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The start of the season was postponed until late May in order to allow clubs to sort out the influx of new members and arrange a few practice games, including a nil all draw at Albert Park on 27 March between a representative Victorian side and the Navy. The mainly friendly but nevertheless serious rivalry between the two principal football codes during this period was epitomised by the matches arranged between Carlton and the Sydney Waratah Club, playing both codes in Sydney in 1877 and then in Melbourne in 1878 and in 1888 by the touring English team, who played ‘Rules’ against Carlton and Fitzroy, and were then entertained by the latter club at a convivial banquet held in the new Fitzroy Town Hall. The two countries played Rugby (Now Football) exceedingly well. Rugby Victoria offers guidance and resources to ensure our referees are ready to take the field . More recent research has revealed that a Union was in fact formed in April 1893 and that they leased the Friendly Societies’ ground (on the same site as the present day AAMI Park) for a local competition which started on 20 May, the four teams playing for the ‘Howard Cup’. $15 today) and to meet at the Orient Hotel every alternate Tuesday evening until further notice. After receiving advice of the proposed visit by the Australian tourists a meeting of supporters was held at the Orient Hotel on 19 June 1908 when a committee was elected with the main purpose of raising a ‘…Victorian Rugby team to try conclusions with that from the NSW Union in August.’ That was soon followed by another meeting at the Hotel on Thursday, 2 July where some eighty-five supporters agreed to the formation of a Victorian Rugby Union and elected office bearers including E.W.Hoyes as Chairman, S.W.Hudson as Secretary and T.B.W.Flegg as Treasurer. Eventually, poorer children under the age of 12 also started to go to school. The game was first suggested by W.Hill, Secretary of the NSWRU, in a letter to J.Allan, of the University Sports Union, who in turn agreed to the match as he expected to be able to arrange for a ‘…fair team of “ruggers” to be drawn from the University.’ This was in early June and on the 19 th a meeting was held at the Orient Hotel to elect an organising committee. [16] Originally (1901) the Rugby Union City and Suburban Association which catered for strictly amateur local clubs preferring to play social rugby by invitation rather than in the more aggressive grade competitions. [7] 1888-1890; while sometimes described as the Melbourne Rugby Union it is also referred to as the Victorian Rugby Union or the Victorian Rugby Union Football Club; the latter being the body, in the person of its Vice President, Dr Wilmott, reported in the Age as being represented at the Fitzroy Club’s banquet for the 1888 English tourists. This was the reason many old English monarchs had to ban the game at one point in time. Pollard, J: Australian Rugby – The Game and the Players; Pan MacMillan, 1994 In fact, King Henry VIII, called the game of Foote Balle, outrageous. The College kept up these annual tournaments against their Sydney counterpart until 1914, in which year they evidently re-affiliated with the Victorian Union. Being one of the rougher Victorian games, 71 deaths were attributed to this team sport between the years of 1890 and 1893. [15] As will be noted later the formal club competition did not appear to take up the entire season, up to a third being given over to ‘trial matches’, practice games and representative matches; even though there were no inter-State games during this period there was one other NZ Maori visit, games against NSW City and Suburban teams in Melbourne and Sydney and games against several warships, as well as the Inter-Varsity and Inter-Training College fixtures. For the last part of the tour they were led by Andrew Stoddart who took over after the tragic drowning of captain R.A.Seddon while sculling in Maitland. Some surprise had been expressed that no Victorians had been included in the Australian team but given that there had been virtually no Rugby in Melbourne for years, except for the social games mentioned below in connection with the Melbourne Training College and University, it would have been more of a surprise if any Victorians had been chosen. By the time of that last match Australia had entered the war and by early September 1914 newspapers in all States were carrying stories of Rugby players volunteering to join the colours and followed those soon after with the first reports of a seemingly endless stream of casualties. Morally and politically, this period began with the passage of the … However, the majority of the first intake of cadets came from Victoria and spectators were amazed to see one of these former Rules players emerge from a scrum and punch the ball half way down the pitch, then another collar an opponent and hold him to the ground while awaiting further instructions from a bemused referee. A few years later, in 1881, there was a match at the MCG between the Wanderers (a team sponsored by the MCC) and the Detached RN Squadron, (a team comprised of officers of HMS Bacchante and HMS Inconstant) the visitors winning by a goal and a try. The Training College apparently left the Union at some stage and although re-affiliating in 1914 and also playing other clubs on occasions did not enter the premiership competition. And add thanks to my brother Peter for his assistance. Perhaps that was a wise move as it was said to be viewed by the spectators as of little interest, at least by one obviously biased Argus reporter. Meanwhile the Union found the usual excuses to fill the social calendar with ‘smoke nights’ and ‘smoke concerts’ at city restaurants and hotels. Howell, M.L; (& others) They Came to Conquer; international rugby tours toAustralia 1884-2002 It would require a social historian to explain why this might have been so – and why there was then a resurgence of interest in the code. They left for home on the following Monday, stopping at Bathurst where, after a night of song with their hosts at the Royal Hotel, they lost the next day to a team representing the Western Rugby Football Union. May be there is some justification in blaming this partly on the reluctance of Victorian employers to grant leave (if not threatening an even worse fate) to some of the best Victorian players, although there can be no doubt that the inadequacies of the local competition would have been a major contributing factor. “The Penny Farthing led to the birth of bicycle racing as a sport,” Smith said, as she led guests through the parlor. This territory extended till miles away. He did so by picking up the ball during a soccer match and running with it into the end zone creating the main motion of the sport. The Rise In Popularity Of Victorian Era Rugs. [Return To] PASTIMES AND SPORTS Sharpham, P; The First Wallabies; Sandstone Publishing; 2000 Three weeks after the Royal Military College (RMC) opened in Duntroon in 1911 it entered a team in the local Union competition, the first game being against Queanbeyan. Rugby, football game played with an oval ball by two teams of 15 players (in rugby union play) or 13 players (in rugby league play). A further meeting was held there on 14 July and a general meeting at the same venue on 25 August, by which time of course the match against the (soon to be) Wallabies had been held and no doubt served as a major topic of discussion. However, the eventual winner is unknown. Quinn, K; The Encyclopedia of World Rugby, ABC Enterprises 1993 Wills, who had been captain of cricket and football at Rugby School, was said to have insisted that the ground was too hard in Melbourne to allow the rugby tackle and that was one feature of the game not included in the rules which formed the basis of what became known as Melbourne or Victorian Football and a number of the new clubs observing those ‘Rules’ formed the Victorian Football Association in 1877, eight breaking away in 1897 to found the Victorian Football League. It’s a big rugby pub, and they also have traditional music from Sunday to Tuesday nights. Victorians Rugby Club, Panningen. Girls in Victorian age did not enjoy that aspect. The Melbourne RUFC arranged matches such as ‘Colonials’ v ‘World’ and ‘North of Yarra’ v ‘South of Yarra’ at the Carlton Cricket Club and as they soon had some 200 members it was proposed that a second club be formed, presumably the North Melbourne Rugby Club. I have found no reliable evidence that the North Melbourne (North Suburban) club remained in the Union after 1909. St Kilda was involved in early games but not in the premiership contest which evidently consisted of eleven rounds and concluded on 18 September with Melbourne having won ten. The Rev.Hoatson was again referee. Played before a large crowd as a curtain raiser to an inter-State ‘Rules’ match v South Australia it is probably the one and only time club Rugby has been seen there. During the period covered in these notes most representative games were played at the Melbourne, Carlton, East Melbourne [20], South Melbourne [21] or St.Kilda Cricket Clubs but relatively few club or practice matches were played on enclosed grounds, some exceptions being the Essendon Cricket Club and the Friendly Societys’ Gardens/Arena. Reports of games from 1889 on are sparse, although there are references to matches between the Melbourne and Pakeha clubs in that year and the next and of New South Wales defeating Victoria at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) twice in July 1889, with representatives from the three clubs, Melbourne, North Melbourne and Pakeha, included in the Victorian team. It is very interesting to know that Football was not only just played by men but also women and girls. The most popular sport during the Victorian era was rugby. Sports in the Victorian Era Victorian Soccer Before the Victorian Age soccer was played much like rugby, with few rules and a free for all where men tried their best to injure the other players. Two years later, back in Melbourne in 1926, the clubs which had been playing League since 1923 decided to change codes and form a new Union. [5]. During the modernization of soccer, the Victorian Age, rules were put in effect. In the history of the United Kingdom, the Victorian era was the period of Queen Victoria's reign, from 20 June 1837 until her death on 22 January 1901. All said and done, the game continued to gain popularity passing the Industrial Revolution and Industrialisation. In the realm of winter sports this was manifested in the commencement of the soccer clubs competition (which also started in 1909) and in renewed campaigns to establish the supremacy of different football codes in the capital cities. She was back in British waters before the outbreak of WW1 during which she won a number of battle honours. The ‘newly formed’ Training College club again played other club sides but primarily in preparation for their away fixture with the Sydney College in July – I have found no evidence that they ever competed for the Dewar Shield. [23] Once commonly used to describe the end of a Rugby match. But in 1907, two years before the Union competition commenced, the Melbourne Training College (Teachers College from 1913) had organised a Rugby team and Melbourne University, in a move to ‘bring old rugby players together’ arranged for a team to play the College on 29 August in a match which finished in a draw, after what the Argus described as ‘…an amusing scramble.’. I am grateful for the generous assistance of many historians and archivists, especially Judy Macarthur, former ARU Archivist and her successor Bronwyn Wood, and for that of the the staff of the State Library of Victoria in accessing various collections, including most of the periodicals & newspapers listed below. The tour was not accredited by the RFU and the players (except for Jack Clowes) were fortunate that they did not suffer harsher penalties for failing to comply with the strictly amateur conditions of the time. So, let’s see how Rugby attained its today’s super status and omnipotence. It was not until the Federal Territory Australian Rules Football League was formed in 1924, and the RMC promptly registered a team, that Rules players no longer had to convert to the fifteen-a-side game. In June 1913 they had the satisfaction of having turned out ‘…one of the best teams College has had.’ when although losing as expected, they played the First XV from the prestigious King’s School, Parramatta. Later that season, a Victorian team was selected to play the British side known then as the "English Footballers" but now recognised as the First British Lions team. 300 likes. Some say that a little boy named, William Web Ellis was responsible for the same when he ran hitting the ball for a long distance back in 1823. Aside from occasional compliments I have found a few accounts of the club competition which we know resulted in premierships for Melbourne in 1909, University in 1910, East Melbourne in 1911, Melbourne in 1912 and 1913 and South Melbourne in 1914, the winner’s names being conveniently inscribed on the trophy donated by whisky distillers John Dewar & Sons of Perth, Scotland. It was a time of rapid change and thanks to the Industrial Revolution saw the country evolve from a largely rural environment to an urban, industrialised one. R.G. In 1910 Melbourne visited Sydney, where the hosts were again the winners 31-0. Sports varied from laid back sports like Cricket, which was most often played by the upper class, all the way to very physical sports like Rugby and football. There was a churning upheaval of the old hierarchical order, and the middle classes were steadily growing. The patronage of the Union in 1895 by Sir John Madden, Chief Justice of Victoria [p.4], and in 1909 by the Governor-General, Lord Dudley [p.7], raised my hopes that some rare Annual Report or other authoritative record might have been retained in National or State Archives. That move had been anticipated for several years especially as Dr John Smyth, the College Principal, was a rugby enthusiast and Vice-President of the Union. The twenty-one players were led by the Rev.M.Mullineaux, captain and manager, who before departing from Sydney, aimed a few shots primarily at NSW rugby about practices employed, on and off the field, which he felt to be against the spirit of the game. They assumed the ball to be the opponents head and put their lives to win it. So far those searches have drawn a blank, as have enquiries about private archives or collections of the papers of those gentlemen or of other viceregal patrons in the relevant years. Many people took part, numbers went in hundreds. Fagan, Sean: The Rugby Rebellion; RL1908; 2005 [2] While Tom Will’s letter published in Bells Life of 10 July 1858 had promoted the idea of forming a football club various sources, including A Game of our Own; Geoffrey Blainey, The Emergence of Aussie Rules ; Ian Turner [Sport in History; Cashman & McKernan] as well as the Argus and the Herald of 16 May 1859 agree that the first Rules, then ‘Melbourne Club’ Rules, were not drafted until May 1859. [1] Certainly they were not playing Victorian (later Australian) Rules as these were only adopted in May 1859 after T.W.Wills, Melbourne Cricket Club (MCC) Secretary 1857-8, proposed that a football club be formed to keep cricketers fit during winter, and the MCC Committee directed him, together with H.C.A. [11] In 1893 and 1894 the Pioneers, Rovers, Crusaders and Pirates were the clubs in competition; a Melbourne club replacing the Crusaders from 1895. [13] The first NSWRL clubs were formed early in 1908 and commenced competition that year. Superior passing and the speed of their backs evidently contributed to the visitors’ success but the Victorian defence was reckoned to have done well to only allow them to cross the line five times. ‘This was untrue: two of the Pakeha ring-ins were born overseas.’  NZ History; NZ Ministry for Culture and Heritage. [14] The first Australian team to be named the Wallabies – not the first Australian Rugby Union. Perhaps the combined effects of recovering from the turn of the century depression, a rapidly growing population, vastly improved communications, formation of the Commonwealth, and the introduction of a new industrial labour system, all contributed to greater feelings of security and optimism which in turn encouraged a wider and more general involvement in all forms of sport and recreation. May 1859.’ the rougher Victorian games, 71 deaths were attributed to this sport. 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