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Notes By The Way

REVISING OF RULES NEEDED

Half-Time Adjournments Cause

Comment,

(By B. E. Booth.— Special "N.Z.T.") LONDON, December 11.

It is time the rules of Rugby were properly revised and simplified ,and arranged on 'an understood International basis. In Australia, and New Zealand the slight alteration of a few rules has made a marked improvement m the game; yet over here there seems no desire to even try them. The International Conference has sat and after the meeting all the press can learn is that all the new suggestions received a sympathetic hearing and have been sent out to therdifferent smaller bodies for report. This is one way of shelving and is to my/ mind an unnecessary delay suggesting that the so-called delegates are. not empowered to do much. In no- kind of sport has Britain been more conservative than m Rugby football. The present procedure could have been gone through beforehand and each delegate commissioned to act and so > get on with the business. The general outside belief is that a great deal of time must now elapse before anything is done.

I have been impressed with the number of times I ' have been asked the question: "How much do the New Zealanders get out of this tour?" That tho players only get • their expenses, is usually greeted. with an incredulous smile. In these hard days of commercialism people think it hard , to imagine that anyone can find time to play for the sheer love of the game.

The half-time adjournments of the All Blacks does not seem to meet with much favor m England. Some places have commented more on this than others. Over here they are used to only playing thirty-five or forty minute spells and staying on the. field during the interval. In New, Zealand they play two forty-five's, both Tteams usually going off for five minutes. It has been- stated here that the All Blacks should stay on the field as their habit of going off the field leaves too much open for conjecture..

•There have been occasions where they, have been a bit dilatory. invcom-

ing back on the field certainly and the only dope I have known them to get is some hot Glaxo and maybe some "acid" from the skipper. Merely changing over and going straight on with the game would suit the All Blacks with their built up stamina much better than any stoppage at all. If both teams retired and had afternoon tea like they do m some parts of South Africa and New Zealand I wender what the English critics would cay to that!

This team are a riddle I admit. They seem to have the faculty of playing exactly according to the calibre of the team opposing them, and they have the power of rising to the occasion. Thus at (Coventry against indifferent opposition they play one of their worst games on the tour, then they come, to London, and against a reputedly hard team to beat, play an outstandingly great game — one of their best.

As usual . their quarters whilst m London has been Berner's Hotel, but immediately after the Hampshire match the team will be sent to Deal on the South Coast to make full preparation for the final big matches here. There are not likely to be additional matches, although, many requests have come from places m England, France, and even Germany.

The High Commissioner for New Zealand (Sir James Allen) tendered a fine reception to the All Blacks at the Grand Central Hotel on December 15 when all the most influential Colonial people assembled m expectation of meeting the full team. Their disappointment can be imagined when only eight or ten of the team attended. It seemed a somewhat poor compliment to the' donors. Doubtless the team are tired of functions, but an event such as this should have been m order. •.'■*'

The team are sanguine now of going through undefeated and England's dilemma m picking the right team seems to get worse as the time draws nigh.

Whilst m Northampton I inspected the monument of an old friend, Edgar R. Mobbs, D.5.0., commanding officer 7th Northampton Regiment. Killed July 31, 1917. Mobbs represented England at Rugger, playing against both the Wallabies and the Springboks. I also visited the ( mother and relatives of the late Major Blair I. Swannell, who hailed from this town originally and who afterwards m Rugby represented more countries than any othsr player. He played m England, toured Australasia with Sivright's team, represented N.S.W., Australia, Wales and Argentine, besides playing m America. He was attached to the Australian Imperial Forces and was killed two days after the landing at Gallipoli.

There have been some statements made re {Northern League agents making offers to some of the 1 New Zealand team and it has been stated that Nepia has been offered £1500 to sign on. Nicholls and Cooke are also mentioned as having been "approached." I am travelling with the team constantly and am fairly- confidential with most of the members and as far as I know there has been nothing done up to the present. '

The majority of the team are showing signs of home sickness and they will be glad when the homeward trip commences; As usual on these . tours there are several that are relegated to what is usually classed the "dud's," but all the same this may be accounted for by the fact that they were not given as many opportunities to get into the best nick by having regular games. On a tour such as this favors should be distributed apart from record breaking.

, As a result of this tour tens of thousands of people have taken an interest m the. Rugby game, who previously never had the smallest inkling- of the game or its vast overseas ramifications. It is highly probable that the next team invited over hero will be an Australian Rugby team. As 1 a result of the visit of the All Blacks there' the game has made a great promising revival and this good news will act no doubt as a further stimulus to players and public alike to get a good team together. It is also highly probable that H. V. Stephenson, the fleet wing Irish three-quarter, may be out m either Australia or New Zealand next season on naval business.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/NZTR19250131.2.76.4

Bibliographic details

Notes By The Way, NZ Truth, Issue 1001, 31 January 1925

Word Count
1,062

Notes By The Way NZ Truth, Issue 1001, 31 January 1925

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