"The Professional All-Blacks."
Present appearances indicate that the professional Rugby scheme has fizzled right out. Baskiville, who is credited with being the arch-conspir-ator, has attained a very fair measure of notoriety throughout the colony at the expense of being "put up" for concocting such a vile project and attempting to besmirch the fair fame of New Zealand Rugby. There are some people who are uncharitable enough to ' suggest that Dixon and his pals have had their legs pulled to a ludicrous extent over this professional business, and one is not so sure, on looking 'closely into the matter', that there is not some justification for the assertion. That document originally drawn up by the committee bore the impression that its members had certainly taken leave of their senses for the time being. What a noble action it was on their part to insert a clause m which players were invited to act the part of a spy and informer— the dirtiest, and most low-down proposal that has ever emanated ffom any athletic body m the British dominions. The Dixon-cum-Wylie-cum-''Gai-ly" push saw terrible retribution would overtake when the real meaning of the clause dawned upon tlie footballers of this colony, and
they .-made -haste to delete the obnoxious regulations. It is singular that the • Union's executive should possess the knack of making an awful botch of things when .handling delicate questions. The New Zealand Union appears to have , a very exalted idea of its own powers m regard to • the infliction of punishment on refractory players, but 'I am fortified by legal opinion when I say that tlie Union would probably come out second best m the courts were it to attempt to "put up" any ' one of the crowd who refused to append their signature to this now historic document. There is nothing m the by-laws of the Union that would justify the executive m dealing out punishment m the present instance. The players who decline to fall m line with the committee's wishes have not infringed any of its regulations, consequently they can't be punished for an offence which they have never committed. Since the N.Z.R.U. is taking such repressive measures to preserve the amateur status of our footballers it might be as well if it started putting its own house m order before commencing operations elsewhere. According to the strict interpretation oE the laws of professionalism, as defined by tha English Rugby Union, Dixon, "Gaily?' and Wyllie are tarred with the same brush that has keen applied to certain individuals who have been disqualified for life m this colony v for ofiencss coming under the head of professionalism,. Each of the above named have, at . different times,, been thc recipients of money voted for alleged' services, whilst connected -with a football association— the N.Z.R.U., to wit, and it cannot be lost sight of that Dixon, m years past was m receipt of a . salary, as secretary, from thS Auckland Rugby Union. What is "■_' sauce • for the goose is sauce 'ior the gander," and liefpve Dixon and Co. start to proclaim from the housetops . their desire to purge the sport of the professional element they . should see that theft own dealings with the Union ate fair, square and above board m the amateur sense.
Hearing of the success of the Manawatu Union's insurance scheme, the Poverty; Bay' Union has wrHten to the country Urekh tor an outline of how it has been worked! 'The request was promptly acceded to- , ■ After tangling itself- up with the rule relating to -defaulters, the Manawatu Union's executive had finally to forward the • rule to the New Zealand Union for interpretation. As n n balance-sheets ;were' sent toy clubs at the end of last year ,\ the-' Union had to try and : define a defaulter, and found itself m .some difficulty. It was decided, as one way out of His bother to produce last year's bal-ance-sheets, showing,; the ■ names 'of members who ' paid' their subscriptions, •■■ such information to tea to hand before Jui3 ?«Jrd. At Woodville the other- day a match w[as played •i-jstween a couple of teams, erne of which was composed of Maoris, an,d some amusing" scenes arose out of ihe proceedings. A dusky specta-^ tor, possibly thinking a pakeha called Palmer was . doing too good work behind the scrum, walked over and gave him a tremendous kick on the thi°h which seemed .to satisfy^ the Maorir-ifcut mot so the rjaasaa. On the opposite side. of the' field another spec 4 tator (Johjiny Kuiti), seeing his' sids m ■difficulties-, waded into a "Scrum to help ke^p his opponents at bay, but emerged • with" bis new Sunday "bun" bashed m.. ' As th 3 outcome ' oi a conference held by the parties interested, what lime the New Zealand Rugby Union was m session this. month, the West Coast snd Buller Unions guaranteed £100 for a "visit of , a Canterbury team to their country., this season. The Canterbury Union has approved of the idea,' and' if possible the visit will be arranged. ... Past and ' present members of the Linwood Club view with strong dis-favour-the growing practise of members transferring from one club to another through causes' -that are detrimental to pure -sport, and' have decided to upge upon the Canterbury Union to take the matter up m the ■direction of stopping the evil. To get over the difficulty it is proposed to strike out an existing rule and substitute another which, will give the committee of the Union power to refuse any transfer without its assent. "Gulliver's" declaration as quoted hereunder should not strike abject terror into the hearts of the "All Blacks" when they cross the Tasman m July :— "With Messenger and L. M. Smith m the centre, and Russell and Stuntz on the wings, Wickham full back, Mandible five-eighth, and Matthews half, and all m form, New South Wales would have a back division that need fear little against the New Zealanders. Of course, there are others just as good as one or two, notably Hedley, as full-back." The Wellington friends of Fred Glasgow will be interested to hear that the ! '.' All Black" ! forward, now a resident of "Invercarßill, has missed a few matches this season owing to j a bad leg. There is said to be a much-needed revival m forward play m Invercargill, but the passing game among the' backs, has deteriorated. Some referees m Dunedin strongly object to the clanging of the bell at half-time and no-side. It seems that McDonald, %c president of the Ota-go Union, made a "hass" of himself when entrusted with this duty m a recent * ! matoh, and this explains the attitude of the whistling brigade. In Wellington t-he ben lias served its purpose admirably. With reference to the wish of the Queensland Rugby Union to join m with N.S.W. m sending a team to England next year, the Cornstalks don't appear to "cotton on" to tlu suggestion. They say that if, as was practically the case m the visit of the Australian team to New Zealand m 1905, N.S.W. 'lias to bear the financial brunt, it is not cleat why their State should agree to cooperate that practically risks all and receives nothing m returnA Sydney writer says that the ' New South Wales and Metropolitan Unions r should have each given at least £100" towards" the tour of the Combined Schools when it was found ■ that the New Zealand Union had sewn up its pockets. ' : Horgan, who played behind the Poneke scrum last season, made his reappearance m South Canterbury football on the 16tli inst, when he replaced an • 'injured player at lulftime m the Temuka y. Pirate match, i
He is credited with putting ja somevery useful work, his kicking and clever handling of 'the .ball (being ex--06116111;. Fitzpajtrick is set down as one o! the best forwards m Dunedin this season, Veteran W, Stead turned out for his old club the week before last. E. Purdue has also taken the field agjain. C. E. Brockett, who has filled, the position of secretary of the Kaierau Club for t*ie past three years lias been transferred to Dunedin. Dan Toohill is an unlikely starter m the Poneke-Petone match this afternoon. He hurt his leg playing against Athletic last Saturday. Eric Watkins, who declined to sign the amateur declaration of.the New Zealand Rugby Union, has had several good games with the Baetihi Fernrooters this season. The ex-Old Boy representative teljs me that there are several rattling good players up that way. He also makes the assertion ihat he was never m better nick than he is at the present time. Amen 2; other rumours circulated m tlio city is that one of tlie prin- j cipx's v the professional Riißby ven- I ture has offered his services as coach to Stanford University at a fee of £500 per year. Th-3 Taranaki Union is after £30 of the £200 that has been set aside I by the New Zealand Union for • the j purpose of fostering primary school ■ football. Strenuous play seems to be m evidence m Auckland this season. The I Grafton Club have six senior men ' rather badly hurt. ' j
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