St George's Park History
Port Elizabeth, South Africa

100 Seasons Ago St George's Park - 100 Seasons Ago
The week ending July 11, 1903

Added 11 / 7 / 2003

A meeting of the Committee of the Eastern Province Rugby Union, to discuss arrangement for the entertainment of the visiting English rugby team, was held last night at the Algoa Hotel, Mr MM Loubser in the chair.

Also present were Messrs OE Page, TW Gubb, J Bowen, J Townsend, and G Hughes (secretary).

It was decided that a “smoker” should be given in the Drill Hall on Saturday, July 18, after the first match, and on Sunday the teams and representatives of the Eastern Province should be entertained at the Beach Hotel.

The Secretary was instructed to write to the Chamber of Commerce, asking that body to recommend to the leading merchants that an afternoon holiday should be arranged for Monday.

It was felt that the dispatch of correspondence for the English mail could be arranged to admit of this.

Monday night was temporary left open, and on Tuesday the team goes to Grahamstown. Here they will play Port Elizabeth combined on the 18th, and on the Monday, Eastern Province.

Teams of probables and possibles have been selected to play on Wednesday, and the result will affect the selection of the final team.

“A Sport” writes in a confident manner, asserting that the committee “cannot do otherwise than to pick the following team”: R Friend, fullback, P Channer, Gould, Heddon, and Grey, three quarters, Ryan and McPhail, halves, Gubb, Stow, Du Preez, Botha, Walters, Davidson, W Rice, Hunt (with White as reserve) forwards.

We shall see how far the committee’s ideas coincide with those of “A Sport,” who sees no drawback in Ryan’s lightness to his being one of the halves.

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The Selection Committee of the local team will not do to place too much reliance on the play in yesterday’s Possibles vs Probables match, which did not at any time rise to the level of an ordinary cup contest.

Of course one must not look with too critical an eye on the exhibition, as players were all at sea over one another’s play, and therefore what combination there was was feeble and ineffective.

It would serve no useful purpose to give a detailed description of the game, suffice it to put it on record that the Probables team proved the better stagers and won by the handsome margin of 18 points to nine.

This result was brought about by the superior exposition of the open game by the winning quartette, who handled the leather with greater frequency than their opponents, but lack of judgement prevented them scoring on several occasions.

Subsequent to the match the selection Committee met and picked the team to meet the English XI as follows:

Fullback: R Lumsden (Olympics)
Three-quarters: Gray, Heddon, (Crusaders), Gould and Channer (Swifts), Crage (Olympics).
Forwards: White and Rice (Olympics), Davidson and Walton (Crusaders), Bremmer, Gubb, Basson, and Botha (Swifts).
Reserves: Hunt (Crusaders), Sinclair (Algoa), and Du Preez (Swifts).

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Perfect conditions favoured the first match of the English rugby team at Newlands on Thursday afternoon against Western Province country clubs. An immense crowd surrounded the field, amongst those present being the Governor.

The Englishmen received a hearty ovation on taking the field. Throughout the game the Colonials displayed unexpected form in running and fine stopping power.

In the first half the Colonials scored a converted goal and a try, eight points, to the Englishmen’s nil.

The visitors made great efforts in the second half, during which they scored a penalty goal and a drop goal to the Colonial’s goal.

Result: Colonials: 13 points.
Englishmen: 7 points.

The Colonials all through appeared too fast for the Englishmen.

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A record crowd assembled at Green Point on Saturday to witness the second match in the Corinthian programme, when they met a team representing the Western Province of Cape Colony.

Unfortunately rain fell during the greater part of the play, and made the ground difficult.

After some good play by both sides, the Corinthians, by good combination, scored their first goal of the match, and from then till half-time no further alteration in the situation took place, both teams playing vigorously, Western Province giving an exceptionally good display.

After resumption the Colonials were awarded a penalty, which was converted, the score being one all, and, with the wind in their favour, the Province pressed almost incessantly through the second moiety of the half, only the splendid defensive play of the visitors backs and goalkeeper (fullback) saving the situation.

Almost on time the Corinthians made a great effort, and Melling, the centre forward, scored a fine goal.

Nothing further being done, the match thus resulted in a win for the Corinthians by two goals to one.

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The Corinthians left Kimberley on Thursday for Bloemfontein. They journeyed by wagons so as to take in the Paardeberg battlefield en route.

They are pleased with the reception accorded them, and consider that the Association game has improved 25 per cent since the last visit.
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