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RUGBY FOOTBALL.

A RESULT NOT UNEXPECTED.

I Otago's heavv defeat of Canterbury • I last Saturday was not unexpected in Christchureh, even though Canterbury had beaten Otago by 32 points to 9 a week before. The team which represented the southerners in the first game was very far from being their best, and until the later stages of the game, when it had no hope of winning, it did not play with any abandon. On the other hand, the Canterbury team, as a whole, did not show good form. There was insufficient combination, speed, and dash —too many of the players were short of work—and The Sun prophesied that the Dunedin match would tell a tale different from that of the Christchurch game. And so it happened. If the Canterbury men desire to acquit themselves well against the Wellington representatives, who seem to be playing stylish Rugby even in this impoverished season, they must settle doAvn to steady training. Several of the men are carrying too much superfluous tissue, and they are lethargic and slow in consequence. His Last Try. Steadily the roll of well-known Rugby players who have given their lives in defence of the Empire is increasing in length. Sergeant Harry ("Norkey") Dewar, of the Wellington Mounted Regiment, whose death in action at the Dardanelles was reported a few days ago, was the first New Zealand representative player killed in the present war. He was a fine player, a man of sterling character, straightforward and clean-living, and. good-tempered and cheery both on the field and off it. He was comparatively light for a forward, but he was v very skilful with both hands and feet; he was resourceful, fast, and a thorough "grafter." He could always be relied upon to play a really good game in any position in the forwards. Occasionally he played as ja wing-forward, but he was usually in the pack, sometimes in the front row, and sometimes on the side or back of the'scrum. He started his football career in Wellington, where he was a member of the St. James's Club. At that time his club played only in the junior grades, and when Dewar's football skill approached first-grade standard he -had to join another club to get a chance in the senior ranks. He went over to the Melrose Club, and soon distinguished himself in the senior team. Before long he was a Wellington representative. Several years ago he went to New Plymouth and joined : the Star Club, • which has turned out many players famous in New Zealand Rugby. His personal qualities and his knowledge of the game caused him to be elected captain of the club. He represented Taranaki in many matches, played for the North Island against the South, and was one of the best and most popular forwards in the New Zealand team which visited California a couple of years ago, and in the \ team which visited Australia last year. When the war broke out he was living in Stratford. He was one of the first to enlist. He was allowed leave of absence from the Trentham Camp to enable him to play for Taranaki in the Ranfurly Shield match against Wellington, and the rousing cheers which greeted him. when he filed on to the field with the Taranaki team that day testified to *his great popularity. He was a splendid fellow. Death of W. Alexander. Reference to the death of another fine player and good chap is thus made by "Full-back" in the "Otago Daily Times":—"The football community in Dunedin and the Otago University players particularly will be surprised and shocked to hea"r of the death, killed in action at the of W. Alexander, the ex-Otago University wing three-quarter back and Otago and South Island representative.. He played many 'fine games for the Otago' University in 1912, and the same season was chosen to represent Otago, playing in all the important matches in the city, and on the northern tour of the Otago team. Alexander played brilliantly in Dunedin, and great hopes were centred in him for the northern tour; but he failed to show his best form, and was off his game in the memorable match for the Ranfurly Shield at Auckland. Nevertheless Alexander was a fine wing three-quarter, a fast, determined, straight runner, and a great try-getter. Prior to going on tour with.the Otago team, Alexander was selected for the "South Island m:.tch against the North, played at Napier. In that match Alexander was the best back on the side, and had the honour of scoring the two tries for the South Island. Now he has won the highest honours of all in the greatest game of all, and has paid the supreme price." The Junior Flag. The final meeting on Saturday between Marist Old Boys and Lyttelton, in the Secoud Grade competition, provided the supporters of both sides with considerable excitement, due to the fact that the issue was the possession of the Junior Flag. During the first half Lyttelton had decidedly the better of the play, and had the element of luck been with them the port players would probably have made a score beyond the capacity of their opponents. In the second half, however, Marists asserted themselves. Throughout the whole spell they played a really good game, and were definitely superior to their opponents. A feature of the game—and not a good one—was the great amount of line-kicking resorted to. On the Lyttelton side Clark, the full-back, was very safe, and rendered good service to his team, and, conversely, McDonald, playing full-back for Marists, was, in the first half at any rate, the weakest man among the backs, his failures involving his side in constant danger. He improved considerably in the second half. Frame was probably the best among the forwards. Donohuo and Khouri played good football for Marists.

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Permanent link to this item

https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/SUNCH19150906.2.5.3

Bibliographic details

RUGBY FOOTBALL., Sun, Volume II, Issue 491, 6 September 1915

Word Count
974

RUGBY FOOTBALL. Sun, Volume II, Issue 491, 6 September 1915

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