The Alleynian, February 1921
Dulwich College v. Haileybury College.
Result: Haileybury, 2 goals, 2 tries; Dulwich, 3 tries.
Haileybury played badly enough in the first three minutes to have given us confidence, and Smith twice got away with long dribbles which ought to have shown us that on this wet ground the boot was mightier than the hand; but we declined to believe that there was not a catch somewhere and that the visitors were not concealing something up their red and white sleeves. The Haileybury forwards rushed, and, instead of falling on the ball as we would have done against St. Paul’s or Merchant Taylors, the entire strength of the company stood politely to one side, and their forwards trotted over the line just five minutes after the kick-off. Five minutes later, after Cazalet with a characteristic run had penetrated to the enemy 25, they were off again, first on the right into our half, and then on the left, over and behind the posts. This time the kick was successful. Haileybury, 8.
We were gradually beginning to come to life now, and Cazalet again showed that their defence was not impregnable by getting through to within a dozen yards of the line. Their forwards broke away to half way, where Murtrie made a fine tackle. The Haileybury forwards proceeding on their way, and having the sense to realise that on a wet ground with a slippery ball soccer-hacking was what the doctor ordered, came right on to our line, where they would probably have scored again but for being penalised for off-side. Joubert took the kick, and found touch near half-way with an excellent punt.
We did better after this, and were going strong when one of their centres intercepted a pass, which took them into our half. Here Hill made a splendid dribble well into their 25, and from a scrum on the 25 line Murtrie cut through cleverly and passed to Cazalet, who simply stood the defence on their heads with a series of feints and scored one of the neatest tries of the season behind the posts. And here another disaster occurred, which probably took the heart out of our team just when they were beginning to cheer up a bit. Joubert missed the easiest possible kick, and instead of being only three points behind we were five, which meant that we had got to score twice instead of once to get ahead. Haileybury, 8; Dulwich, 3.
Once more the Haileybury forwards, splendid all through in the loose, broke away, and we had to touch down. They were on our line again immediately afterwards, but our three-quarters got moving, and Horsford reached the back. Scrums followed at half-way, and Murtrie once more set us attacking, Robottom, who had a dangerous man marking him in Wakefield, being tackled on the Haileybury 25 line. Cazalet made another of his elusive runs to near the line, and we were on the verge of scoring when Mills dropped a pass and the Haileybury forwards swept away with the ball at their feet right to our line. Hill did some good tackling, and our forwards with Campbell, Goodwin, and Kendle in the van, rushed back to half-way, where their back found touch inside our 25 with a fine kick. Following up this advantage, their forwards again forced us to touch down. Bad defence on the right nearly let Wakefield in, and we again touched down, but directly afterwards Smith and Bryant led a forward rush into the Haileybury 25; Haileybury retaliated with a counter rush into our half, which Mills pulled up with a great save. Cazalet then broke away with a splendid dribble, and only clever work by their back stopped us scoring. For a few moments we pressed, and then the Haileybury forwards came right back to our line, and we were penned up on the line till Hill relieved with a good dribble. Haileybury pressed again, and just before half-time Paton, who led their pack splendidly, got over in the corner. Half-time: Haileybury, 11; Dulwich, 3.
We have always been a second-half team this year, and an eight points lead to the other side did not necessarily mean defeat; but four minutes after the restart the final tragedy occurred. In spite of a good dribble by Bryant, Haileybury forced us into our 25; and then Wakefield, with our whole team in front of him, ran straight through and scored between the posts. It was the culminating point of our weakness in defence. The kick put them another five points up. Haileybury, 16; Dulwich, 3.
And now the whole state of the game changed. Anybody who had come on the ground five minutes after half-time without knowing the score would have thought that we were in the latter stages of a 30 points victory. As in all our other School matches, we suddenly got together. Bryant, Smith, and Roberts started the new régime with a hefty rush. Kendle and Goodwin followed with another. Cazalet got to the line. Horsford and Robottom in turn were only just brought down. Our forwards packed well and dominated the scrummaging which followed on the Haileybury 25 line. Murtrie cut through brilliantly, and was just held up on the line. Then for a few minutes Haileybury took the game back to 40 yards out. Mills made another good run. Scrums followed about 30 yards from the line, and finally Murtrie, picking up a long pass, made another dash for the line, and this time swerved his way right through and scored near the flag. Haileybury, 16: Dulwich, 6.
The team were now right on their game. Hill made a splendid dribble. Our three-quarters reached the line, and Haileybury had to touch down. The kick brought them no relief, for once more Murtrie, Cazalet, and Robottom got to the line, and Haileybury had to touch down.
We continued to press, and the only Haileybury rush that got going was beautifully stopped by Joubert, who picked the ball off the forwards’ toes as he had done in the St. Paul’s match and dodged through. But there was no score. Then for a few minutes Haileybury recovered. A free kick gained them a lot of ground, and they reached our 25. But we were still on top, and our forwards, heeling well, had the ball out to Horsford, who, starting from our 25 line and showing great speed and strength, broke past his wing, outpaced the back, and, sprinting straight down the left touchline, scored a magnificent try near the flag. It was the best effort of the day. Haileybury, 16; Dulwich, 9.
There were now four minutes to go, and a win was almost out of the question. The most we could hope for was a strong finish, and we certainly made it. A kick by Hill and a run by Joubert set us attacking at once, and Mills cut through beautifully to the back, where Robottom dropped his pass. Then we attacked strongly on the left, and finally, just on time, Murtrie, Cazalet, and Robottom got off on the right, Robottom being brought down on the line. The whistle blew before a scrum could be formed.
P. G. Wodehouse.
The following was the team:—
Dulwich College. —M. Joubert (back); L. G. Robottom, G. E. Murtrie, R. C. L. Cazalet, R. Horsfort (three-quarters); G. R. A. Mills and H. S. Kempson (halves); C. P. C. Smith, E. W. Bryant, J. S. Hill, A. E. Roberts, W. G. Meston, J. A. C. Kendle, L. F. H. Goodwin, L. M. Campbell (forwards).