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FOOTBALL

The town team will journey to Otautau on .Wednesday- to engage the Western District representatives. Die New Zealanders in Australia will meet New South Wales in Sydney this afternoon. The Maorilanders will’ rest next week Until .Saturday, when they will play their list game in the Commonwealth by engaging In the third test fixture. Queensland put up a decent showing against the New Zealanders in the first spell the other day at Brisbane, but went to pieces in the second half, when the pace killed them. Armidales was a similar case, and there is a lesson to be gathered from these facts (writes • McK.'in the Sydney D. T.). and that is that Australian teams against tie re doubtable visitors must make arran„ m»nts to play particularly hard m the second spell. It is merely a matter ot condition and will. It is noticeable that Downing, who played such a tine g-ame for New Zealand here against Australiaic just about striking form, and agains. Armadale and Queensland was easily the best forward on the field. Uis ‘P> ue possible that liefore he leaves the length j Aucklander may prove himself to be in-, elude,;! in the star category of New Zealand forwards. MeNeece is a ver\ rood understudy to him. Of the six tries which were scored by the Blacks cr .Saturday, four were obtained by Lynch. The Queensland wing threeouarter marking tlie speedy southerner committed the N oid mistake of allowing himself to be drawn in by Roberts, i'raneis and McKenzie. ('ockroft made a first appearance on Australian grounds, and played at full-back. It is unite on the card*- that he may be kept in this position It appears also that Black, as * file-eighth, has not made good. He r-a« dropped for last Saturday's match, end 50 far does not appear to have struck The New Zealanders tactics in Rugby football differ in one great essential from that of the rest of the world (sa>s a Sydney Morning Herald writer). in tb-et' they persevere with the wing-toi-ward. Over a. decade ago Australia also placed the wing-forward, and If the fixtures of both countries had been limited to contsts against one another, we would probably still have had a player in that position to counteract the opposition. However, as a result of the visits of English fifteens and international contests generally, the local authorities abolished tiie wing-forward, anil the dominion is the only place on the Rugby map where he is tolerated. In Great Britain. America, South Africa and Australia he is unknown, except as a foul spoiler The 1905 English tour of the original "All Blacks' - had more criticism levelled at it than any other side on this account. Headers of the foregoing: may not be aware of the fact that in England, Australia-, and elsewhere "spoilers are employed. but they have other names for them: the term “wing-forward” is never mentioned. The Otago-South land matcii on Wednesday last turned out to be one of the most * interesting tnterprovincial fixtures so far played on Rugby Park. The play "was generally of an open and everchaaglng character, and the display of rearguard action was ■ at' times clever, while it was often as not met with equally skilful defence, particularly when the Southland backs were called upon to defend- The work of the forwards has often been surpassed in this district, but the packmen on the respective sides infused plenty of dash and strenuousness into their action, and this made up to the general public for some of tlie brilliant individual rearguard exhibitions of other years. There has been a good deal of discussion since the game was played as to the why and wherefore of Southland's downfall, and some very wild and ignorant talk has been indulged in. • To put the matter plainly, there are critics with but a superficial knowledge of the game, who have even gone so far as to single ont two players for marked blame and as the prime cause of tlie Maroon’s defeat, and it is betraying*• no confidence to say that the men referred to are J. Kordo and D. Baird. To blame These performers in particular, when the majority of the home side were at fault. Is ridiculous and unsportsmanlike. There is no doubt that Ford© on three or four occasions put in little kicks upfield which lost ground to his side, but his play in other directions was hampered from causes with which he had nothing to do whatever, and which may be referred to later on. As far as Baird was? concerned. he was up against a heavier pack and was called upon to strive with might and main in the scrums and nn tlie lineouts to hold back the invaders, while, with the exception of F. Whitaker, who stood out by himself in every way. lie followed up and tackled as well as any other scrummer of the eight. Taking the game as a whole, it would seem to the writer that the crux of the whole trouble lay at the front, or to put it piainiv. the weakness was with I the Maroon scrum. During the first spell the Otago hookers showed superiority, and. again. Biggur kent bouncing out into the open too soon, thus allowing the South land scrum to side-step. "Vt hen the home forwards did secure possession of the leather, a game at which R. Barry showed himself in an Improved light, tlie ball would not come out smartly. It hung and wobbled, and at times jammed altogether, and -this allowed the Otago winger and his breakaway comrades to follow it through and fall on half-back Horde, from both sides of the scrum. It has been said that the Southland skipper, Edginton. did not play well, and to a certain extent this has to be admitted of his serum work—he was also far from prominent in the loose play—hut be could not be expected to keep the whole Dark Blue pack at bay while his men had the ball tangled up with their legs, and an anxious rearguard were eagerly awaiting it. Thus it would seem that a very hadlv balanced and packed scrum had ■more to do with the defeat of Southland than the alleged serious shortcomings of the two players referred to above. In the second spell the Maroon forwards were more successful in securing the hall by means of their front rankers, and it cams out into the light of day with more consistency, but the heeling-out was very unsatisfactory on the whole. and time and again the smart work of the home backs originated from the line-ont. Where Whitaker was always noticeable for clean catching and well-timed passing out. The Otago side presented a very capable fullback in Scott, who found the line accurately throughout. His catching was safe and his kicking lengthy, while be was always cool and collected. There was not a great deal of tackling to do. but Scott showed himself to be fairly safe in this department. The operations erf W. K. Pyle, one of the visiting wing tjjree-quarters. were keenly followed by the majority of tlie spectators, who were alive to the fact that he gained his first cap. In a collection comprising those emblematic of Southland, Wellington. Canterbuvr, Otago and South Island, as a member of the Waikiwi Club under the home banner. During the first half Pyle dashed into the many transferring runs from various angles, and gave a very attractive display, being unfortunate that at least one score was not placed to his account. He is a very strong runner, and the crowd was always pleased' to see him making for the line. The other wing man. Harris, is a decidedly useful player and possesses dash, resource and a marked knowledge of the intricacies of rearguard work. Lovers of the game were anxious to see Cuthill (centre - ) in action and their wish was gratified, while the University performer demonstrated that he has pretensions to r'ass. He runs straight, kicks finely, end-can handle a hall with the best of them. He is well versed in attacking science and is without doubt the best middle three-quarter provided for tlie Blues for many seasons ptist. As a fiVe-eighths. Childs passes beautifully, and runs with an easy action that at once takes the eye; tlie ex-halfback looks like a succt-ss of the game adjacent to the scrum. The passes which came out from the rear of tlie Otago scrum were always well-directed and ricely limeil. and it has to be said that hglf *J- Maress justified his selection.. The - northern forwards were well led by A. McDonald, of original "All Black" fame, and It is safe to say that he has a lengthy period of Rugby usefulness yet before him. Of the other forwards Williams. Brown, and Atkinson were the test-of a very willing and speedy pack. In remarking on the display of Southland’s goal custodian. J. Lilley. it has to be pointed out that he had less time to deal with the ball in most instances than is usually the case witli men in his position owing principally to the ball corn-in-"out slowly, and thus favouring the invaders, and also to the inaccurate line-Vleking-.of his comardes but he did fairly wall under the circumstances, and better

probably than any other man available. Grant was faced with a veteran in Pyle on the left wing, but -this fact did not appear to give him any concern, and It would h«tve been, hard to find a critic dissatisfied rwith his showing. The Star man was playing strongly throughout, and finished" as if he could have gone on with the game. Apart from a couple of rather wild passes Grant is deserving of special mention, and should he follow the Rugby code with his present keenness next seaosn there is every reason to think that he will be In line with the marked men of Maoriland. Martin pleased in every way at centre, and gave a very fine exhibition of tackling, while his knowledge and tactics wore of the first flight. The Winton player, Robertson. tackled in a manner which delighted his friends and confounded some of the critics, while he put in one of the best non-scoring runs of the game, but liis line-kicking during tiie early stages of tlie fixture was very weak. He is a brilliant player at times as an individualist, hut lias yet to acquire a knowledge of combination work. It is unfortunate that he lias not been taught to play his part in conjunction with his supports and as a ball handler, but he may Improve in this respect with experience. In the meantime, he is a man apart, and something more is required in big football. Under tlie circumstances of having to play out of ills place, being in reality a. wing threequarter. A. Smith gave a very creditable exhibition as a five-eighth. He was in opposition to strong players, but this did not prevent him holding his own fairly well. N. Stead was seriously handicapped as inside five-eighth by reason of a limited supply of ball in the first half, and the close attention of tlie opposition forwards, to say nothing of the watchfulness of his marking opponent, yet he managed to do good work. In passing out and line-finding his services were invaluable to the Maroons, at. I lie brought about several good openings with his dodgy runs. It was aisr. interesting to see hint bring down his tivala witli clean low tackles which sent tiieir legs from under them in approved style. At the same time it would be better for everybody concerned if tiie youthful Star hack were placed in an cutside position where his talents would ho allowed more scope, and his physical n 11-being conserved. Horde's performance has already been remarked upon, but it lias to bo added that he was hardiy given a fair opportunity against Otago. The outstanding feature of Southland's forward efforts was tlie sterling play of F. Whitaker, who was probably the best man on the ground. Tit© I.F.C. representative shirked nothing and was always in favourable evidence. Baird lias been previously mentioned: Biggar appears to have gone off, and at tlie same rime is too much given to anticipating the break-up of scrums. Roche played fairly well,-and R. Barry wag good outside the scrum, in addition to meeting "with some success as a front-ranker. Scully plaved hard throughout, but G, Barry old not act up to the high reputation .which has been conferred upon him by some of the critics, although he battled hard when the bail was thrown into pn»7 and where the battle raged hottest. The first matches in connection with the Terri tori tal football competition will be played on Rugby Park at three p.m. on Wednesday. April 12. No. 7 Company X.Z. Engineers play A Company: Ambulance play C Battery. NOTE'S FROM THE WESTERN DISTRICT. Next week three rep, games take place in this district. Town seniors v. Western District seniors play at Otautau on Wednesday next, and on the same day Town juniors journey to Riverton, where they will meet the Western District junior reps. On Saturday, 15th inst.. at Riverton the annual schools rep. game takes place, when town schools meet Western District schools reps. The selectors were busv on Wednesday choosing the respective teams. The senior selectors met at Riverton and (he following was chosen to meet what is expected to he virtually the Soutbhfhd teem: — —Western District Seniors. — Full-back. N. Papakura (Riverton) ; three-quarters, J. Smith (Orawia). Rr Norrie (Otautau). A, Gregory (Riverton): five-eights. W. Moylan (Otautau). H. Agnow (Orawia): half, F. V eir (Riverton); forwards. W. Brown (Otautau). W. Foster (Riverton), VI. T-anrie (Orawia). 1,. Mclntyre (Riverton), J. Minty (Orawia). W. Morrin (Riverton). H. Lobb (Orawia); wing forward, C. E. Robertson (Otautau).

The junior and schools teams were chosen by the Sub-Union's secretary, Mr C K. Robertson, as follows; — —Western District Juniors. — Fullback. J. Foster (Nightcaps): threequarters. J. Templeton (Riverton). I. Welsh (Nightcaps). F. Paton (Otautau i: five-eights. M. Robertson f Riverton >. Gibbon (Nightcaps) ; half-hack, J. Matheson (Otautau): forwards, D. Gonley (Otautau), A Clapp (Nightcaps). F. Findlay (Orawia). J. Cosgriff (Nightcaps). J. Agnew (Riverton). P. Chamberlain (Oratria). T Henderson (Otautau): wing forward, M. Ford (Nightcaps). —Western District Schools.— Full-back. K, Dinimock (Otauiau): l t irf , c _r,uarters. F. Harrington < Otautau), J. Lynch (OrepnkD. C. Henderson < Orepuki) ; five—eighths, I. B—own (capf) (Otautau). J. Matheson (Otautau): halfhack W. Finnegan (Otautau): forwards, C. Smith, G. Swap. T. Farrelly, 11, Bowen. J. Wilson (Otautau). W. Forbes. R. Thompson (Orepuki); winger. R. Mcivor (Otautau). Much surprise has been expressed at the action of the Riverton Club In entering a protest claiming the play-off game at Riverton from Otautau, whim was drawn, on the grounds, it is stated, that Otantau included a player in their team wiio had not received a clearance from former club witli which he had played Considering that the player in question has played right through the second round of fixtures, and that his club state everything was in order, it seems a pity that a protest should be brought forward at this stage, when tlie two teams in question have played a tie and are to meet, again for tiie premiership. When one team receives an assurance from anotuer team that its players are all qualified to play, surely that is sufficient without resorting to tlie rather doubtful form of protesting, which on the face of it does not appear sporting.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ST19140808.2.48

Bibliographic details

FOOTBALL, Southland Times, Issue 17724, 8 August 1914

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2,586

FOOTBALL Southland Times, Issue 17724, 8 August 1914

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