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Scotland versus Wales.


Scotland versus Wales. IHE INTERNATIONAL MATCH AT EDINBURGH. Welsh Athlete" Comments on the Play and Thinks Scotland had a Lucky Win. That uttle-io-be-desired trophy. the "wooden spoon," rtienis in a fair way once more taking up its abode in the land of leeks. For the last couple of cea-soue we ha.ve Leen fairly well rid of it-r-id of it, I had hoped, for good and all. Two seasons ago we ware at the top of the tree. Last year we shared the honour (V) of its possession with Eng- land and Scotland, but this year. I am sadly afraid, we s'ha,M drop back to the old position, at the bottom of the list, and hold undisputed po.<t>ecjt;ioii of a trophy which each of the four nations strive .so vigoursly to be rid of. Stili, ii i,4 the fortune of warâif fortune it may be termedâand, a-s such, we must accept in the btst spirit puwible under the circumstances. In speaking so. I any, of course, admitting the Irishmen to be mA good as last year, in the event of which it tippers to me that they and England are the countries likely to fight out the battle of supremacy. Scotland I certainly think will be beaten by Englaud, for their tac- tics are practically similar, that is to say, open dashing, forward play; and drawing a line through the Wcl^'i pack, I must at once admit t licit to my mind the English eight, on their Swansea performance are infinite iy the better eight, whilst their back division, as a whole, certainly ranks a bit :diead of the Scotsmen. Ire- land is. of course, the only e' untry we are in the d-aik about, and only have the assurances of the Irish press That the forwa.rd line is even stronger than that of last year. If it is, the game between the wearers of the sham- rock and the lose at Dublin en Saturday should be the most stusational match of the VfcSiT. Our game with Scotland on Saturday will from the score sugs^'t itnelf as being one in which the piay was fairly evenly balanced. Such, indeeu, was the case, and, ae 1 stated at the oloc« of my remarks on Saturday, a. draw would more than anything else have correctly shown the state of the game. The try. fur example, which Gowans hcored was one of the luckiest things imaginable, and might just as easily have been a. touch-down by one of the Welshmen, who were all on their own line, as a try by the Scotchman. It was a bit of bad luck, pure and simple, although every credit must be given to the Scotch forwards tor the brilliant manner in which they were following up. It occurred after a lot. of loose scram bhug- just in front of the Welsh goal. Two or three of the defending side made attempts to drop on the bail, but each was charged off it. Bancroft picked it up in the loose very cleverly, but the Scotchmen were so close 011 him when he tried to get in his kick that the bill rebounded off one of the forwards back over the Welsh line. Only Gowans .eemed to realise where it had none to. He made a dart for it, and. ailthoiigh severa.1 of the Welshmen were CMjt-er to it than he was, he shot past them aud just managed to secure the try which, as e'-ents proved, won the match. Az t > the Scotchmen scoring by the aid of their back division, they never seemed anything like it. Certainly Elliot got over once ip the first half, but that was after a palpable irregularity had occurred, and no determined effort was made on the part of the Wt-!s:nei, to stop him, for the reason that the whistle had gone. Their three- quarter line, however, was of a very so-^o description. They had far more chances than the Welsh four had, but their attempts at expounding the four three-quarter system were of the crudest description, and in a manner justified the olaims of a portion cf the Scottish press who all along have decried the departure of their countrymen from a system which they well understood to one wi £ h which they are imperfectly acquainted. lltin, the Scotsmen are not likely to be dis- couraged in their attempts to perfect the system, for they have seen enough of it to know that three three-quarters cannot reasonably hojie, in the matter of defence, to cope with four who know their business. If any possible reason could be given why wo were defeated on Saturday I should say, tirst, that the Scotch forwards, as has invariably been thy case in the past, were too clever and vigorous for our men in the open. Secondly, that. the Scottish three- quarter line, realising how dangerous the Welsh three-qnarrer attack would be. if allowed to fairly start, exhibited those off-sid tactics- which, unfortunately, referee- se-eni ana hie to stop, and nipped all our attempts at three-quarter play at the very outset. With the exception of the footwork men- tioned above and the slight superiority at the line-cut, there was very little to choose betwei-n the two packs. W hen it came to fair, honest scrimmaging, as we in W ales understand it, the Welsh eight secured the lull equally ajs often as the Scotch T.¡¡"k did. I might even go further and say tha-t out of every eleven scrums we got possession six times, t'nfortuaateiy, however, v. o were able to do little o? nothing with the rdvantage âinntd. For example, time after time the Welsh serimniagers would gather ,n the ball and come round \\1\11 a swing ill the T heel. but, somehow, the Scotsmen seeemd to lave a happv knack of n.,t. only stopping the dribble in its initial stages, but, further, on many occasions tli, "y ippeared to recover them- solves. and, getting back, not only stopped the wheel, but robbed die 'â¢V^ioh eight of the had. lit footwork, however, "luso be admitted that Jii-? Scotch eight were distinctly the superior. Again, at half-back. Wales must be said to have had. if anything, a little the worst cf the I light. A c onsiderable allowance :!iU»t, of course, be made for the injury :i»ta;ued by Parhtt at aii early stage of the which injury nects- m rated his retirement from the play for a lengthy period in the first half. Under the cir- cumstances it is hardly to be wondered at that l'a.rfitt was not "fell at hi- I jest, hough every credit must be given to the Newportonian for having struggled on gamely through the second half in a dazed condition, f'iggs. under these circumstances, hncl not the opportunities given him that would, perhaps, otherwise have been the i«se. In Eliiot and S. npyon, however, the Welsh halves had to contend wirii a very tt"iart pair. The first-mentioned was distinctly the better man of the two. and. besides showing considerable resource, ga«e his passes in a | wonderfully clever manner. He has, I learn, been playing a grand game for his club for the pttat contjle of seasons. and has figuied pronu- EC-1 tly in all the international trial matches in which he has taken part. His omission' from the Scotch team appears to have been solely owing to the fact that he is a working manâ a state of affairs that we in W ales can hardly understand. Hie Scotch three quarter line, as I say above. I gleanci no great opinion of. Neiison was the best, hut even be did not exhibit any particular amount of resource. Next to him came Gowans, of wlio.-e abilities we have had the chance of judging- on one or two occasions. He wis the best of the. three, and, of course, came into prominence by reason of his scoring the only try of the match. He was nothing particular, however, as a centre player, and both took and gave his passes in- differently well. The whole four redeemed their reputation, only when kicking and in defence, although, in the latter respect, they gained a somewhat unfair advantage by stand- ing for the greater part of their time off-side. The Welsh four had Nery few opportunitiesâ not more than half a dozen throughout the whole of the game, and only on one occasion when Gould and Pearson came away on the right wing did they seem anything like scoring. Gould played with his head in :,ll his old style, and if lie had had more to do the result might have been better for Ins side. Pearson, of necessity, also suffered in this respect, and had but a couple of chances of attack during- the match. The pair, however, offered a really sound defence, and let nothing' pass them during the game. On the other wing, Badger and Evan Lloyd played as plucky a game as anyone could have wished for. Still, as I anticipated, they were. a bit too light to success- fully withstand the rushes of the burly Scots- men. Lloyd, especially, tackled fearlessly, and would never be shaken off. but he was hustled along, and lost ground on several occasions. Bancroft played a much better game than lie did at Swansea. One can hardly blame him for the occasion on which his kick was u-ged down end Gowans scored the try. The Swan- sea man's kicking preserved, with the exception of the first fifteen minutes, excellent length, but he did not seem able to find touch so accurately as of old. His defence, too, was bettor. Smith, the Oxford custodian, played fully up to his reputation. His kicking was clean and well judged, whilst he got out of two or three tight coTiiers in a wonderfully clever manner. In conclusion, I cajMiot do more than repeat my statement, that a. draw would have been a much better indication of rhe state of the play than a win for Scotland, and with this, I think, e\e-I the Scotsmen themselves will agree. Hie North v. South Association match at the K oath-road Ground provided some fairly good play, though the game was spoiled to a certain extent by the heavy fall of snow, which was not all cleared way. This, however, did not prevent the players putting in some pretty play at times. The North men showed a decided superiority with regard to combination, their passing being very cleanly and smartly executed. Mytton, at centre forward. Mas a host in himself, and nearly always was the means of initiating the attacks made bv his side. Winter was. about the smartest man in the South team, and his play was almost perfection. Time after time, when the North forwards vi'ere goin^ down the field with their superb com- bined rushes, he w:j nd break up their passing, and relieve the pressure. Bownes also splendid defensive play. In the forwards Bea«ley was about the best of the five, and had dan-son, in the centre, but fed him more, the Smith team would, probably have done better. Adamson stoned to be the only real failure amongst the Southerners. On many occasions the bill was centred to him splendidly, but, except, when ha managed to put one through towards the close of the game, he always failed to take advantage of th, chamw offerad him.






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Welsh Sunday Closing..1





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