We hope you enjoy this look back as we look forward to many more years of recording the history of Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union.We acknowledge all the information from the NZ “Rugby Almanack”Series from the season’s 1934 through to 2015 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

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1983 Status:
First Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

An injury problem and the loss of key players from the 1982 side accounted to some extent for the comparatively poor record of Wairarapa-Bush in 1983.

Four wins out of 14 games is not very impressive but the team managed to avoid the promotion-relegation round, thus being assured of First Division status for another season at least.

The highlight of 1983 was a good win over Waikato with the low point a crushing defeat at the hands of Second Division side Marlborough. There were also poor performances against Canterbury, Auckland, Wellington and the touring Lions.

The Wairarapa-Bush forwards gave a good account of themselves in most games, being especially good at mauling and in general play around the field. They scrummed well too, but lack of technique in the lineouts limited the team’s possession.

The 1979 All Black, Mike McCool, again made a valuable contribution in the tight work, where he was ably supported by Bill Rowlands and Gary McGlashan. These three veterans announced their retirement at the end of the season and all will be hard to replace. Maori All Black Chris Kapene was another hard toiler. Flanker Brett Harvey, in his first year of first class rugby, showed a great deal of promise.

Halfback Graeme Anderson captained the team well, proving solid and dependable, with new first five-eighth Mark Benton in good attacking form. Charlie Kaka’s experience was valuable in midfield.

Kapene and Kaka played in the All Black trial and Kapene appeared for New Zealand Maoris in the first game against Tonga.

Played 14, Won 4, Drawn 1, Lost 9
Points: For 166, Against 316
May 24 v. Marlborough at Blenheim
Lost 7-28
M.E.Cornford Try
S.J.Hurley , penalty goal
June 6 v. Hawke’s Bay*  at Memorial Park, Masterton
Won 10-3
N.F.Kjestrup try
C.H.Kaka penalty goal , P.Rutene Drop Goal
Referee: Mr R.W.Petersen (Bay of Plenty)
June 14 v. British Isles at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 10-57
C.C.Kapene, K.Carter tries
K.Carter conversion
Referee: Mr K.L.Henderson ( Otago)
July 5 v. Canterbury* at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 7-36
P.Lawson try
P.Rutene Drop Goal
Referee: Mr N.B.Whittaker (Bay of Plenty)
July 12 v. Manawatu* at Palmerston North
Lost 6-16
M.Benton 2 penalty goals.
Referee: Mr M.E.Dombroski (Taranaki)
August 2 v. Counties* at Pukekohe
Lost 4-24
G.I.Karaitiana Try
Referee: Mr C.J.Pedley (Wanganui)
August 6 v. King Country at Otorohanga
Won 17-15
S.J.Hurley, T.Hullena, K.Carter  tries
M.Benton conversion, drop goal
Referee: Mr D.A.Robinson (King Country)
August 9 v. Bay of Plenty* at Tauranga
Lost 19-24
C. H. Kaka (2) , C.D.Baker tries
M.Benton (2) conversions, penalty goal
Referee: Mr P.R.Wood (Auckland)
August 20 v. North Auckland* at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 0-13
Referee: Mr C.J.Pedley (Wanganui)
August 27 v. Otago* at Dunedin
Draw 15-15
C.D.Baker, B.Harvey, S.J.Hurley tries
K.Carter Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr M.R.Jarvis (Southland)
September 4 v. Auckland* at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 7-34
G.W.Anderson try
M.Benton conversion
Referee: Mr D.J.Shaw (Hawkes Bay)
September 10 v. Horowhenua at Pahiatua
Won 36-10
G.Cotter (2), G.K.McGlashan, M.J.McCool, G.I.Karaitiana,S.J.Hurley,K.Carter tries
S.J.Hurley (3) Conversions, M.Benton Conversion
Referee: Mr R.C.Francis (Wairarapa-Bush)
September 21 v. Waikato* at Memorial Park, Masterton
Won 21-7
G.Cotter (2), B.Harvey, M.E.Cornford tries
M.Benton conversion , penalty goal
Referee: Mr T.F.Doocey (Canterbury)
September 24  v. Wellington* at Wellington
Lost 7-34
M.O;Connor try
M.Benton penalty goal
Referee: Mr T.F.Doocey (Canterbury)
* National first  division fixture


Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1983 {Total Games}
G.W.Anderson (Eketahuna) 14
B.Anderson (Masterton) 2
C.D.Baker (Martinborough) 9
M.Benton (Featherston) 10
M.Bradley (Marist) 2
K.Carter (Woodville) 13
M.E.Cornford (Masterton) 11
G.Cotter (Carterton) 7
G.Gray (Marist) 1
B.Harvey (Tirumea) 14
T.Hullena (Red Star) 10
S.J.Hurley (Carterton) 7
C.H.Kaka (Martinborough) 6
C.C.Kapene (Martinborough) 10
G.l.Karaitiana (Masterton) 13
N.F.Kjestrup (Gladstone) 14
P.Lawson (Tuhirangi) 5
M.J.McCool (Pongaroa United) 10
G.K.McGlashan (Red Star) 10
M.O’Connor (Marist) 1
G.I.Rolston (Eketahuna) 6
W.N.Rowlands (Red Star) 10
P.Rutene (Masterton) 4
N.Sargent (Featherston) 7
B.Stuart (Tirumea) 1
B.Styles (Gladstone) 2
D.White (Gladstone) 14
J.G.Wyeth (Masterton) 8