A Forward's Game

On Christmas Day 1875, the Gloucester Chronicle carried a report of a match between Gloucester and Ross. Although played, as today, as a 15-a-side game, 10 players on each side were forwards, with 2 backs, 1 three-quarter-back and 2 half-backs. The report reads as follows:

“FOOTBALL – Gloucesterv Ross – A more equal game or more sharply-contested match could not have taken place than this, which was played at Ross on Friday last, according to Rugby Union rules. The result was a draw, neither side scoring any point. The forwards on both sides played up well and the tackling was very good, so that few runs were made, and long and fierce scrimmages were the order of the day. Both teams were well up to their work, the Gloucester backs dropping very well.

The following were the players:- Gloucester: Gardom and Brown (backs), Hartley (captain) and Boughton (half-backs), Bubb (three-quarter back), Weston, Molineux, Villar, Bennett, Wintle, Stephens, Lane, Berry, Jacobs, and Siveter (forwards). Ross: Bradstock (captain) and W Haines (backs), Minett (three-quarter-back), Fernandez and Ridout (half-backs), Peill, Willink, Browne, Bennett, R Cobbold, H Smythe, W Smythe, G Haines, F Cobbold, and Nash (forwards).”

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