded the ball" over the goal-line. The Petone player was also as successful with the place-kick, and Wellington were 11 points up. The Aucklanders Rally. Up to this stage the game had been all in favour ...of the local side, but the Aucklanders apparently thought it was time they did something to make a match, of it. They came right away, G. Avery, A. McHugh, and R. Casey heading a rush right down to R. Robinson, the Wellington full-back. ' They charged his kick down, but Kinvig came to the rescue. He, however, could not get clear, and was forced over the line with the bal'l in his- possession, "scrum back" being ordered by the referee. A mark by A. Clarke followed, but E. Barkers place-kick, though a good one, did! not go quite straight. • Nothing daunted, the Aucklanders came at it again, a fine line kick by Clarke : pushing Wellington right back to their: base. Some fierce scrummaging here took place, Tilyard, from behind the Wellington pack, relieving the situation with a great touch-finding kick. The Auckland forwards had now the upper hand for a while,, both in the loose and the 1 solid stuff, but directly C. Moffitt, their full-back, won much applause for his clever turning back of a retaliatory rush. And then Barker made another fine place-kick from a mark, the ball striking the far goalpost and glancing to safety., as far as Wellington were concerned. Another of those changes for which 'Rugby is famous then came over the scene. J. Ryan made a neat run down the centre of the field, and then passed to B. Algar. The latter .linked D. Stewart, and tried to do the same with Moffitt. He paid the penalty, which was. all the more disastrous from the fact that he had Kinvig otitside of him, with a positive try looming up if he had been given the pass when Algar had the full-back in chancery. Avery, who played a fine game for Auckland all the time, headed ..another rush which looked like trouble for Wellington. The locals got out of the difficulty all right, and within three minutes of knocking-off time W. Ryan again hurled himself over the Aucklanders' line —14 to nil. A good passing run by the visiting backs—-J. Laing, S. Prussing, D. Stewart, and A. Clarke all handling it in turn, and then a fine running take of the ball on the fly by Moffitt, the fullback, were bright spots in the play. Just here A. Clarke had to be carried off the .field, and time was up. The whistle had gone, however, for an unintentional off-side, and before the ball, could be made dead Kinvig scored a try for Wellington, which left the tally 17 to nil in the local team's favour at halftime. * * * * The Second Half of the game was not nearly so interestring as the first, for the simple, reason that both teams had found the going pretty solid. It was a race up and down the field, all right. For a while it looked as if the Aucklanders were going to take their beating lying down, but directly a forward rush swept the Wellington defence right away, and it looked as if the whole of the Auckland forward division were on the ball when it crossed the line. J. Harris was credited with the try, J. Laing adding the two extra .points from the plaoe-kick. Wellington 17, Auckland 5. A fine rush of Wellington backs up the far line, followed by a good centre, saw Moffitt save his side by a timely force. And then the Auckland backs began throwing the ball about, but their passing was a shade wild. Algar nipped in the bud one of their rushes by <x. timely intercept, and set sail for the line with J. Ryan tailing up behind. This time the Poneke five-eighth made no mistake, and, as he blanketted Moffitt, he passed to Ryan, who went the necessary distance to score the try. I say it this way advisedy, for they were a really tired lot that chased him home. Tilyard converted the try, and, with the score 22 —5 against them, the Auckland team's supporters were looking for the way home. The boys from' the north rallied, however, and the outstanding incident in the concluding stages was a great goal from a mark by Barker, which brought their total up to 8 points. And here it stayed to the finish, even though in the interim W. Francis, Wellington's hooker, had to be carried off the field through straining the tendons of this right knee. * * * * Casually in Passing the thought struck me that, although there was much applause during the game, there was not the enthusiasm that we have been wont to associate with. Auckland-Wellington matches in. the past. Maybe, the absence of the greater players of recent years accounted for this lack of enthusiasm, but to
me there did not seem to be the same keenness amongst the players as of old. It is true that occasionally there ,were no beg pardons handed about amongst the players, but, treating the game as a whole, it appeared to me that the Havers felt they were performing a duty, rather than seeking the defeat of those opposed to them. It is a strange thought, _ probably; in connection with the playing of a Rugby match, but I make no apologies in giving rein to it. # « * * About the Players I am not inclined to write much. J. Ryan played a game right up to bis best form, both in attack and defence. His line-kicking was an, outstanding feature of the game. J. T. Tilyard was, as I expected he would prove to be, a success at half-back. R. Robinson was satisfactory at full-back, and the backs, as a whole, combined well together. Amongst the forwards D. Dennehy and W. Ryan went great guns all the time, and A. Wilson and A. Gilchrist were also much in evidence. 0. Moffitt was a - good'full-back for Auckland, although his kicking was not powerful enough for a tip-top custodian of the goal. None of the other backs rose to a very high standard, mainly from the fact that they have not had. enough experience in the playing " of these representative games. There is ability in plenty amongst them, and it would not surprise me to find many of them making names for themselves at our national game if things are favourable to them, as the days go by. The forwards were a fine lot, albeit rather s!ow in settling down to the seriousness of the game. G. Avery is a fine stamp of a forward, solid in the scrummapre, and clever in the loose. A. McHugh, J. Grace, and O. Stewart were also satisfactory, and built the right way. The Refereeing. It will be remembered that, in answer to a query sent me, I stated a week or two back that I did not know why Mr. W. J. Meredith was not acting as a referee in senior matches, but I had no doubt, when the representative games came along, he would be in evidence. That conclusion has turned out to be a correct one, but, in fairness to Mr. Meredith,, it is only right to say that there were good and sufficient reasons for his standing _ down when the cup matches were being played. As to his refereeing, I have already referred to two doubtful tries awarded. Wellington. On one occasion there was a deliberate charge by an Aucklander that the referee let go. In this instance a Wellington back was waiting to take the ball, but the charger ran slap bang into him before the ball reached, him. The referee could not have missed it, but he apparently shut his eyes and allowed the play to go on as though nothing had happened. Otherwise, there was little to complain about in connection with the refereeing in this latest Auckland-Wellington match. * * * * The Teams. Wellington: Full-back, R. Robinson; three-quarters, E. Ryan, B. Algar, J. G. Kinvig; five-eighths, J. Ryan, J. L. Blackmore; half-back, J. T. TUyard; wing-forward, A. Gilchrist; forwards, W. Ready, W. Francis, A. Wilson (capt.), N. McPhee, D. Dennehy, W. Ryan, and H. Tancred. Auckland: Full-back, C. Moffitt; three-quarters, E. Barker, D. Stewart (capt.), A. Clarke; five-eighths, S. Prussing, E. Campbell; half-back, J. Laing, wing-forward, 0. Stewart; forwards, R. Casey; J. Grace, A. Campbell, A. McHugh, G. Avery, W. Hanlon, and J. Harris.
The cruelty of this war in Europe :s being brought forcibly home just now to the Rugby enthusiasts in Wellington. I have already made reference, at different times, to the deaths of Roy Lambert, Ernie Fisher, T. M. Grace, and liance Bridge, all of whom were well Snown and prominent players. The casualty lists published last Saturday contained the names of two others equally well known and respected, viz., David : Stewart Macfarlane (Petone Club and Wellington representative) and Henry Dewar (Melrose Club, Wellington and Taranaki representative). To me the passing of these lads is all the more, sorrowful from the fact that while they were in Egypt they were photographed together, and a copy of the photo, they were kind enough to send me. A reprint of the picture is reproduced on this page; the original I will .keep amongst my treasured keepsakes in connection with the .Rugby game.
Stewart Macfarlane first played senior football with the Petone Football Club in 1909, and all his Rugby career •was with the suburban club, barring a short sojourn in Palmerston North at the beginning of the 1914 season. Stewart was a fine specimen of a man, beautifully developed, and as a forward ranked, with the-best produced that great Rugby club in Petone. But it was as a placerkick that Stewart Macfarlane will b4 remembered as long as Rugby football* is played in these parts, fpr he was really a sensational converter of tries and kicker of penalty goals. Even W. J. Wallace, who had a phenomenal record as a scoring player, did not approach the Petone lad, as Wallace's best totals for a season were 67 (1906), 40 (1901) and 40 (1902), his full total being 306 points in Clip matches from 1897 to 1908 (Wallace being m Dunedin in 1900). Stewart Maofarlane's figures are as follow: — —Cup Matches. — .2 fl.| c« "§"3 :Sg -g.S eh oEh phO So oho bpm. 1909 ... 2 13 '■'3 2 0 47 1910 .:'. 3 17 0 0 0 43 1911 ... 1 15 7 1 0 57 1912 ... 3 15 6 1 0 60 . 1913 ... 4 17 7 5 0 82 1914 ... 5 15 6 2 0 69 Totals' 18 92 29 11 0 358 —Representative Matches. — . Stewart Macfarlane represented Wellington on eighteen different occasions, as follows: —Horowhenua, 1909; New Zealand, Maoris and Marlborough, 1910; North Island Country, Marlborough, Maoris, Southland, and Otago, 1911; Bay of Plenty (twice), Auckland, South Island Country, Wanganui, Taranaki, and Southland, 1912; New "Zealand and! Taranaki, 1914. He scored in these games as follow: — V "£ -& Against. J » *JS -a 5 ~.£ c.2 a g -g.S ti o £ «000 En OE-f ChC5 EHCU Horowhenua ... ... 0 1 0 2 New Zealand ... ... 0 3 1 9 Marlborough ... 0 3 0 6 Southland 0 4 0 8. Bay of Plenty ... 0 9 1 21 Taranakif 0 3 0 6 South Island Country 2 3 0' 12 Wanganui ... — 0 4 1 11 2 30 3 75 * * * # Henry Dewar —or. as he was more familiarly known, "Norky'' ,Dewar — was as good a forward as ever played for the Melrose Club, and that is placing him' on a high plane, for there were many fine players the Newtown club gave to the Wellington representative teams. But he has been lost to local football for some time, a trip to Haiwera in the course of his occupation finding him nothing loth to settle down in the Taranaki town. There he kept up his form, so much eo that the amber and black jersey was worn by him many times, and when the New Zealand team was picked to tour California, "Norky" Deiwar was a rnemW of the side captained by Alex. McDonald. And no one begrudged him reaching the zenith of a Rugby footballer's ambition in the Dominion, for he honestly deserved his place. He also won a place in the North Island team. *''#'* * Henry Dewar played regularly in th© Wellington representative team during the 1907 and 1908 seasons, the record of his matches being : # —1907, Canterbury, Horowhenua, Wairarapa, Otago, and Southland; 1908, British team, Wanganui (twice), Wairarapa, Auckland, and Taranaki. By the way, in all the references in the daily papers to the ex-Melrose player, nothing was stated about his having played as a Wellington representative.
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OUT Door SPORTS AND PASTIMES, Free Lance, Volume XV, Issue 792, 3 September 1915
OUT Door SPORTS AND PASTIMES Free Lance, Volume XV, Issue 792, 3 September 1915
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