May 9 1888

British team win again in Christchurch.


The Great Britain team had played and beaten Canterbury 14 – 6 on Saturday May 5. Four days later a return match was played, in indifferent weather. Canterbury played better than in the first meeting, but it was another win for the British.  

George Helmore - Canterbury captain.



[By Our Special Correspondent]

The weather yesterday morning appeared to be anything but promising for the return match between the English football team and Canterbury. The fog, which on the previous day had hung over the city until near noon, returned towards the evening, and during the night a slight drizzle fell. The result of this was that the grass on the field was rendered very greasy, and the nature of the game considerably affected thereby. Had the sun shone out even for so short a time as on Tuesday, considerable improvement would have been effected; but, unfortunately this was not to be. The mist lifted a little, but not a single gleam of sunshine broke through. It was a good thing that no rain fell, as that would have effectively damped the  whole affair, and brought down the attendance a great deal. As it was the leaden canopy above and the moisture-laden wind from the east lessened that not a little. Many of the spectators of Saturday evidently did not relish the different atmospheric conditions; and there were not more than about 3500 altogether on the ground. So far as the players were concerned, the coldness of the air was a gain; and opinions were freely expressed that the visitors would show up better than ever. “This is Lancashire weather,” said one; and in Lancashire weather the Salford and Swinton boys might naturally be expected to shine. But whilst the coolness was just the thing, the moisture was the opposite. The ball, an imperfectly blown up specimen, now became very greasy and heavy, and passes were missed which in dry weather would have been certainties.

As already mentioned in these colums, both the teams had undergone some alteration. In the Engiish team R. Burnett was represented by Banks, who was unable to play last Saturday through ill-health. W. Burnett gave place to Nolan, and Anderton to H. C. Speakman. On the Canterbury side the forwards were unchanged, but amongst the backs Wilson, of North Canterbury, replaced Webb at three-quarters; and Broughton at the last moment was elected full back in place of Richards. As it happened, these alterations on the Canterbury side at least proved to be improvements. For the convenience of readers, a complete list of the teams is appended:

ENGLAND. A. Paul. J. T. Haslam, A. E. Stoddart, H. C. Speakman, J. Nolan, W. Bumby R. L. Seddon, (Captain), S. Williams, H. Eagles, C. Mathers,  T. Kent, A. Stuart, W. H. Thomas, A. P. Penketh, T. Banks.

CANTERBURY. _ Broughton, L. Harley, A. Hobbs, H. Wilson, G. H. N. Helmore, (Captain), H. Roberts, W. D. Bean, W.Dow, J. Fuller, H. Hiddlestone, J. Horner, W. Sutherland, J. M. Turnbull, A. J. Weekes, M. Riley.

The umpires were as on Saturday, Dr. J. Smith and Mr A. M. Ollivier; the referee, Rev. J. Hoatson.

The arrangement of the ground was different from that adopted on Saturday. The field of play was shifted back to its old position on the southern half of the Park, a rope being stretched across the northern side to keep the public back. By these means a much nearer view of the play was afforded than was the case in the previous match, and the excitement of the public was proportionately increased. It was a matter for regret that this excitement found its expression more than once in sounds of a most objectionable kind. In Otago it is often impossible to tell when “Blues” or “boo-hoo” is the cry of the crowd. In Canterbury the war-cry being “Reds,” hooting is at once distinguished. Unfortunately it was not altogether confined to the larrikin element present; and the idea given to some strangers present was that even well-dressed Canterbury was not taking a beating kindly. However, that may perhaps be overlooked when the great excitement prevalent is considered.




For the fourth time in New Zealand Seddon lost the toss, and the Canterbury captain chose to play from the eastern goal with………..

Note: The account of the run of play is too lengthy to record here.

Penketh scored for Great Britain in the first half and Nolan crossed for three tries in the second spell.

………….  and “No side” was called, England winning by four tries to nothing.

There is no doubt the Reds played a much better game than on Saturday. Wilson was the best of the three-quarters, and his appearance in the field was hailed with delight. At all points he played well. Harley sustained his reputation, and played a sounder, though not as brilliant a game as before. Hobbs seemed over-matched, though once or twice his kicks gained ground. Broughton was a great help, and his performance, considering it was his first big match, was very good indeed. Helmore and Roberts again played well, the former especially showing up his clever dribbling and dodging. Of the forwards all played well, Turnbull, Fuller, Turner, Weekes, and Sutherland being perhaps the best.

The Englishmen had harder work than before. Amongst the forwards Seddon and Mather were the best; but all were prominent from time to time. They, however were beaten out of touch, Penketh being their best man there. Bumby played a good honest game. Nolan backed up splendidly, but in the first spell he made several mistakes. Stoddart, though damaged, did very good work. Haslam played the most brilliant three-quarterback game on the ground, his pace and dodginess being admirable. Speakman also made some good dodging runs, and handed off well. Paul was on the whole very safe, no touch in defence being registered against the Englishmen. The game in the first spell was marred by too much arguing. Fortunately, none of the tries were disputed, so that no trouble ensued.

The Englishmen leave by the Te Anau this evening for Wellington, where they play on Saturday.”——-10–1—-0–&st=1

The teams.