Symud i'r prif gynnwys
Cuddio Rhestr Erthyglau

15 erthygl ar y dudalen hon




I ! A RACE FOR LIFE. I....-,






| ATHLETIC NOTES. By an Old Stager. The eventful 3rd has come and gone, leaving us to mourn another defeat. Probably, Lut few ever cxpected anything else and really there is nothing to becastdownabout. A victory byoneg-oal and tour tries to a goal and a try, does nol, spell utter collapse on the part of thi losers, :!u.l wher, we Jool-; back but tovee. short years to the tiina when tirl a team horn ah-, pitted t.h.-ni.-elv*' against the chosen ui England, and contrast the result on that occasion, when England won by eight goals and tHe tries to nil, with that of Saturday, we shall find very much to make us hopeful, if not confident, of the luture. Now that the battle is over, I do most sincerely trust we may be spared a renewal of the out- cry, concerning tee composition of the Welsh team, that followed the appearance of their names in print. I have always fearlessly expressed my personal opinion on this subject, and can, there- fore, with better grace venture to remind my fellow grumblers of the good old saying, It is no use crying over spilt milk." Our men, whether fairly selected or not, have made a gallant fight, and it would be in the last degree ungenerous were the bickering and recrimination of a week or two back to be again revived. One fact the match of Saturday brought out most clearly, and that is the strong hold football has secured on the affections of a large portion of the inhabitants of South Wales. In Swansea, from an early hour in the morning till the close of the day, football practically monopolised con- versation. For once, people forgot all about the lesser events of every-day existence, such trifling topics as the safety of General Gordon, the Re- distribution Act, Fenian outrages, and so on, being unanimously shelved, everybody going in for a more or less animated discussion on the prospects of the match, and the merits of rival players, with now and then a diversion in favour of that standing British bugbear—the weather. Undoubtedly there was abundant cause for grave apprehensions with regard to the latter. A soft drizzling rain, that every minute threatened to develope into a regular downpour, augured anything but well for the comfort of intending spectators; but, fortunately, the predictions of the weather-wise were doomed to remain unfulfilled, and although rain fell in the earlier portion of the game later on it held off. I am a bad hand at gussinll the numbers constituting a crowd, and will therefore not hazard an opinion as to the total of those who witnessed the kick- off. The figures, if known, ought to amount to a big sum. I, for one, shall long retain a vivid recollection of that vast sea ot upturned faces. It was a grand and impressive, and withal an encouraging spectacle, speaking volumes for the future of Welsh football. And now let me record my impressions of the game itself. The one great feature which struck me in connection with the play of the Englishmen was that each and all of them seemed to lose their individuality the whole team played as one man. Herein, I think, lies their great strength no striving after personal distinction, but each unselfishly helping the other, every man playing with one object, and that to secure \ictory. Then again, their passing was not confined to the backs, as in local matches. Here it is rarely a forward ventures to pass until nearly collared; but fre- quently on Saturday when one of the English obtained the ball he passed well out to the open and secured a, great advantage. In this department the Welshmen were manifestly inferior.The back play of the visitors was magnifi- cent. The manner in which Kotherham, Wade, and Payne dodged their opponents, and in dodging, contrived to transfer the ball, was worth going further than Swansea to see. The passing of the backs, supported by the forwards, was irresisti- ble. Taking individual play, none of the Englishmen showed prominently, for the reason stated above, that they worked as one harmonious whole. Among the Welshmen it was different. Plenty of them figured conspicuously, but there was an utter lack of combination about their efforts. Jinacting the part of the candid friend, I would advise the Welshmen to take these lessons seriously to heart. The forwards especially have much to learn. They need to follow the ball with more alacrity. Directly one of the Englishmen was col!ared, down went his head, and the re- mainder of his comrades formed round him at onco. Curiously enough, there were always two or three of the home men lagging behind when a "scrum" was formed. I have an opinion about this siowness in the field which may or may not be correct, and my opinion is this, that our men neglected to pay the requisite amount of attention to training. I hope the day is not far distant when we shall beat England, but most assuredly shall we never do so until the utmost precautions are taken to select only the best men, and to see that those chosen to represent us go into strict training. Until this is done so long shall we continue behind in a pastime in which we have so much improved within the last few years. Coming to individual members of the Welsh-,team, I take the back (A. Gould) first. He played splendidly, collared well, and dropped well. No better choice could have been made. Of the three-quarters, Taylor deserves all praise for his coolness in passing and tackling, and his huge punting. But for him I fear the score of the Englishmen would have been much larger. Han- cock played capitally until rather heavily thrown, after which he seemed to fall off. It must, how- ever, be placed to his credit that he had the burden of staying the rushes, and besides, he never had, as far as I could see, more than one good pass, of which he made the most. The half- backs completely overlooked him. Jordan, I thought rather lucky in both the tries lie secured. However he played up in good style, despite a little deficiency in tack- ling powers. Newman was unquestionably the better of the halves, his passing being clean and effective. He captained the team admirably, but in the Scotch match next Saturday he will do well to resign the dropping out to one of the backs. Perhaps Newman will pardon my say- ing so, but I incline to the opinion that two of the English tries were made very much easier owing to his drop-kicks. Gwynn played dis- appointingly. His passing was reckless, and with one or two exceptions not up to his usual form. Most devoutly do I hope he may retrieve his laurels at Glasgow next week. Of the for- wards, without doubt the best on the field was the collegian, L. C. Thomas. His play was characterised by the utmost spirit. Had we a few more of his sort, the result might have been different. T. B. Jones and R. Gould played con- sistently well, and cannot be left out of any future team. Goldsworthy, too, thoroughly deserved his place an observation which might apply to Smith. The latter appeared more successful than any of his confreres in collar- ing Wade. The other forwards hardly deserve special recognition. They did their best, but that is about all that can be said for them. To sum up, the backs I don't think could be improved upon, but forward the team requires revision. Several of the men here are past playing, and might now be allowed to quit the international field,and settle down to inter-club contests. From the "Football Notes" in a Yorkshire paper, I learn that the match between Bradford and Llanelly evoked considerable interest, and the closeness of the scores at the finish occasioned some surprise, the "Tykes anticipating an easy victory. Commenting on the play, the same paper speaks in terms of high praise of the Welsh for- wards, who, it says, were quite equal to their opponents in the scrums," and the running of R.jWilliams also comes in for praise. Bowen, the full back, however, hardly seems to have upheld his reputation. The verdict about him is that he did not work hard enough. 'ct.