Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume. 34, Number 16. September 8th 1971
1 — Murray Mahony
The 1971 test series with the EEC has come and gone and already the prophets of gloom have begun their feverish ravings. Disregard them. Far from humiliating. New Zealand has emerged from the tough series with much honour. After all, the EEC team were probably the finest New Zealand has faced in the past 20 years.
Some argue that in the final test, which New Zealand desperately needed to win, too many opportunities were frittered away. However, in the final analysis, it was the EEC which dictated the terms and all credit to them.
We must now salvage the country's tarnished reputation in the struggles to come. The National Selection Trials next year will be a vital step in regaining this lost prestige. It is even being speculated that the whole team could be dropped and replaced by 15 completely new players, with a fresh, more imaginative approach to the game.
For all I know they could be right, but in making predictions myself I would play it safe and say that most of the present team would be re-employed. It won't be an easy task for the selectors, but I think the new team will appeal to the majority of the public.
In trying to forecast a 1972 version of the National team, how many players in the present side will retain their positions?
The big question intriguing everybody is whether captain-player-coach Keith Holyoake will retire before the selection trials next year. After the final test Keith told reporters that he had "no announcement" to make regarding his future. Rumours are bound to persist until he does decide. The incomparable Holyoake has no peer in this country, and the tremendous influence he exerts over the stability of the team will be sorely missed.
A player to emerge from the series with his reputation considerably enhanced was vice-captain and first five-eighth Jack Marshall. Marshall has long been a sound steady player and he showed his true mettle when the pressure was on him. He has developed into a very astute general, with an eye for the break and a good tactical kick. Mark him down as a definite possibility for captain when Holyoake retires.
Another candidate for captaincy would be the half-back Rob Muldoon, if it wasn't for his bad habit of getting off-side. He has certainly run the gamut of criticism this season and many would prefer to see him dropped from the team. However, impetuous though he may be, it is hard to see him being displaced. He is dynamic on form, with superb reflexes and is always a thorn in the defence, especially with his darting runs on the blindside.
Second five-eighth, Dan Riddiford, is often hamstrung with Hamlet indecisiveness and he could lose his place this season. He has been around the playing fields for a long time and is probably past his best.
Peter Gordon should hold his position at centre, a department where New Zealand lacks players of real international calibre. Gordon can be a most purposeful runner and tenacious tackier.
Ebullient left-wing Lance Adam-Schneider had the misfortune to miss the third test through leg injury but was back to his best in the final test. Good off either foot, with swift acceleration, he has bagged a lot of points this season and has found his true position.
Don McKay on the right-wing is the second player of that name to make the National team in that position. However it is doubtful whether McKay II is as good as his predecessor, relying too much on orthodox moves.
Fullback Carter's main fault is that he doesn't come to the line often enough. He lacks the versatility so necessary in his position to be able to handle unpredictable situations; very likely to be dropped.
The forward pack has a solid core of seasoned campaigners and it is possible that some of them will be considered too long in the tooth. David Seath at hooker is one who could well be released from national duty. Lethargic displays have marked his game in the past few seasons and it is surprising that he has held his position for this long. In such a key position, New Zealand needs a man who can use his head to his team's advantage. A long tenure of the tight-head prop's position by Percy Allen could similarly come to an end next season. He has had a lot of trouble with injuries in the past few years and this could account for his form reversal of late.
Never conspicuous in much constructive play outside the tight skirmishes Norm Shelton as loose-head prop is another who could go by the board. He is always dependable but that does not compensate for his slowness on the ball. Tall rugged Brian Talboys is now firmly established as Keith Holyoake's locking partner and is very diligent and methodical in everything he does. A fine lineout forward his clean two-handed take gives half-back Muldoon a wealth of possession for setting up attacking moves. Flanker David Thompson caused a furore early in the tour when he challanged the right of a visiting group of journalists to p int what they liked. He was subsequently cautioned by the team management but held his test place. A very stout defender and devastating spoiler of moves by the opposition's inside backs.
Debonair Duncan MacIntyre is a flanker in the true New Zealand sense. He plays with a calm assurance that belies his relative youth and could well be destined for higher honours. He has very definite ideas about apartheid. Handicapped by a lack of real pace Rob Walker at No. 8 nevertheless gets through a ton of work. He is a resolute tackier and great at tidying up loose ends. Of this season's reserves George Gair looks most likely to force his way into calculations. He is a fine opportunist with plenty of stamina. Allan McCready and John Rae were dropped for the EEC series but could reassert themselves in next year's trials. Allan Dick and Herbert Pickering are two more contenders, although lacking real enterprise.
There it is. It is obvious from the test series where our weaknesses lie and hopefully we can find players to counter them. We especially need good attacking midfield backs with an appetite for hard work and a major reshuffling of the pack seems likely.
New Zealand certainly needs a shot in the arm and a radical switch may be the answer. Who knows? We will just have to wait until next year's Selection Trials.
Arts Festival Debating and Oratory
Victoria University made a clean sweep of the debating and oratory events at Arts Festival.
The intervarsity debating tournament for the Joynt Scroll was won by Victoria - Henry Stubbs, John Blincoe and Russel Fairbrother - for the third year in succession. They defeated Otago in the first round, affirming "That Parliamentary Democracy has failed in New Zealand". And in the final they defeated Auckland, affirming "That the New Zealand Tax-payer does not get value for money from the Universities."
Victoria also figured very prominently in the New Zealand Universities team selected at the contest. That team will debate the Australian Universities' team currently touring New Zealand for the Tasman Trophy on September 11. New Zealand hold the trophy at present. Team Captain is Henry Stubbs - who was also selected best speaker in Joynt Scroll - with Russell Fairbrother as third speaker. John Blincoe is reserve. The other team member is Tim McDonald of Canterbury.
The Bledisloe Medal for Oratory
The Bledisloe Medal for oratory was won by Daryll Hutchison, also from Victoria. The medal - cast in gold - was originally founded by Lord Bedisloe - then Governor General - in 1931. It is competed for triennially by representatives from the various universities on the subject of "a great man or woman connected with New Zealand or an outstanding incident in New Zealand history".
In his winning oration "The Christening of David Thomas Shand" Mr Hutchison took a very original approach. He addressed the audience as though they were present at the christening of a newly born child whose gradmother had died in the Wahine disaster. Using the disaster as a basis, he developed the idea of man's puniness before nature and used the christening as evidence of man's capacity for renewal and continuation.
Mr Hutchison also won Victoria's own Plunket Medal for oratory last July. He revealed at that time a similar brilliance in his use of the unexpected by orating on "Edward Alan Sanders", a President of the United States who was born the day of the contest - 23 July 1971.
I like reading your newspaper but I get tired of the way you always pull things to bits. Like the march on Friday [July 30]. That was a good show and it gets in the news and lots of people see it and that makes them think that this is for real and serious and that way something might get done about all this aggression. And there seems to be too much of this funny talk that no one can understand. Like the "2.drugs" man, with all this sense data and alienation stuff and things existing in one sentence but not existing in the next, its too much for the human bizz.
But what I want to tell you is that I think that Tony Simpson is a [unclear: twit]. He says he doesn't like the P.Y.M. but he's half inclined to agree with them. I don't know what that means. I think he's half inclined to agree with anything. I wonder if he does any real agreeing or disagreeing. I wonder if he does anything except tell everybody how much he's read and how good he is at using big words. But even when he uses little words he uses them in funny ways. I thought I knew what myths were, they were things like Thor making the thunder and all that, but from what he says it seems that when my boss pays me a dollar twenty an hour and charges two dollars fifty an hour for my time then that's a myth. And I thought I knew what fascism was. Like Hitler and Mussolini and them but he makes it seem like anybody who believes in something and tries to do something about it is a fascist. It gets the poor old swede piece spinning.I think the PYM are good people and I believe in what Tony Simpson calls "the primacy of action" if you want to call it that. It seems to me that many things around here are not too good and that we ought to do something. Everybody ought to do something, and it doesn't much matter if I've heard of Zaroastra or not, the thing is to get out and do what you can as hard as you can about the things you think are wrong and people who write flashy stories saying that the people who do this are not good or fascists give me a big pain in the bum. In the words of the poet:
Asking you pardon as to the verse
'T would give you heartburn in the arse
I'd be proud to have some of the PYM represent me, and I don't get laughed at at work. Tony Simpson hasn't met enough workers. Like his Bolsheviks maybe he hasn't met any, he's too busy word-mongering. Maybe the PYM does some things wrong but they do lots of things right too, and they do Do Things to try to fix this bloody shambles we try to live and work in which is a lot more that you can say for most people. From what I've met of these people he wouldn't hit you on the head with the piece of wood when you didn't see the ship, he'd help you build a raft because it would be doing something to fix things up.
B. W. Moore.