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INTER-UNIVERSITY MATCH. A WIN FOR OTAGO.

The unpromising weather no doubt militated greatly against a larger, attendance at the Caledonian Ground on Saturday afternoon, when the first of two inter-uni-versity Rugby football matches, between the vi«iting Sydney and the Otago teams, was plajed. The number of enthusiasts was estimated at a little over 4000. Despite the fact that the atmosphere right up till 3 o'clock was charged with water, the rain held off admirably from the commencement of play on, though a cold sou-wester was not conducive to the bodily comfort of those present. A less important fixture would have boen voted a '"bore" under the circumstance*..

As far as the game was concerned, it was fast and full of incident and excitement, whi'e, in another sense, it- was disappointing. A better fight -was expected of tho visitors than they put up. However, a visiting team is always at a disadvantage, and Sydney footballers coming to play at Dunedin are at a particular disadvantage, when the conditions here arc compered with their own. The light rain of the morning made the ground sufficiently sponsry to make the going heavy, and this told" on the visitors considerably. It must be remembered that during the Sydney season just closed there has been but one wet day. The visitors, however, do not wish to detract in the least from the excellent game -played by the local representatives. Tliey consider the tram a good one, but. under more favourable conditions, as far as a ground is concerned, it was thought, that they should have held their own. Taking the local standard, the form shown by the visitors was below that of the winning team. Their tackling was not so sure as that displayed by Otago, and the kicking was poor by comparison ; while their defence, often at the crucial moment, went to pieces. It was on the lineout and in scrum work that Sydney invariably secured the advantage, the value of their work, however, not being taken full advantage of by the backs. Tho vigilance of the' Otago men nullified tho work to a great extent, too. Perhaps one of the most impressive features of their game was the rare dash displayed at times by the forwards, who, in tho earlier stages of both spells, gave a fine exhibition of combined loose play, which could not fail to delight the truo Rugby euthusiast. On a dry, firm ground there can be little doubt that the local forwards would have their hands more than full in coping with their opponents. The backs did not have many chances, and gave a disappointing exhibition on the wholo. with two notable exceptions. Those were Matthew-3 (half back) and Verge at full back. The former's work at times was daring, but he was , quick to see an opportunity, and make fuf! use of it. Verge s strength lay in his defensive play; he was a sure tackier, and saved his side repeatedly. This player's kicking was rarely at fault and this cannot be said for most of the members of the team. The visitors played four three-quarters, of whom Oxenham and -Futter were probably .the, beat. Of the forwards, Hoets, Harris, and Bullock all played a sterling game. The visiting pack were heavier than Otago* by between three or four stone. The local team, on the other hand, put up.an almost onr fallible " defence—in fact, their line was rarely in danger, and the backs, with one exception, all played up to their best form. Adams was a Trojan in defence whenever defence was required. His tackling was sure, his kicking usually effective, and his play in all other departments was sound. Lomas was brilliant at times, and played one of his best games, particularly on attack. Gilray was sure, and ran powerfully, and next to Adams was the best back on the three-quarter line. Wi Repa was erratic in his play occasionally, but did a lot of yeoman service. Though, perhaps, Uttley was not always successful behind the scrum, he did splendid work in the open. Harrison. Lang, and Foote were probably the best of the forwards iv *ho order named. Up to tho time of his enforced retirement Tansey played well, and Thomson was often in acquisition..

Following are the teams:—

Syoney University.- Full back. Dr A. Verge ; three-quarters -V. S. Futter, C. W. Koe, 11. B. Ovenham, A D Fisher: five-eiftV.th. — Line; half. W. F. Matthews; forwards— H. Bullock, S. D. Walker. K. Hurris, John Hughes. James Hughes, J. Hoela. F. Coen, — Hammond. Otago University —Full back, F. A Scannell; three-quarters— C. Gilray, A. A. Adams, D. Cr. Macpherson ; five-eighths, T. Wi Repa, K. K. Lonins; ha'f, V.. H. L T tt!cy: forwards— J. A. Baitrum, T. A. Harrison. P. L. Foote, J Lane L. Tansey, W. Stewart, J. O'Callaghan, A. Thomson. The vi-itors- played in blue and gold, and Otago in light blue. THE GAME. Tho visitors won the toss, and sriit Otago on to tho fiold to contend with the breeze-, which slackened vjmewhat after a time. Thomson's kick- off w«*s returned to Adams, who found the line at halfway, tiilruy got away nicely after the throw -in. but h<= was Leaded off by the Sidney forward-, who became aggressive, and forced the home team back to their twentj-fhe with fine concerted 100-><> pay. Otago's efforts to i'( gain the lost territory were unavailing, in. til Wi Repa speculated somewhat fortfi,at«'!y. Adams fielded, but a knock on Majed further proceedings at halfway. For disobedience here th"* referee awarded Otago a free kick. Following this Gilray win prominent in tiicky play* which placed the \isitors on tho defensive, until Lane secured a mark. The kick, a long one, >aw Otago forced. Spirited play by the Sydney forwards, and a mistake by Adams, allowed them to reach to within a few yards of the homo line. Temporary ro'ief was afforded by Lang <-ecuiing a. mark, but the visitors returned hot and strong to the attack, and got the leather away to their backs. The pacing bout promised well, but Futter proved the weak link in the chain, and fumbled tho ball. This was immediately followed by the heavyweight of tho Sydney students (Harris) breaking right through the defence with the ball at his toe. A hard kick, however, resulted in the ball going over the line. Soannell fai'.ed to appropriate the leather, hut the übiquitous Adams forced just in time to pievent a certain scare. The visitors gave a fine exhibition of back and forward play on the resumption of tl»e game, the backs, hewever. showing a tendency to get off side, and this proved Otago'.s salvation. 1 hon Hoets, Hullock, and Harris got away with a r»*h that overpowered the local forward*. When 10 yards from the line, however, Adams cot down to it. and saved his f-ido again. Loose nlay followed, an infringement eventually cnabline Otago to

find the line at their own twenty-five. Give-and-take play in the vicinity ensued, hard kicking subsequently resulting in Otago being forced for the third time after a quarter of an hour's play. Loose play by the visitors' backs again saw the home team defending, but Macpherson proved instrumental in saving his side b* beating his opponent for the ball, and goodr-backine up by Lang, Wi Repa, and Gilray gave Otago the advantage .and a respite at Sydney's twenty-five. Adams essayed a penalty goal in tho vicinity against the wind, but; the shot was wide, the ball not going out of play. The return was punted badly, and an open chance thrown away. With characteristic dash Gilray snapped up the leather from the loose, and left several of the visitors standing. Thomson played, offside here, this being Otago's first infringement. This enabled Sydney to regain halfway precisely, where good play, to the advantage of the visitors, was nullified by Uttley. A lull followed for a few minutes, the visitors maintaining a slight advantage, but a splendid piece of play by the local students, in which nearly all the backs participated, roused considerable enthusiasm. Uttley and Gilray were the last two players associated, Verge accounting for the latter two yards from the line. The Sydney forvvrrds relievel from the line-out, gaining halfway. Adams secured here, and with good backing placed the visitors on the defensive -igajn,.jfcnd a t,un by Wi Repa waa spoilt by Lane Retting off-side. Walker and Fuiter were mainly. . instrumental in staving off -the attacks and aided by a mfstake by Scannelt-fche visitors gained Otago's twenty-fivie, and m&intagned the advantage, though never "really dangerous. Stewart; was forced to retire at this .stage from' a. kick, his place being taken by Fraser. Tired p-ay • and a flimsy defence allowed Harrison and Thomson to break away, Jtfae ball eventually going out in • Sydney's twenty-five The Otago forwards gave a fine exhibition of fast, combined play, from the throw-in, Lang being prominent. Fool© secured the ball at the- corner, and scored. Adams failed to place a goal from a difficult angle. Otago 3, Sydney nil. Play livened up a little after the kick-off, nervcus play by Scannell allowing the visitors to gain within five yards of the Una., Lonias was prominent in the relieving play, and Otago wore penalised at their twentyfive. Lane essayed a goal unsuccessfully. Verge eventually kicking out at Otago'a twenty-iive, where Foote broke away, bufc was accounted for by Roe at halfway. Otago made strenuous efforts to work down the field, the exhibition on the part of both teams bordering on mediocrity. After a time, however, the defence gave way, and a dribblmg rush took the hall to within 10 yards of the visitor's line. Uttley got the leather away crisply to Lonias from a scrum, the result being that the latter beat a man, and scored in a good position. Harrison kicked an easy* goal. Otago 8, Sydney nil. . With about seven minutes tn go Otago resumed tsheir attack. Tfeo greasy ball ana the state of the ground was obviously with the defence. A, fiee kick awarded Sydney relieved a ~un by Gilray. and Adams wh«n «r '-score appeared to be imminent. Uninteresting' play followed ■ in the vicinity of halfway. Otago again asserting ihejnselves. TJtttey marked in a fair position, but tho kick waif lew, and , Sydney -wops- foroedv Good play on the part of Lonias and a jinky run by Gilray again placed the visitors in difficulties. The latter, when -collared, got the ball away to Wi Repa. who. wag ncccninted; for by Verge. Just before half-time was called Gilray again -secured, and fled for the line, but Thomson failed to take the pass, and a likely score was lost.

The wind showed a tendency to ris«e again on the teams taking the field for the second spell, and the chances of the visitors averting a big score being put up against them were looked upon as being very small indeed. The comparatively heavy going had affected their style of play very considerably during the latter part of the first spell, while the local men appeared to have suffered little from what vtas. for the most part, a most strenuous spell. Sydney repeated fcheir former action, and attacked strongly after the kick-off. Adams relieved with a speculator. Weak defensive play by Otago gave the visitors tho advantage from the scrambling play that followed, but a fine line kick by £teannell prevented any danger. Tansey then got away from the lino-out with the ball at his toe. The player dribbled it pa*>t the opposing backs admirably overrule line, where Lang grounded it, but a force-down was ruled by the referee. Almost immediately after the kick-off Wi Repa initiated a»passing rush, and, after making a good- run, passed to Thomson, who negotiated to' within a few yards of tho Jine, and passed to Tansey, -the latter just succeeding in grounding the ball. For some inexplicablo reason, howe\er. Mr Williams did not award a try. The result was not advantageous to Oragx>, Tansey retiring with a dislocated shoulder after seven minutes' play. Tho playei was not replaced, Otapo plavinsr a. man short during tho rest of the spell. Tho next minute saw Wi Repa and Thomson essaying an ineffectual attempt. Adams failed to kick a goal in a fairly easy position just afterwards from a mark by Gilray. a force resulting. A strong forward rush by Otago followed the kick-off, and Adams attempted to drop a goal from the twentylive unsuccessfully. Maepherson and Adams got away from the return, the latter centring to Harrison, but Matthews beat him for the ball, and, after eluding Adams, found the line at the twenty-five. Play unworthy of note followed until Walker secured a mark, and enabled Sydney to regain Ijalf way. From the exchange of kicks that followed, Gilray managed to smother a return, giving Otago the advantage. The visitors kept their line clear, however, and, after fast, even play, a strong forward rush, in which Hoets and Bullock were prominent, saw Otago defending. Hero in the twenty-fi\e tho visitors showed some of the dash they had exhibited during tho opening stages of the game, though the backs were slow in accepting chances, and frequent knocka-on robbed them- of several opportunities. The visiting hookers wcro beating the local men almost without exception for the ball, and, although Matthews was getting the ball away with alacrity, the tackling of the local men coped with all efforts to score. The most fishing play, of the day followed. With a particularly, fine effort Lorn as relieved the pressure,, and took the ball well up the field. Jus* afterwards Gilray obtained possession, anaV after making one of his characteristic runs, during which ho eluded the opposing back division, he looked a certain scorer. When just about to bo tackled by Verge, however, and a few feet from the line, the player transferred to Wi Repa. who failejj, to score, and before Otago could carry oufcj their purpose the visitors had packed round)

flic ball. The Sydney men made dnperate efforts to effect a. clearance, Matthews eventually being sßceessfnl, and far am infringement when the ball had reached the Sydney twenty-five Adams- attempted »■■ - goaL The shot was a good one, though a little off the line, and a. force resulted. Sydney set tnVa strong forward) rush on resuming, hw pretty play by Adams and Gilray made this ineffectual the effort being spoilt by a forward pass to Wi Repa. After the Otago van had pressed back the -visitors past their own twenty-five another ' likely chance was spoilt by Macpherson knocking on not far from the fine. After exciting play Harrison broke through the ruck, but Verge accounted fon him. Strenuous forwatd play then ensued near the line, Matthews caving his side repeatedly by his excellent kicking from behind the Sydney scrum. A mark afforded relief past the twenty-five,, but -loose combined forward play by Otago reitrieved for them all the lost territory. •Verge again returned play to the twentyfive, Uttlev, however, putting in good work which nullified this. Gilray, Adams, and ,Wi Repa then made a bid for the line,, fout were beaten back after an exciting rally, which roused the crowd to great enthusiasm: Supesior play on the part of Ithe Sydney forwards was effectual in affording temporary relief. ' Lomas and Harri- j son, .however, »t once placed, the line an danger again. Verge relieved' with a kick, -" Iwbich was marked by* Thowen-io * gOjfd gjosition. Adams's, luck was not in liaeSo'far half an-Jiaor *ad «o» wiifa|Out ttd£tion to Ac acowsr «n#- J*<^ PC?»» «" ttha 'numerous rattles *Kttle. From m *^\*^£ **&&£%* *jf*ra got dose ,«r 1* 4to»-yj*to«f fe», jwfaere Maophersfflt vim «t*e*^irt. .»£ thews again iswte *> Uar *ckrf «*J«» B1 «| . here, and tired, scrambfing ftow -^akmeff Sn Otago's favour, Wi Hepa fielding and attempting & goal on oneoocasion. Through ■Thomson, Otago eventually worked up close to. the visitors' line, where the ball .went ont. Wi Btepa and Lomas were associated in the loose play that followed, fAduns taking the latter's pass, amd, alter cutting in/ transferred to Gilray. who scored. The try was. a very fine piece of jwork. Harrison, kicked a ge»l -without any trouble, bringing t&e score up to*-0«ago 13 points, Sydney nil. Lama* was conspicuous tße kick-off. Sydney relieve tag with a free kick, which Adams centred; and succeeded' in smotnering."the return. Nice footwork by Footo placed the visitors in difficulties. Thomson fielded' from the enaaing scramble, but was tackled by Verge. * O'Callaphan then ' picked up, and scored practically without opposition m a good position. Harrison's attempt at goaL did «ot add to the score. Otago 16, pourts, Sydney, nil. Otago, became aggressive, f&jbcpherson returning- pfay to the visitors Itwentv-five after sooie difficulty. Following on this Wi Repa. appropriated the leather, »nd sped for the tine with a dodgy run. He was tackled from bebuhcL and threw a ■wild pass to Fraeer, who fielded in tune to . ' be .collared a few yard* from the line. Harrison was just behind, and managed to struggle far enough to toiir.b down. Tree same player kicked « «oal. and sbotisly , Afterwards time was called. Scares; ;Otago ... 21 potato. Sydney &il. Mr J. WilKams controlled tb» game Itiisfsotorily.

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Bibliographic details

INTER-UNIVERSITY MATCH. A WIN FOR OTAGO., Otago Witness, Issue 2739, 12 September 1906

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INTER-UNIVERSITY MATCH. A WIN FOR OTAGO. Otago Witness, Issue 2739, 12 September 1906

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