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FOOTBALIr.

ITOTES BY FULL BACK.

Colin Gilray, who played in the threa> quarter Jjne for Scotland against; Wales -af Edinburgh a few daj's before the mail left, had to leave the field until the second spell owing to coming into collision with Owen- one of the Welsh halves. ■ The concussion dazed the ex-Otago man* so com< pletely that he was put right^ off lvis gams in the second half

An old friemd in Jack .O'Kane, one tima Otago 'Varsity three-quarter, who has been in England for the past 12 months, played; in the three-quarter line\for f he 'United Hospitals the other day against the Royal Navy. G. R. Hind, one of' the -British team's forwards, played in the- pack for the Hospitals. The Scottish Selection Committee's appreciation cf Colin Gilray ia shown by thcii action after the Scotland v. Wales match, when it was found necessary to make several changes in the back division; of the Scottish side for the match againstf Ireland. Gilray, however, was retained iii the Scottish three-quartel- line. Further appreciation of New Zealand^ and particularly Otago . University, talennt is illustrated by the action of the Englisbj Selection Committee in choosing A. CJ f Palmer, of this city, and late of Ofca#or University, in the three-quarter lino ol England against Ireland. In -the iforegoin,g international match! Jackett, of British team in Maorilandf fame, was full back for England, while Bob Dibble, also of the British team, cap-tain-cd the English international side. Apropos of the success of New Zealanders in internationals, it is written in? the book "With the British Rugby Team in Maoriland: "It may be that some day both Adams and Maepherson will play in the Three-quarter line for England . . while Colin Gilray, their fellow-studenr and confrere in the three-quarter line, will 1 be playing for Scotland, which international cap he has already won." lam moved to refer to this owing to the fact that both Adams and Macpherson havo been mentioned in connection with inter* national • honours I'his season ; also HeaJe, the ex-Varsity player, who is referred to as the finest "outside" half at present playing in England. At a recent meeting of the International Board the following proposition of Scotland' was considered: "Whether the "cashpayments to players, stated in the accounts of ihe New Zealand Union in connection* with their tour in Great Britain and other plaoss as" daily allowances to players, oE £1041, and whioh were made witti the ap* prdval of t>hs Rugby Union, arc contrary-, to the principles of amateur Rugby Union football, and' amount to professionalism?"Scotland and Ireland voted in favour o£ the proposition,*"" and England and Wales against. • The following resolution waspassed unanimously: — "That the making^ of any allowance to players in cash in» the opinion of this committee is contrary., to the principles of amateur Rugby football, and in future no such allowances be made to any player." M. Matheson, who is now captain of the-Orient-il Club (Wellington), runners-up for, the championship last season, played for, Ruvensbourne in the three-quarter lin« three seasons ago. While diere Mathesort showed a deal of promise, and it is nofc' (surprising that he has worked himself up, to captain of such a team a* the Orientals/. During the forthcoming winter 40 boys of ages' ranging from 13 to 16 years wilt visit Australia from the Columbia Park Boys' Club. San Francisco, and will play Australian rules football matches against Australian school teams. The attendance on the occasion of th« Scotland and Wales match was officially intimated at 22,000, exceeding ihe previous best for the match by over 2000, and beating -the New Zealand match record of 21.000 -the nrevious host for Scottish Rugby. Whilo the takings were not dis-, closed". the\ would probably amount to be> tween' £1600 and £1700. Ihe London Hosnita-l Rugby football t-o-am put up a fine performance _ recently when th^v .beat llio United Service team' by six tries io nil. As usual, New Zealand was str-oncly represented in the medicosJ learn. At throe-quarters were Alan Adam^ A. C. Palmer, and D. G. Maepherson; at half, A. B. Lindsay and A. S. Heale? whilst in the forward rank were J. Mehaffey and P. L. Footc. The Maoriland back contingent played fine football, a/nd scored among them four tries, three o\ which were gained by Macplierson, who has a fine turn of speed. Alan Adams also

•sored from a pass by Heale, who made a brilliant run almost the length of the field. This clever half back also enabled Lloyd to score after he had himself- dodged through the opposition. Palmer was also very prominent all through the piece, and had ijb not been for the magnificent tackling of Lieutenant Lyon, would have scored on several occasions. Palmer was dead out of form, however, in his placeikieking. H. Laxon, the Coventry, Midland , Counties, and International half back of ' the recent British team, will shortly be entering Wells Theological College, Somerset, to follow up his studies. An interested spectator at the Wales v. England international game was W. J. ■Bancroft, who had represented Wales at $ull back on 33 occasions. The recordholder has taken little interest in international football since he was professionalised for accepting a monetary testimonial'of over £400 from his Welsh admirers. The fact of his brother making his debut in international football, however, attracted him all the way to Cardiff, and the praise the younger brother valued' most -was "W. J.s " brief words, " Good enough, boy." This Wallaby tour confirms— vay^ view that the best Rugby footballers in the ,"wbrld are the New "Zealanders, with the second (says " Cynic," -of Sydney Referee).' Australia is coming up. It •is' good to know that, as the iNew Zeasanders and Welshmen have their own distinctive styles, Australia is evolving her style. Her system of forward play in the scrummage is evolved, and there is nothing better. But in the backs and in the loose forward play the New Zealanders -ire immense. However, Australia is com-, ing up. The next Australian team to visit' New Zealand should be a. powerful one, if Some of the ablest players of the day do not retire in the meantime. If the standard of play be still further improved, the record attendance of 52,000 at a Rugby (match will probably be eclipsed in the early future on a Sydney ground. Ernie Booth, the New Zealand full back bf 1905, played a capital game in the "Leicester (Eng.) three-quarter line recently. (With a few more games he, should be of great service to the Midland club. This looks as if Booth intended to make a 3engthv stay in England. An item "about Blair I. Swannell, made famous in New Zealand with Bedell-Siv-right's team:— "The* same Swannell has (played Rugby for England, for Australia, iand for New South Wales, and is as quiet B3- a lamb xmtil his opponents begin to yeal it out to him, and then skin and fcair fly. In New Zealand, where the forwards with the large feet come from, he anad'3 them ory a go first, although they started 1 the rib-kicking tactics. He left ithe Dominion- with black eyes extending •down to his neck, -with his mouth torn at the corners, and minus many molars, Bmt he still had "the smile that could not foe kicked off, and he expressed the hope in a sucking-dove-like voice that when he , resumed they would have -learned to play 'a good hard game — that he neve* could the parlour game anyhow.- ' And ; how he -has became an administrator. To those who lite thoir football neat ie will be" sadly missed from tine field of play." I have a j>hotogxaph of the ex-"W!elskman's football boots — and, -well, judging by the jboote, there were safer places in the field 'then in front of a. pack of Swannette. Apropos of the out-of-pocket expenses question, two of £he original AM Blacks Slave been interviewed on the question, ißoth were surprised at the ignorance of the JScottisb Union, for the allowance wae imade and received openly. Further, I *any able to say (says the Athletic News writer) that the majority of the "amateurs" before they left New ZeZaland were the jneoipients of purass oi gold from admiringSupporters, th© presentations ranging in JamoTznte from £20 to £80. No oecreS was ftnade of these transactions in New Zealand. Another ifcsm of information I Seamed was that on. arrival !home -n iNew Zealand after the tour had been completed several players appealed to the general manager for "something to be go'wg on with until they resumed work.'' My informant declared that they each received two jpiineas. This estimate was jpossibly .based upon the fact that the men were fully entitled to a fortnsEht's . holiday. I jmigpht also -divulge odier secrets, ■but the Colonial ideas aa-e much in advance of those held- by Scotland. Prior to tha departure of the Australian team from England the captain, JDr H. M. Moran, made the following remarks *o a representative of the Daily Mail:— It is in tactics that Welsh Rugby overshadows all other -football. Their players are taught a set of Rugby commandments, and one of these is that orthodoxy is a deadly sin. The-v know instinctively, even Jn, tie weakest clubs, how to line— attack ea*d defence. Ocb never sees a Welsh back finding the line with the wind behind him, or kicking into the air against p. gale. If they are losing they take- all rjsks, on the principle that it is as good to be beaten by 20 points as by one; if they are leading and doubt their "ability to Bcore more ths-y adopt the most systematic methods of shutting up all openings. The ability of the Welsh backs to stop while limning fast, absolutely in a stride, and then run quickly in the opposite direction, is quite wonderful. Their cross-kick I from wing to o&ntre and centre to wing as an excellent means of cmickly chaag^ »iag ttie front of their attack. A Welsh iVring is seldom forced into touch with the ifcall, hut always make? an effort to transfer it either by a pass or a kick. The actual tackling of the Welsh players was ■better in fcl.c interior clubs, and so, too, their "going down" to dribbling rushes. IThe better clubs make attack their defence, and provided they get the ball from 4he ecrum it is with clever backs always successful. To 6tarve these hacks and- to active them dribbling rush-ec to face arc the only measures liable to meet witfh any success against Wates. One must conclude* tha*. taking them all round, the Welsh Jbacks arc the cleverest in the world on their day, but it iB probable that the superior streiraousness of tie New' Zeal&nderfi, combined with their football ability, "would enable them to win on a neutral ground. Under the heading, "A Gi^at Full OBacic," a -writer in the Standard Empire says: — Let me tell you what .oof mac thia Bancroft is. You in New JSeaiand were not very strong in thi6 position Tvbey David Gallaher was over here. Gilieit was only an average player^ and tSoofch, -who has thrown in hie lot witn the tsicester Club, "was not -first class. The Australians now on their way home, had > masterful man hi Oarmichael; and the

j South Africans, under the very serious Paul Roos, had Marsberg, the most fearless playsi I have seen for many years. Well. Bancroft is a young man, Trho has all the cleverness of Garmichael (who will always be remembered as th© most consistent, as well as the surest player Aus- . tralia, introduosd to us this season), and • rhe daring .jf Marsberg. Bancroft is not a giant in the matter of physique. He I is rather slim, of medium height, with a pale and rather inexpressive face, and chestnut hair. He is one of the last men you would pick out as a really talented Rugby full back. But against .Scotland he carried the Welsh team on his back. His kicking for touch was superb; he scarcely made a single mistake. If he did he remedied it at once. The man was a mountair of resource ; and he had colossal coolness. His brother. W. J.. was a wonder in his day, but I think the Bancroft we caw at Edinburgh is in every way as good 'as ths> most famous man who has ever guarded the last line 'of his country's defence. He laughed at fear. He revelled, just as if he w*re" a-holidaying, in diving for the ball as it was urged along at a terrific rate by the hefty Scottish forwards, and saved hi s side over and_ over ag'-aia. The pity was thai a. few minutes before the close be paid a heavy penalty , for his dare devilry. He was led off th© field suffering from* concussion. WANGANUI RUGBY UNION.. "WANGANUI, March 28. At the annual meeting of the Wanganui Rugby Union, held -on Saturday evening, the report showed a fairly successful past season, with a slight decrease in the gate receipts. j The following officers were elected r — . President," " Mr " George Spriggens ; viespresidents—Messrs J. Wesney, G. Simpson. and Dr Wall; secretary, Mr R. Dunklej; " treasurer, Mr L. Craig; committee — Messrs G- Thompson, A". Gray, L. Furrie, R. Bassett, B. Ashcroft, and E. Perrett; vicepresident of the New Zealand Uni&n, Mr G. Spriggens; delegate to New Zealand Union, Mr L. Bassett, and four others to be appointed later. Mr W. Empson resigned office as patron and vice-president of the New Zealand ' Ujaion, and was unanimously elected a life member of the union. A vote of thanks was accorded Mr I. Hyams, who had acted for 16 years as Wanganui delegate to the New Zealand Union, on his retirement from office. INVERCARGILL CLUB MEETINGS, j (From Ottk. Own Cobresponbent.) INVERCARGILL. Mfcirch 23. At the annual meeting to night of the Pirates iiootba.li Club,, which had a num- j her of 'its players disqualified by the | N.Z.R.U. for taking part in Northern > Union football last season, it was decided to ask tho ruling body to reconsider its decision, as disqualification will seriously affect Rugby in Southland. In the point of i : number of players disqualified and rhe I calibre of the men, SoufchJaiid is the | greatest sufferer in the Dominion by the | N.Z.R.U. disqualification decision. The annual meeting- of the Invercargill Association Football Club to-n%ht revealed very much improved prospects for Associa- , tion football in Inv-ercargill this season. This club has iiad an accession of new . players _oL high playing ability, among them j being two' men whose past performances in , other countries lead to the opinion that j their value as honorary coached will be < considerable. The club will have a sufficient , number of members to form- three playing elevens.

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Bibliographic details

FOOTBALIr., Otago Witness, Issue 2872, 31 March 1909

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2,460

FOOTBALIr. Otago Witness, Issue 2872, 31 March 1909

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