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Outside Chat.

Rugfoy is just about on its death-bed, and the termination of .the Otago-Wcl-lington fixture, set down- for this afferr. noon, will virtually ring down the cur-r tain on a sjeasW which has been .eyentr ful m more sjaises than one. Pattbnscrf the winter game have had a good s^lo*. full this season, a-Q,d they are beginning to sicken of the fare, set before them and want a change. Many of the Rug-, by exponents have already given- the 'moth-balls a shake-out of the flannels, m preparation for the coming seasonable sport of cricket. ' ' ,

, Wellington Rugby! Union m its haste to give the Northern nion attractiopr at-. Petone a ■ forceful but' fruitless kick on Saturday played the low-down game „ of H lurlngy people to Athletic Park underr'false pretences. It was published that Hardgraves, Mynott, arid Hunter would be playing for Taranaki, and the bfficial. programme, issued on the day of match, said ditto. But when the teams' lined out on the field, wonderment was expressed among- the spectators at the absence of the v opposing trio. Luridi: language was plentiful, and bets were < freely made as to ' whether; an actionwould lie against the Union, for obtaining meney by means of a false pretence. Such rotten tactics of the Union iif ■working off a "faked" team' of visiting footballers won't help the Rugby game with the. public,, which, on this' occasion, I was keenly Inquisitive on seeing "H^trd- j greaves perform. The Union's officials must have been aware of- the' true facts concerning the composition of thK Tara-H naki team, but they hadn't the common decency or honesty to make them known « to the public, which alone keeps 'the Rug- ' by pot- boiling m Wellington or anywhere else. ■ . '' ■"' ' ; ' ■ ■ ■ ' ,- ;

The news of the sentence of life ■ disqualification on Jack Eagan, the crack Charters Towers vanguarder, has plunged Ruubyites of Queensland into bewilderment. The incident prematurely relegates to the cold shades of retirement one of the most efficient players ; tjiat ever donned a maroon jerssy. Eagan was a brilliant unit for the Northern team, country champions of lUOB, and also represented country against metropolis; and Queensland against New South Wales,- both m Brisbane and Sydney. Arrangements have .been made to play .a combined country team representing Waverly, Patea, and Alton against a Wanganui rep. combination this afternoon, the proceeds to be utilised ior the benefit of injured players. , . , The Goldfields (Auckland) team is said; to have m Young, a player who is mv> questionably m 4he first flight of the many fine "forwards which 'Auckland pro-

yittcte # fortunate enough.' -.to have "at her command tfcis seas»n.; -■■■•'

[ Short shift was given by the Wanganui Rugby; Union to the- complaint of the referee m the rep. match. Wanganui v. Manawatu at Feilding, about hooting by r the visitors when hostilities came to an end. The Wanganui officials declared that it had no evidence that any groaning took place by members of their team. |To this I would' like to add that it seemingly didn't suit my Wanganui friends to take the least trouble to get conclusive evidence of the groaning indulged m by at least three ok the representatives. Plenty would ha>fe been forthcoming had the Wanganui officials wanted it. Whitewashing methods of this kind don't tend to do the game any good. One cf the chief objections to the introduction of tfie Northern Union code of itugby m this Dominion is that affecting the payment of players, and, as pointed out toy a northern writer, New Zealanders are not likely to take kindly to the man who derives his living solely from tl. i 'came. Jior to the one who is paid for playing football on his weekly half-holiday or spscial occasions. After all, the game is but a recreation, and no recreation should --become a business/ But a man is perfectly^ justified m fortifying himself against being out of pocket when following recreative purpo•res. There can be no valid objection to a player being paid liis actual dlut-of-pocket purposes and being reimbursed for time lost, while on tour— provided, of •course, this course is not abused. If the Northern. Union. game is to be popularised m New Zealand, its promoters >must make such provision as will keep it free from, such -abuses. It must be entirely free from straight-out bastard professionalism. Undesirable characters should be rigidly excluded from its ranks ?as. the, pace., m the -game gives little; chance ; to tlfe hanger-pn or hop-chewer' to indulge m his fepretiensible propensi- ; ties. -Safeguards of this, nature are absolutely desirable, if the new cede is to firmly establish itself m our midst. Many pf the players who' have been won over to the, Northern Union code are as pure amateurs as any to be found playing the rival game. They have scant ' sympathy with" professionalism as it 'is preached and practised by officials of the Auckland, Otagc, and ' Wellington Rugby Unions, and that boodlesome' inefficient push— the N.Z.R.U. to wit. It is stated that six playing members of the Tukapa Club will be found m the ranks of New Plymouth's professional .team; „" . . '■ .:V" ' . ; '■' . ',.

- A Londoner, who has been residing m "tEe Dominion fcr . the past" eighteen months, points 'out to me that m the South of England class distinction is so much m evidence that a working chap, no matter whether he' be a Stoddart or a tjockwood, or a Gywh Nicholls, has^prefcious lijttle chance of getting into a : representative team- He says the crack Hp'ndoii clubs are drawn solely from the , university and tipper middle classes. The 'grafters m the manual ; labor division 'lave, or had up to his , departure, their .own clubs, and arranged matches between .themselves, and would have nothing to with the horny-handed son of toil. As a reason for tho unpopularity ,of the. All Blacks with Home players ho puts it [forth that tie latter considered G lla- a- , tier's men were not of their social caste; 'VThe writer" would like to say m refer- !' ekce to that declaratipn that on the [ shbwjng 'of Harnett's. . guzzling brigade, I -through the Dominion recently, it is a j master of cpngratulatipn for the New Zealanders that m their travels they were ■spared the insufferable infliction *of the presence of tlie cads' who, it appears, make' up the biggest proportion of ' the ■bastard amateur Bugb'y forces'in. the Old "The Dominipn boys could well afiord to be unpopular -when, bumping up against such priggish nonenities of ; the stamp of Vassall, Griffiths, Gibbs, I etc.. - . -. ■ :•. „'. •:• ■■/.

Item from a Tamworth (N.S.W.y paper, Which found its way into ray hands last- ' vygcte :—' 'There is a growing, and not altogether ; unjustified; feeling that this British team do not, especially when pressed for time, play with the same fairness ass ;did ".' Moljsneux and Betleil-Sivwrightfs teams. . Certainly^ ; when the visitors and : the Metropoiitan "team were pegging level With, only a few mimvfces to.go, the Briti ishers were first tb turn .Rugby into Boughby. Some of the locajs.werc quick to follow suit, and! th& referee Try- letting,, it slide tfirued his duties into "rougkerQeißg." ' • ~ •In the opinion of the Inyercargill- Scribe who saw the Gtago-Southlaml match m. Dunedin a few weeks ago; the crowd was a, very one-eyed oney His impressions ol thie cock-eyed or prejudiced "Burgueites" recorded thus :—'• There was no . re-' cognition of the game manner m which the visitors played, up against a better team and cruel conditions; the crowd just 'saw red.' Wheti the issue was quite ■beyond doubt they yelled for more scores.^ the most brilliant aggressive movement of the match •tyhich culminated. in .a score by Broad for Southland t Was greeted with an almost sullen silence that gave! way to fiercely extravagant applause as the/Blues again began to pile up the points, It was quite .an unusual reception for the Sojxthlanjl team to get, m l)unedin, and seemed to indicate that the unexpected defeat m 1906 of a much-vaunted Otago team by a so-called weak Southland fifteen- has left a sort of nervous, dread of -the Southlanders m the-A- minds of the Dunedin public. Desperate efforts arc being niade by the Ceylon footballers to clear their repu- ! ta t tion as amateurs, and with that end m view they have decided not tb play Ahe Australian prpfessibnafj team now on' ; Its way to England. The "cream of tho ■joke lies' in the iact that the rival light •blue combination which is also seeking fame m the Old Ufaxi' declined to meet Ccylonese ibn its homeward route because the latter bad ccrm promised tlieii ■amateur status by having' a game with ?Baskiyille's men. The Ceyloivese have ijriade a holy mess of\things all round.

During the progress bf the Ttiames'-Wai-.kato match at Hamilton recently an unfortunate contretemps occurred; which, uesides winning the match/for tne 1 - visitors, .brought about ill-feeling on the part of 'the spectators. It appears tha-tt' Thames invaded "Waikatp's' territory and several:"! *thitojv-ins occurifed. The line '.umpire's^ flag v^aß constantly m the air for sonic On. oner occasion he evidently j forgot to pulL it jdo^rfl until Hay ward "(Thames) was about to cross \Vaiftato/ line, while the whole team ptafctically* 1 . istood and allowed him to run m. Tho;' •umpire then declared that he had not J hoisted the flag on this occasion, but that jhis Ilae; referred, to something that hap-. opened just previously. It;; all occurred m -a flash, andjthe referee awarded a try to Thames, but ordered; the line umpire, rwlio was a Thames man, to give up his

\ They say that the only condition on which' Ireland and Scotland will meet the Australians is that the N.S. Wales Kugby Union shall make no profit out of the matches. It is rather a shabby act on the part of the British unions to enforce such a condition, seeing that the Kugby authorities of Kangarooland took the financial risk of two British teams to Horstralia.

When one looks round and takes a comprehensive view of the N.Z.R.U. Mismanagement. .Committee, when it is discussing, say, suggestions fbr the improvement ol Rugby play, one is constrained to admit .that the correct definition to apply to -them would he "a museum of fossilised curiosities." Their football cake is a very ■sodden": one just now, -but Rip Van Winklelike, these amiable "nonentities will awake from thejr ({lumbers a day or two before the- "annual. gala m May arid knead un more appetising dough for delegates to swallow. ,

There is nothing clearer than . that tho Taranaki Rugby Ui'ion was simply using the . local Rugby Union as a convenience for its own purposes when it agreed to play Wellington at the Park last Saturday, as. the official statement from , the northerners as to the reason fbr arranging the match was that it would keep 'their men m good fettle for tlie following game w"i,th Otago. The Taranaki people seemingly didn't give a dump about the Northern Union counter-attraction, which the Wellington Union, at the under hand instigation of. the' N.Z.R.U. Executive, unsuccessfully sought to po'c-axe by arranging at the eleventh hour a trial ol

strength between the mongrel amateur combinations of the two unions. The Wellington Rugby Union was "bested" badly m Saturday's conflict with the Northern Union crowd, notwithstanding its dirty move to bolster up the< spurious strength of the visitii'g team. Three Riugby League matches have been arranged for the Southland team, viz:— Against . South Canterbury at Timaru on Ist October; against Otago at Djunedin ' on 3rd October ,- and' agtiinst Otago m Invercargill on 7th October. The team selected some time -back has been keeping m condition m view Of these games. Mr Tommy Henderson, for some years chairman of the Auckland Rugby Union, Meriting to the "Star" newspaper on the necessity for improving the Kugby game, so as to" make it more attractive to both players and spectators, is at a loss to understand the abject fear of theN.Z.K.U. •m taking action, m the direction •proposed 'by seye*ral of the affiliated unions. "It we are to wait until that conservative and slow-moving institution (1i1.1i.U.) takes action we shall find," says Tommy, "the more progressive Northern Union will have cut the ground from under our feet. We have, not much to gain by retaining our allegiance to the .English Union, and my counsel is to cut the painter and adopt a more up-to-date set of rules. "No doubt .a little persuasion would induce New. South. Wales abd Queensland, to follow our : lead, ami we should theu have .sufficient fields to' conquer irrespective of the Old Country. 1 recognise that the personnel , of the players has changed of late years, and' that the majority of them are not m a position to lose the time requisite for touring, and Uhat, therefore, it has become .necessary to make some pro-.i vision for time so losti Such honorarium should not, however, 'be large enough to induce any player to sacrifice his'employment." ..-■■■ : Js. there .any .truth ; m. the yarn, whispered'quietly .abput, I wduld like to know, that a player' wiio took-' part m the \YVeliing.ton team's Northern tour on his return to the city made a demand on a Rugby official for money before he wouklSparrticipate ii\ another rep. match, and that to appease his appetite for . "brass, v the said official "forked- out five bob with the promise that . more would probably follow later -on ? If the New Zealand Kugby t T ftion muddlers ' care to nose up the facts they might have a clear case for disqualifying'the player, the. official and the local Rufrby Union. Under what heading will that five bob of expenditure appear m the R\igby Union's balance-sheet next : year .?" Unauthorised expenditure or secretary's pettnes ?'.' . . • In his reflections .on the tour of the% Anglo-\jjelsh team m the . Dominion, -Hamr ish Stuart, one bf ;1 England's best known, Rugfoy critics, came to this corclusion :~ "A. side engaged m a seriously planned and extended tour are, ef course, very-dif-ferent from sides on a sort of holiday tour. .Yet when all is said, the tact re-^ mains .^that. composite British sides never play" together.: or do,, their powers the samejustice as do colonial sides... One has only to point to the success of the New Zealanders and South Africans m, this country for a convincing proof of the accuracy of' this contention." / The Auckland Rugby Union has donat* ed £5 5s towards the cost of erecting at New Plymouth a. memorial to the late Alf. Bayly. ' In presenting the^ Brown Shield to the., Wellington "Soccer" Jeam at Dunedin on Saturday last, the Mayor of Dunedin (Mr J. McDonald) said he was surprised _• at noting the action taken by the Otago -Rugby Union regarding professionalism. It 'seemed to him that the Union was becoming doubtful ;of the stability of its: cause. He referred to the statements made, regarding Southland and Dunedin by the manager of the British team, "and, somewhat sarcastically remarked on the fact that that team \v;as. composed of amateur players.' " • The Old Boys have Vaxed very indigo nant at the statenie'nt m thef?e columns .last week that they were capable of headwork. They assert that the 'Wanganui team's visit is a short one and m deference to the visitors' wish the dance is ■ being held on ,the only available night:the night before the match.. The local .Old Bo)'s' . apology is accepted, but at the same time the Wanganui boys should bo. here for footbajl, antl anyone who is a party to this dance " before the match, racket should get his head read. The local v crowd assert it is going home early. The President of the Marlborough Rugby Upaion has a grievance m the matter of lack of representation of ssfche minor uni- • ,ons m Inter-Island and New Zealand rep. teams, and suggests that if no players/ from the Marlbourough;, Buller, Nelson "and West Coast' unions' were selected maa jDominionist combination next season, to pick a team f^om the above unions and challenge a South Island team' to play the North Island. ' : .

Prewin and Coleman have apparently decided that they may as well be killed for sheep as lambs. The pair, • who are at present suspended by the Taranaki Rugby Union till, the end of H'lo for alleged misconduct''ih Auckland, 1 have decided to take . on the professional game, making it clear ''that they have decided to give amateur Rugby the final slip. In the Taranaki Rugby ranks regret is expressed at tlie defection of Hardgreaves. VMoney," however, "makes the mare go."

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Outside Chat. NZ Truth, Issue 170, 19 September 1908

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