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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Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Mr I.A.Aitkenhead – Mr J.H.Lawson
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green, with Scarlet collar

Engaging in a big programme of 16 matches, including a five-rnatch tour to the South Island, Wairarapa-Bush did not experience the success hoped for. A lively set of forwards and an enterprising back-line were eager for chances, but too often the side failed to win enough ball to play with. The defence was sound, and few of the losses were by big margins. Good combination was developed and in fact no fewer than 14 of the 29 players who represented played in at least 11 of the matches.

After Marfell was injured after one match, Couch became the full-back and proved both reliable and enterprising, and contributed 58 points with his boot as well as scoring two tries. McConnochie wing-three quarter in the early matches, later played regularly on the side of the scrum; he had previously Represented South Canterbury in 1968. Twentyman, strong-running winger from Manawatu, Pringle, a promising newcomer and Howard were all good three-quarters, with Martin a resourceful and capable centre. The 19-year old Purvis developed into a most attractive second five-eighth, constructive and clever, and a good future is predicted for him, but unfortunately for Wairarapa-Bush, his future is in the South Island. Sanson was an enterprising and reliable link, whose versatility produced five tries, three conversions, three penalty goals and two dropped goals; 41 points for his Union. Karatau, who captained the side, was an experienced and versatile halfback.

In the forward division Turley and Oliver were a fine pair of locks, with the tall newcomer, Wilton showing promise. Rowlands was a consistent hard worker and most useful forward, with a new representative, Henwood, the other regular prop. G.E.Falconer and McGlashan shared the hooker’s role. The loose forwards were Ryan, who displayed speed -and eagerness and was a fine tackler; 21-year old Eastwood and Narbey, both newcomers; with another new player, Taylor, proving a useful No. 8.

Others to represent included R.A.Falconer, Harris, Hagan and Inder who had all represented Bush Union in 1970; Parker, a Wairarapa-Bush representative the same year; and Coles, 1970 Taranaki loose forward. Only 14 of the 29 players of 1971 represented again, G.N.Gray having moved to Hawke’s Bay and Joseph J.Carroll to North Auckland.

Purvis was the only player from this Union to receive a New Zealand trial. Couch played in the Prince of Wales Cup match for Southern Maoris. Ryan was sent across to join the New Zealand Junior team in Australia when a replacement was required.


Played, 16; Won, 5; Lost, 11
Points: For, 229; Against, 278

1. May 10, v. WELLINGTON, at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Lost 10 to 18
Scorers: I.N.Perry and N.A.Purvis, tries
R.W.Hagan, conversion
Referee: Mr.R.C.Francis (Wairarapa-Bush)
2. May 31, v. NEW ZEALAND, at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Lost 0 to 38
Referee: Mr.B.E.Powell (Canterbury)
3. June 5, v. HAWKE’S BAY, at Napier
Lost 9 to 19
Scorer: R.T.Couch, 3.penalty goals
4: July 15, v. WEST COAST, at Rugby Park, Pahiatua
Won 25 to 4
Scorers: N.A.Purvis, R.T.Couch, W.C.Howard, B.G.Martin and R.T.Pringle, tries
M.R.Sanson, penalty goal and conversion
Referee: Mr.B.G.Whale (Wairarapa-Bush)
5. July 22, v. SOUTHLAND, at Invercargill
Lost 6 to 15
Scorers: P.J.Ryan, try
M.R. Sanson, conversion
6. July 25, v. OTAGO, at Dunedin
Lost  4 to 34
Scorer: N.D.Taylor, try.
7. July 27, V. NORTH OTAGO, at Oamaru
Won 26 to 11
Scorers: M.R.Sanson (2), P.J.Ryan (2) and Roger Twentyman, tries
R.C.Parker (2) and M. R. Sanson, conversion
8. July 29, v. SOUTH CANTERBURY, at Timaru
Lost 9 to 19
Scorers: L.H.Karatau, try
R.T.Couch penalty goal and conversion.
9. August 1, v. CANTERBURY,  at Christchurch
Lost 3 to 16
Scorer: M.R.Sanson, penalty goal
10. August 5, v. WANGANUI (Bruce Steel Cup), at Rugby Park, Pahiatua
Won 29 to 18
Scorers: W.C.Howard, R.T.Pringle,L.H.Karatau and N.A.Purvis, tries
R. T. Couch, 3 penalty goals and 2 conversions
Referee: Mr.R.G.Francis (Wairarapa-Bush)
11. August 12, v. HOROWHENUA (Bruce Steel Cup), at Levin
Won 44 to 6
Scorers: G.E.Falconer (2), M.R.Sanson (2), Roger Twentyman (2), R.T.Pringle, N.A.Purvis and L.H.Karatau, tries
R.T.Couch, 4 conversions
12. August 16, v. NEW ZEALAND SERVICES, at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 18 to 19
Scorers: L.H.Karatau, M.R.Sanson and D.P.Oliver, tries
R.T.Couch and M.R.Sanson, penalty goals
Referee: Mr.P.J.Harris (Wairarapa-Bush)
13. August 23, v. NELSON-BAYS, at Motueka
Won 16 to 9
Scorers: Roger Twentyman, try
M.R.Sanson, dropped goal, R.T.Couch,3 penalty goals.
14. August 26, v. KING COUNTRY, at Taumarunui
Lost 15 to 20
Scorers: R.T.Couch, Roger Twentyman and W.C.Howard,tries
M.R.Sanson, dropped goal.
15. September 2, v. MARLBOROUGH, at Memorial Park,Masterton
Lost 3 to 6
Scorer:R.T.Couch, penalty goal
Referee: Mr.B.C.Farquharson (Wairarapa-Bush)
16. September 9, v. MANAWATU (Bruce Steel Cup), at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 12 to 26
Scorers: P.J.Ryan, try
R.T.Couch, 2 penalty goals and conversion
Referee: Mr.B.G.Whale (Wairarapa-Bush)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1972 {Total Games}
V.D.Marfell Masterton 1
R.T.Couch Featherston 14
R.C.Parker Carterton 1
B.J.McConnochie Masterton 13
W.C.Howard Konini 8
Roger Twentyman Masterton 11
B.G.Martin Masterton 14
R.T.Pringle Masterton 12
N.A.Purvis Masterton 14
I.N.Perry Red Star 3
M.R.Sanson Masterton 13
K.W.Inder Pahiatua 5
L.H.Karatau Masterton 13
D.P.Harris Konini 4
R.W.Hagan Pongoroa 2
P.G.Coles Red Star 3
I.F.Turley Red Star 14
D.P.Oliver Konini 15
P.J.Ryan Pahiatua 12
A.B.Henwood Masterton 11
G.K.McGlashan Red Star 10
W.N.Rowlands Red Star 15
W.J.Crawley Carterton 2
G.E.Falconer Carterton 8
R.A.Falconer Tiraumea 2
B.J.Wilton Masterton 6
B.W.Narbey Featherston 6
N.D.Taylor Featherston 11
M.D.Eastwood Masterton Marist 7