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: THEY HAD TWENTV CHILbREN

IRELAND v WALES

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IRELAND v WALES TO-DAY'S DUBLIN CONTEST By FORWARW More leeks aaid daffodils than sprays of shamrock were aeen in Dublin to-da.y, 2,000 Welsh enthusiasts having eroased the Irish Sea overnight to see the twenty-fifth match between Ireland &nd Wales OJI, the Tan downe-road Ground. The citizens of the Irish capital stared in amazement at the Cymric invaders as they strolled leisurely through SackTille-street, brandishing leeks as big ae Irish shillelaghs, and they must have wondered how it were possible for football enthusiasm to be of a sufficient motive power to carry so many people from one country to ajoother simply to see a football match. That there is a moral in such enthusiasm is only too obvious, and, however divided opinions may be as to the w à olesomeness of that moral, it cannot be questioned that Rugby football has gripped Wales more than any other oountry in the world, with the possible exception of New Zealand, where the style of play has been modelled on purely Welsh lines. Past Matches The story of past matches between Wales and Iceland is a familiar one to most people who take anything more than a casual inte- rest in the game, and there are very few schoolboys in Wales who have gone beyond the fourth standard who do not know that of the 24 matches already played Wales has won fifteen against Ireland's eight, and that the other game was drawn, Out of the fifteen victories only two have been won in Dublin, and, strangely enough, one of the two was that gained in the first match which was played between the two oountried Z3 years ago. It is a long time to look back upon, but it made one feel quite young to hear the veteran but ever youthful W. D. Phillips a few hours ago telling the story of his experi- ence in that first match. He was th eonly member of the party who had any recolleo- tion of the game, and he is one of the men connected with Welsh football to-day, either dire-ctly or indirectly, who played in that match. It seefcas one oft the phenomena of football that within a comparatively brief space after the end of their playing careers most players disappear altogether, and, if not forgotten, are never seen even on the football field. Twenty-eight years is a long time, from the football standpoint, but eight years seems but a, little span, and yet it is a fact that not one player in the Walsh team to-day took part in the glorious victory won by Wales on the Lansdowne-road Grttofid eight years ago. In fact, Percy Bash is the only Bidn in to-day's Welsh team wno played against New Zealand in the hietorio battle on the Cardiff Arms Park a little more than four years ago Thus, it will be seen, how quickly time ca.uses syeeping changes in the personnel cf the national fifteen. Interest in the Match It is not really easy to explain the reason, but the interest taken in to-day's match is greater than has been the case in regard to to any Wales Y. Ireland match in Ireland for a good many years. A probable explanation is that the form of the four countries this season has been so uneven as to stimu- late additional interest in to-day's encounter, for it was possible that the result would place Wales at the top of the tree once again, or, at all eventa, would be bracketed equal to Scotland and England; or, on the other hand, would be only next to Ireland at the bottom of the list. Curiously enough* too, however badly Ire- kind may play against the other countries, it is never any indication as to how they wHt play agaimt Wales, as wae Tery pain?uHy Omonatrated in 19; In tbo4 season W«Ree had beaten New Zealand, Engiand, and Sootland, and a sab- tta'ofcial and easy victory vas expeoted over Ireland, but when it oame to the test at Belfast, Wales were beaten, smashed, and pulvenraed, the whole team cracking up 11 naccountably. There has been other occa- sions, when tho&e ohm sing Irish forwards hate upset the calculations of ail the critics, j ajmd for their dafre-devil dflsli has often carried tlhem tbrougfh the most herodo oppo- sition. Spier's Comrades It was a. tribute to W. Spilter's potputetrilty among his (Sxiiti'.&dSS in the G4amx>ngia,n Police Force ttrat a few score of "belbies" attended the matoh. In oamtrpcm with a oouple of thousand of civilian Welshmen, the men in blue were fortunate in finding Dublin flavoured with elmioup WeeviAier, the son eWMng wit-h a bright and genial warmth, which gladdened every heart. Bribten is a city of scenes and YioisBitudeB. Nefer was tihere a r<aralte>l witnessed to the fdeces of to-day. in whidh Welshmen held a (monopoly of public interest. Forming them- selves into groups, they paraded up and dfcywn the main thoroagii fares of the capital, singing merrily and malting i,t more than obvious that they were men of omly one nationality. Not only dtd they make thfe streets lively, but invaded everywhere, and there wat more â Welsh øpöken in Dublin to-day than there has bten of IriQh for many a year. It was a. notioable feature as an emblem- atic innovation that a large percentage of the Welshmen sgRxrted the daffodil in prefer- ento to tifer leek, and indications paint to the ultiiAate triumph of a ifrnstty flower aver a pungent vegetable as the national symbol. Welshmen Fit and Welf During the morning the Welsh playerd rested themselves, and neglected nothing in th;e wAy of reserving- their strengtii and ha- ban<ling their resources for the gf*at struggle that lay before them. Every xman reported himself fit and well, and not a single change was found necessary either in thN. Welsh team or in the Irish brigade. The Irish roieru-it, in whom the greatest interest was centred, ytas C. T. O'Gillaghan and an,d it is only na.tJ tt everybody would lik to knQw his position in the tlp-ee-I qu<Mter lié and who 1&ye-a against him O'CMb.a.n is a yonn man who has cco?ed 51 trrtes tbie season, and to-day he playad on the rigfet wing against J. L. Williams, the Cardiff easrtain, while Thorn/peon, on the left wing, was opposed to R. A. Gibbs, the skinrmr of the Welsh, team. PLAN OF THE FIELD. j

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