September 4, 1920.] THE EAST COAST JOURNAL.
which was a prominent hotel, where before having tea a few “spots” were indulged in. Eventually tea was served, and, of course, more “spots” which consisted of a pint bottle of champagne at each plate, and after tea the cigar box and more “spots”. When the secretary suggested seeing the books, “ Yes, just another drink and then we will proceed to business.” However, the refreshment was more to the point than the books, and late that night it was a very jovial official that was put on the Manchester train, and in the course of a week or two the club were notified by the English Union that the official had reported that the club’s books were all right.
Now, it must not be imagined that professionalism in Rugby football was solely confined to the North of England. Before I left Scotland I had known of instances where money had passed between officials of clubs and their players, one being the case of my own brother, who had been hurt when playing. The secretary of the club when paying him a little remuneration for his loss of wages, begged him not to say a word to anyone, for if it got to the ears of the Scottish Rugby Union there would be trouble for him particularly, and for the club generally. Another case concerned a player of another club, with whom I was very well acquainted. The match was between two well-known border clubs, and was always regarded as a real “Derby” struggle, and the player was the means of scoring the only try of the day after a great run from half-way, and consequently won the match. In coming off the field he was handed three sovereigns by an official of his club with the remark, “Well done, Jack!” and afterwards told me that it was not the first he had received.
But to return to the North of England clubs. Many amusing methods were used in the paying of talent money before the split occurred, and I would like to give just one illustration. A player, who had not been playing many times for the first team, gave a very fine display, and after the match, on putting on his boot he felt something hard inside. He immediately took it off, and giving it a shake out rolled a sovereign. He had got so far as – “Hi, has any one lost ..” when he received nudge from his neighbour with the remark, “Shut up, you fool. Put it in your pocket and play for another one next Saturday.” Now the question of professionalism in Rugby football has caused many a bitter argument, and I know of officials of the League game in New Zealand to-day who would sever their connection with the game if professionalism was recognised, and I may say here that I thoroughly believe that the New Zealand Council are carrying the game on under the strictest rules of amateurism. But I have been a professional, and from my experience I am quite ready to argue and stand by my contention that you have the cleanest sport where professionalism prevails.
Let me give just one case in point. In the great Soccer game in England, Manchester City were fighting to keep their place in the first division, and when playing Aston Villa at Birmingham, some of their players approached the Villa players to run what is known out here as a “slinter.” The facts came to light. It was proved that such was the case, and the Soccer authorities suspended the City players for one year fined 5 of them £100 each, the remainder pound £50 each, and cancelled their registration with the club, which meant that at the end of their suspension they could not play for their old club, and had to seek fresh quarters. Could such a severe course be taken under amateurism, for I think no one would like to argue that “slinters” are not common in amateurism as well as professionalism, in fact more common, for the amateur has very little to lose, where the professional has a great deal.
Another argument in favour of professional football is that players are compelled to do a certain amount of training to keep in the very best of condition, and I contend that if the public are paying to see the game it is due to them that they get the best from the players, and that they do not get from the untrained amateur. Then again, the young man who has a talent for football has just as much right to make the utmost of it as the man you has a talent for music, etc. And just to show that the general public as a body recognise that they get better satisfaction from the professional in all cases than from the amateur you have only to compare the crowds that go to see the former in preference to the latter. I am quite sure that many in this district who like to think that they are advocates of pure amateurism were present at the boxing match between Clabby and Uren, when at the championships of New Zealand held in the same place they were conspicuous by their absence. Why? Because in the professional bout they knew they would get their money’s worth. Now I have somewhat strayed from football matters, but hope next week to give a few of the instances leading up to the alteration of the playing rules.
(To be Continued).
REVIEW OF THE SEASON.
The season now drawing to a close has been the most successful Hawke’s Bay has experienced for many years. The competition in the various grades has been keen, and the final result in the senior and junior grades is still in doubt. Marist Bros. Old Boys went right through the season with an unbeaten record in the third grade and wound up easy winners of the cup.
By their victory over Technical College last Saturday Pirates have practically won the Fourth Grade premiership. The class of Rugby shown this year has been immeasurably superior to that of the previous five years, and the prospects for next year look very rosy.
I cannot remember a more interesting junior competition than this year, Hastings, Waimarama, Havelock N., and High School being neck and neck. By drawing with Hastings last Saturday High School have spoilt their chance of winning the championship, and Waimarama or Hastings must now get the cup.
The High School boys, though considerably lighter than the majority of their opponents, played the better football, and their displays speak well of the coaching of the sports master, Mr. Hardy. Next year I expect High School to be even better, and they should win the junior cup besides evening up scores with their old rivals, Palmerston North High School. The province this year has a representative fifteen that has more than held their own in the Rugby world. Though perhaps on the light side the team has on every occasion played open and dashing football, the forwards being exceptionally fast, and always a thorn in the side of their opponents. With the experience gained this year it can be safely expected that the Hawke’s Bay representatives of 1921 will improve on this year’s record.
The programme of representative games played this year is as follows: – Against Wairarapa at Napier, won by 14 to 12; Wanganui, at Wanganui. Won by 11 to 3; Taranaki at New Plymouth, won by 8 to 6; Wairarapa at Carterton, lost by 12 to 5; Wellington at Wellington, lost by 20 to 5; South Island Country at Napier, lost by 12 to 6; Taranaki at Hastings, won by 9 to 0; Wellington at Napier, won by 17 to 3; Waiapu at Hastings, won by 12 to 3.
In addition a Northern v. Southern Hawke’s Bay match was played at Hastings, the North winning by 6 to nil.
The Management Committee have worked hard throughout the season, and it is but fitting that their efforts should be crowned with success.
As Hon. Secretary Mr. J. M. Brown has proved the right man in the right place. Long may he hold the position.
The Napier Primary Schools’ football representatives met the Gisborne Main School representatives at Gisborne on Monday, and gained a victory after a good game by three points to nil.
The Hawke’s Bay amateur championship was concluded on the Waiohiki links Friday of last week when H. E. Crosse beat Kapi Tareha. The match was keenly contested, and only during the last nine holes did the winner make a marginal advantage.
(By “Straight Left.”)
The Hawke’s Bay Boxing Association have received many letters from various associations throughout the Dominion congratulating them on the way the delegates and competitors were treated by them at the New Zealand Championships held in Hastings last month.
The Championship Meeting resulted in a net profit of over £30, half of which goes to the New Zealand Boxing Council. The prices of admission were very reasonable considering the high standard of boxing displayed by the different aspirants for championship honours.
Visitors were loud in their praises for the manner in which the numerous bouts were disposed of. There was an absence of delay between the bouts; no sooner was one pair finished, than another was ready to step into the ring. Everything in connection with the tournament went off like clockwork, and the executive are to be congratulated on their efforts.
Hawke’s Bay has made a name for itself in the boxing world, the parent body having started the boom in the Dominion by importing Jimmy Clabby last November, and have not looked back since. The Dannevirke Association are also well in the boom. They have had two contests lately that would have done credit to any of the big centres. The last contest, Clabby v. Cook, was a treat to see. The admirable way in which the two big men handled themselves was a lesson to all who witnessed it. Clabby, of course, won, but he could not take any chances with his big opponent, who should have a good future against some of the Dominion heavyweights. The contest was well carried out, but the managers should endeavour to get the preliminary bouts started to time. Some good amateur bouts had been engaged, but from various causes they fell through, and the public were entertained with some interesting exhibition bouts by Digger Evans, Fritz Holland, and others.
It is doubtful if a more distinguished gathering of boxing celebrities was ever seen in the Dominion before than was seen at Dannevirke on August 25.
It is rumoured that Clabby and Holland are to meet in Dannevirke in the near future, but as Clabby has had an argument with the New Zealand Boxing Council, unless something unforeseen happens the proposed contest must fall through.
The Waipawa Boxing Association held a tournament on Saturday last. It was one of the best conducted contests that has been held in Hawke’s Bay. The preliminary bouts were started punctually to time and went off without a hitch. The amateur bouts were some of some of the best that have staged. Harrison and Overend, both of Hastings, put up the best exhibition of boxing that has been seen for a long time. I could not quite agree with the referee (Mr. Russell) with regard to his opinion of in-fighing. There is a big difference between in-fighting and clinching. As long as a boxer has both hands free he can fight away to his heart’s content. Mr. Russell’s decisions were rather inclined to stop in-fighting altogether by the way he called “break” as soon as the competitors got to close quarters.
The contest Modrich v. Evans was good, what there was of it, but it turned out to be a repetition of the Beckett-Carpentier contest, all over in about two minutes. Modrich has a good punch, and his style has much improved. I should like to see him up against Tom Heeney or Pooley. It would be a good contest for some association to put on.
At Nelson Park on Saturday a sports carnival was held, the different bodies combining under the direction of the Napier Thirty Thousand Club for the purpose of providing gates for the Jull street entrance to Nelson Park. The attendance was very satisfactory and the financial result should be substantial. A feature of the afternoon was a procession from the Post Office to the Park. The procession was headed by the combined bands, ever willing to lend their services on such occasions. In the hockey section, the big event was the ladies’ match, Hawke’s Bay v. Southland, in which the visiting team was defeated by the narrow margin of one point, the scores being 4 to 3. The game was a fast and open one. Fourth grade teams from the Pirates Club and the Technical College met on the grounds devoted to Rugby, Technical College winning by 13 to 5. A hard-fought game was the match between Te Aute and M.A.C. M.A.C. secured victory by 11 points to 0. In the Northern Union section the honours in the third grade contest Westshore v. Taradale went to Westshore by 6 points to nil. A combined Clive and Ahuriri senior team beat a City team by 23 points to 10. A costume match between Napier and Port Fire Brigades created an immense amount of amusement.
Spring seems to have arrived after an unusually mild winter, with but few frosts, though the cold was at times as intense as the oldest inhabitant can remember. Gardeners are putting in their early vegetables and the voice of the birds is loud in the land. The winter sports are drawing to a close and the devotees of the beaches, cricket and tennis are preparing for the season.
It was to be expected that Mr H. E. Crosse, the New Zealand amateur golf champion, would be the winner of the local championship, and such proved to be the case.
The usual “season” of entertainments in the Municipal Theatre has commenced. It has been often remarked that for weeks at a time the theatre remains unlet, and then half a dozen touring companies follow one another in close succession.
The Borough Council at its meeting on Monday night last decided upon submitting the following loan proposals to the ratepayers for their approval or otherwise:- Roads – Widening of Dalton street, £9000; Faraday street extension, £1500; Ashridge road extension, £2550. Tramways and Electricity – Power plant extension, £23,000; service meters, £4150; deferred payment installations, £3000; Hastings street tramway extension, £18,850; additions to battery, £1000; electricity extension to Taradale and Awatoto, £17,000. A list of the streets which require re-construction or widening, a list of road-making plant needed, and an estimate of the cost are to be prepared by the borough engineer. He will also furnish an estimate of the cost of water supply extension in Napier South.
Borough maintenance retrenchment was the subject of a report made by the borough engineer (Mr. E. A. Williams) at the last meeting of the Borough Council. He reported:- “I can only suggest that we curtail the labour, provide sufficient equipment to enable us to cut out hiring of carts and horses, which would also enable us to get over the work in a more systematic and expeditious manner. The work at present being done by hand should be done by mechanical means, but until efficient plant is obtained, should it be decided to curtail the staff, the roads will without a doubt deteriorate to a still further extent, as they are now, with a few exceptions, simply composed of quarry mullock and shingle in some instances protected by a coating of tar. Carlyle street reconstruction is being done out of maintenance, there being no extra labour or hiring of carts. Mr Williams also stated interalia that for many months past practically the whole of the labour of four men has been occupied in cleaning drains and sewers – this time should not be charged to roads. At the present time numerous roads and footpaths are and have been formed in Napier South where none previously existed. If this work is to go on as at present this should be charged against future loan for same. With regard to lighting, the sum of £600 appeared too excessive for lamps and fittings, as once they were installed this cannot be a recurring charge and should come out of loan, except small amounts for renewal and upkeep. The report was referred to the Public Works Committee.
BILLIARD SALOON, HASTINGS STREET, NAPIER.
BEST GRADES OF TOBACCO & CIGARETTES ALWAYS IN STOCK.
THE SPORTS’ HEADQUARTERS.
DENTISTS recommend PEARLOID TOOTH POWDER as a safe and pleasant tooth cleaner. Posted anywhere 1/3. A. HOBSON & CO., Chemists, Napier.