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

Acknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

Back to Year by Year Index click here



Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Mr R.T Francis
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

A programme of 14 matches makes too great a demand on the resources of the more sparsely populated Unions, who do not possess the depth of players of the required standard. Wairarapa-Bush started well with wins over Nelson-Bays and Hawke’s Bay, but could not sustain this record.

Players from the previous season no longer available included P.J.Ryan to Taupo where he represented Hawke’s Bay, John McEwen overseas, B.W.Narbey moved South and Dalziell who had virtually retired. In all, 30 players were called on, but only eight of these played in 12 or more matches. Eight of the 30 players were new to representative Rugby.

Halfback Karatau captained the side but appeared unable to inspire the players to greater effort, and was not helped by the number of new backs he had to link up with. Dewar shaped well at first five-eighth with good footwork and handling, but was lost through injuries. Utility back Kjestrup took over — a player of much potential: good hands and useful goal-kick. Blake who had last represented in 1973 took over; but the arrival of O’Neill from Waikato, an experienced player who had represented North Otago in 1966 and South Canterbury in 1970-71, gave the knowledge and confidence required in this vital position for the final two games. Bargh, who had ‘previously represented in 1973, tackled hard and ran well, but family circumstances caused him to be not available later; an 18 year-old, Carter, looked very promising in the final matches. Martin was affected by injuries and was not as prominent as previously. Patrick lost two games through injury, but would appear to be of greater value at centre than on the wing. Miller, a new player, looked promising but transferred to Wellington after four games. Sims (1973 representative) was recalled, but was not up to his old form. Robertson was an improved player both on attack and defense. Couch was a good attacking full-back and an excellent goal-kick, and had he been available for the two Sunday games and not been injured against King Country would surely have totaled 100 points.

Turley played his 100th game for his Union against Counties, and was still a great worker in the tight as well as being mobile in the loose, often first to the ball at a kick-off. Fellow-lock Pyatt was disappointing and finally gave way to Guscott who impressed in this position after having played at No. 8 and as prop; he had previously been a Wairarapa Junior representative in 1970 and represented New Zealand Universities in 1972. McConnochie had a good season -— a fast, strong flanker who used his strength to advantage. Spence enjoyed the freedom of the flank position and scored several good tries, but also played at No. 8; he returned to Poverty Bay at the end of the season. Cole was a vigorous flanker and prominent at the front of the line-out.

The front-row of Rowlands (vice-captain) and Playle as props, with Falconer or McGlashan as hooker was an experienced and effective one. But Rowlands, one of the country’s outstanding ‘props, withdrew through personal commitments and the loss of his strength and experience was a blow. McGlashan became the regular hooker and held his own with most opponents. Playle was a key member of the pack who also stood out in the open play. Torea, a new representative, used his 17-1/2 stone to the full as a vigorous prop and
in the line-out.

Dewar and Couch played in the Prince of Wales Cup match.

Played, 14; Won, 3; Lost, 11
Points: For, 164; Against, 301

1. May 7, v. NELSON-BAYS, at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Won 25 to 10
Scorers: R.T.Couch, C.J.Bargh, D.J.Pyatt and S.J.Spence, tries; 
R.T.Couch, penalty goal and 3 conversions. 
Referee: Mr.G.Anderson (Nelson-Bays)
2. May 13, v. WELLINGTON, at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Lost 9 to 31
Scorers: R.T.Couch, 3 penalty goals. 
Referee: Mr.B.G.Whale ( Wairarapa-Bush)
3. May 31, v. HAWKE’S BAY, at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Won 12 to 11
Scorers: R.T.Couch, 4 penalty goals. 
Referee: Mr.R.C.Francis (Wairarapa-Bush)
4. June 25, v. TONGA, at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 12 to 13
Scorers:  R.T.Couch, 4 penalty goals
Referee: Mr.P.G.Pring (Auckland)
5. August 3, v. WEST COAST, at Greymouth
Lost 16 to 23
Scorers:  B.G.Martin and H.J.Sims, tries
N.F.Kjestrup, 2 penalty goals and conversion.
6. August 6, v. BULLER, at Westport
Lost 0 to 6
7. August 9, v. MARLBOROUGH, at Blenheim
Lost 3 to 37
Scorers:  R.T.Couch, penalty goal.
8. August 12, v. COUNTIES, at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 12 to 22
Scorers:  R.T.Couch, 4 penalty goals
Referee: Mr.R.A.Brown (Wairarapa-Bush)
9. August 23, v. WANGANUI, at Wanganui
Lost 16 to 32
Scorers: B.B.Patrick and N.F.Kjestrup, tries
R.T.Couch, 2 penalty goals and conversion.
10. August 31, v. HOROWHENUA, at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 6 to 23
Scorers:  A.I.Craig. try
N. F. Kjestrup, conversion
Referee: Mr.G.J.Pedley (Wanganui)
11. September 6, v. KING COUNTRY, at Rugby Park,Pahiatua
Won 28 to 17
Scorers:  R.T.Couch, B.J.McConnochie, R.E.Robertson and N.F.Kjestrup, tries
R.T.Couch, penalty goal and conversion; N.F.Kjestrup, penalty goal and 2 conversions
Referee: Mr.G.J.Northcott (Wairarapa-Bush)
12. September 10, v. SOUTH CANTERBURY, at Rugby Park,Pahiatua
Lost 0 to 26. 
Referee: Mr.B.G.Whale (Wairarapa-Bush)
13. September 13, v. MANAWATU (Bruce Steel Cup), at Palmerston North
Lost 12 to 33
Scorers:  R.E.Robertson, try
R.T.Couch, 2 penalty goals and conversion.
14. September 18, v. TARANAKI, at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 13 to 17.
Scorers:  S.J.Spence, 2 tries
R.T.Couch, penalty goal and conversion
Referee: Mr.R.C.Francis (Wairarapa-Bush)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1975 {Total Games}
R.T.Couch Featherston 12
N.F.Kjestrup Gladstone 8
D.E.Miller Carterton 4
B.B.Patrick Gladstone 12
H.J.Sims Red Star 4
R.E.Robertson Greytown 10
A.J.Jones Red Star 2
C.J.Bargh Featherston 9
B.G.Martin Masterton 7
N.R.Berg Carterton 1
A.I.Craig Masterton 2
K.W.Inder Masterton 2
A.H.Dewar Pahiatua 7
I.B.Blake Carterton 3
K.W.Carter Pahiatua 4
A.J.O’Neill Red Star 2
L.H.Karatau Masterton 14
C.B.Gunn Pahiatua 2
S.J.Spence Red Star 14
B.J.McConnochie Masterton 13
I.F.Turley Red Star 14
D.J.Pyatt Masterton 10
R.B.Playle Carterton 14
W.N.Rowlands Red Star 7
G.K.McGlashan Red Star 12
J.W.Cole Greytown 8
G.E.Falconer Carterton 5
P.J.Guscott Masterton 11
D.J.Pitt Greytown 1
T.O.Torea Pioneer 6