|Wairarapa Rugby Union|
|(Founded , 1886 ; Original Member NZRU )|
|Headquarters : Masterton|
|Selector:||Mr. K. H. Reid|
After a period full of disappointing results, with only a narrow victory over Bush to set against six losses, Wairarapa’s hopes were slightly raised by a drawn game with South Canterbury on tour. In many of these early games Wairarapa had held the lead at some stage of the match, only to fade away in the closing stages. Then came the dramatic challenge match with Canterbury, new holder of the Ranfurly Shield, and victory to the challenger by a dropped goal to nil. Returning to the Wairarapa, Mahupuku’s boot was ,duly honoured by being displayed in public, but had to be hurriedly returned to its owner when the New Zealand Appeal Council ruled that South Canterbury’s challenge had to be met. A hard-fought and evenly contested match ﬁnally resulted in Wairarapa being narrowly defeated.
Those who witnessed the Wairarapa side in action prior to the Southern tour were not altogether unprepared for the successful challenge, for the indications were present that Wairarapa possessed a competent and lively XV., capable of holding its own with most opponents in open forward play, and in defensive back action. Of the pack, Blake as formerly was still the clever, speedy loose forward and sound tactician who led the side ably; Matheson and McPhee were solid hard-working locks; Matthews good rucking forward and fairly competent hooker; Waaka,a speedy and active No. 8. forward, who had last represented in 1948; Humphries and Sciascia, solid front-row supports, the latter a most active forward, who had represented Hawke’s Bay in 1948; and Ryan, a greatly improved loose forward, always up with the play and showing the beneﬁt of experience. Five of these forwards played in every match, and it was in its lively forward play that Wairarapa revealed its strength. Behind the scrum, Walsh proved a reliable half-back, with Couch a clever tactician and shrewd general at ﬁrst ﬁve-eighth, deceptive in his running and an invaluable player on attack or defence. Garth Parker was an improved second ﬁve-eighth, with Patrick reliable at centre, but A. B. C. Desmond, whilst always fast and versatile, was not as outstanding as previously. On one wing Dale made considerable progress and this tall, well-built young player possesses possibilities. Other players to appear were newcomers in Apatu (another fast, tall young winger), Geary (useful inside back) and Thompson (youthful ﬁve-eighth or full-back) who had earned a reputation as a goal kicker, but who proved hardly ready for representative Rugby. Blake, Matthews, A.B.O.Desmond and G.F.Henderson appeared in the New Zealand Trial matches, and the last named was an emergency forward in the ﬁrst two Test matches; he had last represented Wairarapa in 1948. Malhupuku, A.B.C.Desmond, Couch, Blake, Matheson, Matthews, Henderson and also J.S.Hourigan, who did not otherwise represent this season, were members of the combined Wairarapa-Bush side which engaged British Isles. Blake, Matthews, Couch and Waaka appeared for the New Zealand Maori side, and the two ﬁrst-named represented North Island. Of the previous season’s representatives, F. F. O’Brien had transferred to Wellington. Only eight of this season’s 25 players were newcomers.
1950 MATCH RECORD
Played 10 – Won 2 – Drew 1 – Lost 2 – Pts For 67 – Pts Agst 122
10. September 16 v. SOUTH CANTERBURY (Ranfurly Shield Match #181), at Solway Showgrounds, Masterton
Lost 14 to 17
A.B.C.Desmond and G. C. Parker, tries
A.A.Mahupuku, dropped goal, penalty goal and conversion
Referee:Mr. L. A. Giles (Otago).