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FOOTBALL.

«OTEB BY FORWARD.

A person passing along the principal streets of Dunedin on a Saturday night during the football season can scarcely fail to be struck with the Bight, at intervals of every few yards, of groups of men— young men principally, middle-aged men not infrequently, old men occasionally— players and " barrackera," backs and forwards, whose conversation will, if he pause a few seconds to listen, be found to be based upon the encounters that had during the afternoon taken place on the football grounds. He will hear how this player "loafed" shamefully, and how that player nearly kicked a goal, how So-and-B? " funked the rusheß of the team he was playing against, and how somebody else played such a rough game that he ought to have been ordered off the field or at least cautioned, how one of the umpires in some match or other was a sixteenth man for the side on whose behalf he ■was aoting, and how a referee exhibited such a lamentable ignorance of the rules as ought to have disqualified him from occupying such an important judicial position. It will be found, as a general rule, that the conversation is not oonfined to a discußßion of any single matoh, but that it raugea over the whole field of the afternoon's matches. On last Saturday night, however, this was hardly the case. Something unusual had happened in one of the matches played in thn afternoon— in an important match which absorbed tbejalmoat entire attention of those whose delight it is to gather where footballers most do congregate. This something unusual was the fact that in the matoh between the Kaikorai and Union Clubs the moßt prominent member of the former team, Keogh, was ordered off the field by the referee, Mr B. E. Morrison, for rough play aud for using abusive language, and that thereupon the captain of theJKaikorai Club, Torrance, called his men off. allowing the viclory to go by default to the Union. . . Had auoh an occurrence happened in a junior match it ia probable that nothing muoh would have been said or thought about it, but there were various circumstances connected with the matoh in question that render the affair a Berio«s as well &t regretable one. The contending teams occupy positions in our little football world that makes it impossible to pass lightly by such an incident, or series of incidents, as led up to the referee exercising the extreme power that is bestowed upon him by the Rugby Union. The Union Club being the BBOond oldeßt in Otago, and the Kaikorai hay-, ing for two years held the premiership of the province, they are clubs whioh should rather Bet an example to the younger players of strict observance to the letter and spirit of the laws (than be the parties to a match in which, so far as it went, rough . lay w»b the rule rather than tho exception. Then the prominent part that Keogh haß taken in football, not only in Otago but throughout New Zealand and as a memberof the Native team in Great Britain and Aubtralia, makes the occurrence one of unusul moment, while there were various other oircumBtancea connected with it that combine to give the affair a significance which is a sufficient explanation of the interest, amounting in some cases almost to excitement, that haa been occaAs briefly as they oan be put, the facts of the matter are these, it being remembered that each aide had soored a point at the time :— A Borum bad been formed near the Kaikorai line, Croxford as one of the Union half backs, being, of course, on his own side of the aorum, with Keogh as his vis-a-vis. The ball crao out of the scrum to the Union baoks, but not on Croxford's side. Keogh appeared to be under the impression that Oroxford was about to secure the baM, and the latter seemed to make a dive as if for the ball. Keogh rushed at him and threw him with quite unnecessary violence, so much bo that the Union man lay; KRBpinff on the ground, on hiß back, as if half throttled. He then applied to Keogh an opprobrious and exceedingly objeotionable epithet,' the effect of which on the latter was that he rushed at Oroxford in a manner that created the impression that more mischief was coming.. Two or three players Btood in hia way with the objeot of keeping him back, but eventually al-' lowed him to go up to Croxford, who was still lying on the ground, Keogh then, shaking hw hand in the other's face, threatened him in an abusive manner with a kioking at the 1 close of the game. His threat waß heard by Mr Morrison, who was at the time marking the place for a free kick, which he had awarded the Union in consequence of Keogh's illegal tack\ma Mr Morrison had, I believe, already made up his mind to caution Keogh for his rough play, but the use of the language, whioh ha beard used, determined him to order off the field, which he forthwith did. A Hooabble was the immediate result. Keogh ultimately offered to apologise to Croxford, and Mr Mor&oo consulted the Union captain, Henderaon o»J the point. The latter declmed g e^w OO a D napolog/tc^be accepted U and To£ Tance thereupon called upon *be IKaikorai to ■give three cheers for the Union, after which he withdrew his men from the field. Tho referee had, of course, no alternative then but to award the match to the y-nion— whioh he did. Henderson desired to have a kick at goal for the free kick, but Mr Morrison pointed out that this was unnecessary, and it was not taken. Torrance by withdrawing his men made Keogh's cauae the cause of the Kaikorai team. His action in doing so is upheld by many, particularly by membsrH and supporters of the Kaikorai Olub, who unite in deptorin" the occurrence which, in their opinion, made the withdrawal ot the team justifiable. To those who lairly, fully, and impartially consider the matter, however, the Btand which Torrauce took up will not oommood itself as being either a prudent or a proper one. The referee's authority must be admitted as supreme on the football field, or «lse the rules and regulations which, after full consideration, bflve been drawn up for the direction of playeve and officials may La regarded as worthless, and jf they are not to be respected the sooner they we abandoned and a new act compiled the better. I take it that there ia no one who wiahea to ride roughshod over the rules, and Torrance would, I behave, be the last person to join in any attempt to do bo. In tbia instance the Kaikorai captain appears to have committed an error of judgment. His proper course was to have played on with 14 men, and if he thought— as no doubt he did think and still thinks— one of hia team was unfairly dealt with,, to have availed himself of the provieion oontained in law 49, which 3fcys ._•« If the captain of either Bide challenge the construction placed upon any law, he shall have the right of appeal to the Union Committee." , .. „ , i.This brings me to tha question of the action aken by the referee, Mr Morriaou, in the case. The referee derives his authority both from the general laws of tho game and from the bylaws of tho O R F.U. The following n the wording of law 45 :-" If, in the opinion of the referee, a player shall have been guilty of rough or foul play, he shall, in his discretion, either caution him for the first offence or ivvarn him off without any caution, but always ■>n a second offenco it shall be hiß duty yttta off the offender, aud m every

caße to forthwith report the offender to the Union. Committee, who shall, in their discretion, suspend the offender, and any club which plays with or against him during suspension,' for such period as they think fit." The bye-lawß of our union authorise the committee, on inquiry, to suspend any player who may be reported by the referee for rough or unfair play, for using profane or indecent language, or for other causes which do not apply in this case. Now, there is no doubt that Keogh was guilty of both "rough" and "foul" play when he taokled Oroxford in the way he did. There are degrees of roughness, of course, and in this instance the roughness was not, in the raferee's opinion, of so grave a nature as to warrant more than a caution. Then, Oroxford addressed to Keogh a remark of a very gross kind, whioh was not heard by the referee, though spoken loud enough to be heard by some of the spectators. For this remark there is the exOUBe to be made — or there is at leaat this to be aaid in extenuation, for it will scarcely admit of excuse— that Oroxford was undoubtedly labouring at the time under a sense of irritation, if he waa not in aotual pain ; but then again \hz fact that his remark was made to Keogh Jiust be accepted as a mitigating circumstance in considering the use by him of the language whioh induced the referee to order him off the field. Keogh no doubt waß to blame, but to a certain extent so also was Oroxford, and if the referee had heard what the latter said it ia extremely improbable that he would have passed it over unnoticed.

The feeling of the Kaikorai players in the matter seeme, bo far as I oan ascertain it, to be this ; that, in the first place, Keogh believed that Croxfcrd had the ball whan he went to tackle him, that the tackling waß not rough although Oroxford waß heavily thrown, that Keogh wag therefore grossly provoked by Croxford, and that if Keogh ia to be suspended bo also should Oroxford. As to the suspension of one of the players ot of both I offer no opinion, but I do think there was a lot of folly in the statement that was openly made laßt Saturday night that if the Rugby Unioa Committee suspended Keogh in connection with the match in question, they auapended the Kaikorai Olub — the meaning, I presume,' being that the club would deoline to play any matohes during the period of his bubpension. This would not only be unsportsmanlike, but it would be ohildish, | and I think that the better sense of those who advocated the adoption of this course must so tell them, upon their cool reflection. I know that Torrance is perfectly sincere in his belief that Keogh did not receive justice, and he is not the sorfc of captain to tolerate — ao far as he oan put it down— any rough play on the part of his men. As a proof of thiß it haa been brought to my recollection that four years ago the Kaikorai Olub, without any comolaint from another team, themselveß suspended Keogh for a year for rough play, and notified the O.R.P.U. that they would not, during the period of suspension, play against any team in which Keogh might be included.

Notwithstanding that feeling ran high on the matter on the field of play at the Kaikorai, there waß, I have groat pleasure in recording, no discourtesy of any kind Bhown to the referee, for tha withdrawal of the Kaikorai team was a protest rather than a discourteous act. Had any disoourtesy been openly Bhown I am confident it would have been strongly resented by the onlookers, the majority of, whom were of opinion that Mr Morrison'H interferenoe came not a moment too soon. There' was far too muoh rough play in the matoh, and some referees would probably have had the teams diminished to Jl or 13 ' a side by the time that the final fiasco oocurred — a few minutes before half time. Mr Morrison, aB a referee, exeroiseß with pardonable leniency the authority with which he is olothed, but he' must have had to wink very hard to have overlooked some of the incidents last Saturday preoeding the one that called for hia interposition. Sonntag is among those who consider themselves to have been roughly treated. J.t seems that he was kicked in a vulnerable part by one of the Union forwards, but, on the other hand, 1 he was not himself playing a particularly gentle game. Sonntag ia, however, a player who means well — he is unßoientifio and olumny. rather than intentionally rough. Setting apart this latter case, there were four or five players' who might reasonably have been cautioned. The game was in faot of a kind that, aa a regular spectator $t football matohes put it, he would rather stay away than aoe.

After the good form displayed by the Taiari team in their matohes against the Kaikorai and Alhambra Clubs, the most sanguine supporters of the Punedin Club could hardly have looked' for any result othor than a defeat for the Blues from the Taiett, but a defeat by one point ob by two was probably aa heavy a reverse as was looked toy. Still, though the Tajeri soored 5 points against nothing, the match was a not uneven and very interacting one. The Blues' forwards proved them(iolv«s r notwithstanding the absenoe of 0. Beck, to bo quite capable of withstanding the powerful Botvunmagers who ooraprine the Taieri forward contingent, bufc their efforts to aoore in the first spoil, when tb?v had the advantage of the wind, exhausted them, and they were greatly baodioapped and no doubt disheartened by the comparative inefgoienoy of their baoka, of whom Robinßon and Haggitt were especially off-oolour. The consequence was that in tho second spoil tha Taieri got tho upper hand, and although Hunter, who played in hia best form, led an admirably organised and well-sustained attack on the Colours' line, which was only beaten oif after a stubborn resistance, the Bluea found themselves unable to keep their opponents out. It was in the back division that tho comparison of tho teama told againat the Blues, for whom Taiaroa was most conspicuous behind the acrum. Qn the othpr BJde pider showed up as prominently as usual, although not nearly so prominently as be might did he fully utilise his powers. The Taieri forwards are, as all those who have played against them vjjl readily acknowledge, a fine lot, and if they were up to some of the finer points of the game, in whioh they are still lacking, would not be inferior to any team in Otago ; but aa it was the Blues' forwards were, as I have already stated, able to hold their own, Isaacs and R, Martin being Hunters' best aaaiatanta. The University team haa come on splendidly since tho beginning of the season, and were ablato offer a very fair rssistanoe to the Alhambra in their encounter on Saturday, Their forwards are a moderately heavy lot. none of whom has any pretensions to b? regarded as a brilliant player, and for a considerable time they stood up in first-rate style to their opponents, some of whom, certainly, evinced a disposition to take matters somewhat easily. In tho back division it was hard ] y to be expected thaft the comparatively inexperienced 'Varsity players would be a match for the Alhambra men, but they certainly deservo to be congratulated upon the form they showed. The tackling of A. M'llroy and Anderson was of a superior description and was largely responsible for the Alhambra's score being kept down bo low as it waß. Bell made several smart dashes, but Mendelßon, who ia a disappointicgly in andcut player, was somewhat weak, and bis

praotice of running baok is not to be commended. Pateraon showed up well as halfback, but hia display and that of Menzies waß thrown into the ahade by the performances of Rastieaux and Crawf urd, who were, as usual, well to the fore for the Alhambra. Behind them Downes was the most prominent, Noel being too well watched to get away. W. Fitohett played an averag9 game. Ross has amply justified his inclusion as full baok for the Alhambra. Of the, forwards, Briggß, Ternent.iand Strong may be said to have been the pick of the winning team; while F. Fitchett (who has displayed consistently good form throughout the season) and Montgomery shone above the ' others on the 'Varsity side. The match was the fourth that has been played between the clubs. The first of the preceding matches was drawn with no soore on either Bide ; the pecond was won by the University by 4 points to 3 ; and the third was gained by the Alhambra by 10 points to nil. The supporters of the Pirates and ZingariRiohmond Clubs who journeyed to Oarisbreok last Saturday no doubt expected an even game to be the result, and judging by the soore above they were notdisappoint'ed. The Pirate 3, j however, notwithstanding that they failed to score until a few minutes before time, had decidedly the best of the game all through, and the Zingari Richmond three-quarters deserve great praiße for the way they oollared their opponents time after time when they were within an ace of scoring. One great fault of the Zingari team, and ouo which they should overcome, is the mistaken idea that it pays to play wing men. This wad cloarly demonstrated on Saturday by the way the Piratea forwards (who are known to he no lovers of scrum work) repeatedly carried the packs against the '\ and although it occasionally allowed them to get away on a dribble it did not really prove bo beneficial to their side as assistance in the scrums would have done. Ruillinshaw set his men a good example in the forward division, and was very noticeable all through the game, but more especially by his excellent play on the line out. Phis feature of the game is Very often liable to be neglected, and should receive more attention as a rule than it does. The other forwards who were moat noticeable were Dunn and Edwards. Of the backs, both halves did faiily well, but they should have passed more than they did, Wintrop, the centre three quarter, had the same fault, but was otherwise very sate, and the collaring of M'Arthur, who played opposite Macdonald, was a feature of the game. On the Pirates' aide all the forwards were good, but the absence of A, W. Morris seemed to take some of the daoh out of them, and their play at times, more especially in their opponents' twenty-five, lacked that vigour whioh ao often gives a team the viotory. 1 M'Laren played without doubt his best game this season, and Wales, who is improving each Saturday, was also very noticeable. Beck, as usual, did his full share of hard work and was also very good in the open, getting away from the line out on several occasions. Atkinson showed some very clean passing at half, and surprised some of the onlookers by his dodgy runs, one of which took him within a yard of a score. Cran also played well, his potted 1 goal being very smartly done. Lang took the field after an absence of two Saturdays, but played on the wing instea,^ of in his accus- , tomed place at centre. His presence seemed to give tho whole back team oonfidonce, the result being that both Orbell and Macdonald played in much better form than the previous ' Saturday. Morley at full baok saved his side ' on several occasions, and is fast de\ eloping into a reliable man in that position, his only fault being an inclination to kick up the field instead of putting bis drops into touch.

Honours are now easy between the Pirates and Zingari-Richmond Clubs, eaoh team, having now won three raatcboti against the; other. The first of the contests between the teams was played in 1887, when the Pirates' won by a goal to a try. Both mntches in 1888, were won by the Zingari-Riohmond, the earlier 1 of them by as muoh as 12 points to nothing. ■ Last year each team gained a victory, and last Saturday's match brought the teams level so far as wins are concerned. With regard to! points, however, the Zingari- Richmond have the advantage, as they have 18 paints to their credit as against 8 which the Pirates have soored,

Tattersall, who was in Wellington, where he was a member of the Melroae Olub from tho< beginning of this season, returned to Dunedin last week and played for the Union Club on Saturday. Some weeks ago I mentioned that a charge of professionalism had been made in Queens , land against J3rodrick, formerly of the Zingari -Richmond Club here. J learn aoy? that 1 Hoare, who was also a member of the Zingari- j Richmond Olub, was supposed to be implicated' too. The ' friends in New Zealand of the ! players will be glad to hear that upon inquiry , they have baen acquitted. An officer of one 1 of the c}ubs has, however, been oeusured for offering a peouniary inducement to Brodriok to Join his olub. R. Fraaer, the well-known half back, has been laid up for a considerable time, but X am glad to Bee that he was able to be about again lust week.

There is a Blight " boom " in football in the country distriots, new oluba springing up in various, directions, One of the most reoent of these has been ativrted at Pembioke. The following report of the initial meeting has boon supplied tp me s—At5 — At a public meeting, convened by Mr Charles Turnbull s held iv Allan's Hotel, Pembroke, on Saturday evening, 7th June, at which thera w^ci a numerous attendance, a football club -vaa formed, und<»r the titlo of the Wanak^ Football Olub, and 24 inembai'fl were enrolled on the spot. Thy following office-bearers were elected for tho ensuing year :— President, Mr Charles Tumbull; vice president, Mr R. M'Dougall ; oaptaiu, Mr D. Macar-hur ; deputy captain, Mr A. E. Reiner ; honorary secretary and treasurer, Mr George Neill. A cotrimiUeo of seven members was eleoted. The questions of colours, uniform, and matches were left to the consideration of the committee at their next: meeting ; also fcbb Cjueation of joining the union. It was resolved that the secretary write to the secietary of the O.R.F.XT. for 20 copies of their Annual. The following is the premiership list for 1890, shewing the positions in order of merit up to date : —

Matchbs. Points. Clubs. a on. Urn. '..oat. Alhambra ... 6 - 1 K.iikorai ... 4 1 1 U> ion ... ... 2 1 1 I'aieri ... ... I 2 2 Pirates... ... 2-3 'Varsity ... ' 1 3 Dunodin ... 2 - 4 Zingari-ttichmoiid _2 _!_ "i For Ag'ot, 43 13 36 13 10 8 13 15 12 IS 8 33 27 as 2 9.7

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Bibliographic details

FOOTBALL., Otago Witness, Issue 1898, 19 June 1890

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FOOTBALL. Otago Witness, Issue 1898, 19 June 1890

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