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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1981 Status:
Second Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Mr B.J.Lochore
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

Without doubt, one of the success stories of the 1981 season was the performance of Wairarapa-Bush in winning the North lsland Second Division championship and in the two play-offs gaining promotion to the First Division for next season. From third place the previous year, Wairarapa-Bush made certain of the title this year with an unbeaten record of seven victories. The losses were to Wellington, Scotland and Manawatu. The selector, Brian Lochore had all the leading players of the previous season still available, and indeed only six of the 25 players called on were new to representative Rugby, and these included such successful performances as 22 year old Greg Karaitiana, speedy and tricky winger of considerable promise, and scorer of seven tries; 21 year old Charlie Kaka, starting as a flank forward, and moved to second five-eighth with considerable success, a strong runner and solid tackler; the 18 year old Phillip Rutene and 20 year old Bernard Lett, both showing distinct promise for the future.

The emphasis was on attacking Rugby with 39 tries scored in the 14 matches. Full-back, Neil Kjestrup enjoyed a very good season both as defender and as an attacking player. Relieved of goal-kicking responsibilities he was able to devote his full attention to his play. Jim Cotter, who had last represented in 1978, was a strong-running and aggressive defender at centre. Mike Cornford had another good season, and the Bracewell brothers were excellent links in the back-line. Graeme Anderson was lively and quick behind the scrum. The loose forwards played an outstanding part in Wairarapa-Bush’s plan, especially the 21 year old Carl Baker, a brilliant tackler and well equipped No. 8, and New Zealand Maori honours, at least, should not be far away. On the flanks, 20 year old Merv Dudley and Joe Wyeth were most effective. Mike McCool remains a solid worker, and with him at lock was the 20 year old Earl, who had developed into a good line-out and scrummaging forward. Gary McGlashan again led the side and was a successful hooker, supported in the front-row by the powerful and eager Chris Kapene, only 24 years of age, a strong driving forward and solid worker and in the later matches by the veteran Bill Rowlands, whose last appearance had been in 1978. The pack was held together almost throughout the season in that in eight of the last nine matches the same eight players took the field. The backline also were the same in the final five matches. No players from this Union were called to the National Trials nor received higher honours. 19 year old Philip Rutene played for New Zealand Colts.


1981 Match Record: Played 14, Won 11, Lost 3
Points: For 238; Against 158
* = NPC Second Division
1. May 13 v. Wellington at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Lost 14 to 25
M. A. Bracewell and G. Karaitiana tries
M. A. Bracewell dropped goal
N. F. Kjestrup penalty goal
Referee: Mr P. J. Harris (Wairarapa-Bush).
2. May 30 v. Hawke‘s Bay at Memorial Park, Masterton.
Won 10 to 6
M. E. Cornford try;
D. W. Bracewell 2 penalty goals
Referee: Mr K. Hannam (Wairarapa-Bush).
3. June 3 v. Scotland at Memorial Park. Masterton
Lost 9 to 32
N. P. Sargent try
N. F. Kjestrup penalty goal and conversion
Referee: Mr D. Hooper (Poverty Bay)
4. June 16 v. Manawatu at Palmerston North
Lost 0 to 51
5. August 5 v. East Coast* at Ruatoria
Won 21 to 0
G, J. Anderson, M. J. Dudley, and C.C. Kapene tries
N. F. Kjestrup (2) and D. W. Bracewell penalty goals
6. August 8 v. Poverty Bay* at Gisborne
Won 15 to 4
G. K. McGlashan, C. C. Kapene and G. J. Anderson tries
C. H. Kaka penalty goal
7. August 11 v. King Country* at Taumarunui
Won 9 to 3
C. H. Kaka 3 penalty goal
8. August 19 v. Marlborough at Memorial Park. Masterton
Won 38 to 6
C.C.Kapene (2), C.D. Baker (2),  A.McKenna,  J.A.Cotter. A. E. Earl and N. F. Kjestrup tries
C. H. Kaka 3 conversions
Referee: Mr G. Northcott (Wairarapa-Bush)
9. September 1 v. Thames Valley* at Memorial Park, Masterton
Won 32 to 6
G.Karaitiana (2), J. A. Cotter, A. E. Earl and M. J. Dudley tries
C. H. Kaka 2 penalty goals and 3 conversions
Referee: Mr C. Dainty (Wellington)
10. September 13 v. Wanganui* at Wanganui
Won 18 to 6
G. Karaitiana, W.N.Rowlands and D. W. Bracewell tries
D. W. Bracewell 3 conversions
11. September 19 v. Horowhenua* at Rugby Park. Pahiatua
Won 31 to 4
C. D. Baker (2), G.Karaitiana, M. J. Dudley and G. K. McGlashan tries
D. W. Bracewell penalty goal
D. W. Bracewell (3) and C. H. Kaka conversions
Referee: Mr A. Bigwood (King Country)
12. September 26 v. Taranaki* at Memorial Park, Masterton
Won 15 to 6
C. D. Baker. G.Karaitiana and G. J. Anderson tries
C. H. Kaka penalty goal
Referee: Mr L.Auckram (Horowhenua)
13. September 29 v. South Canterbury (Promotion-relegation fixture) at Memorial Park, Masterton
Won 16 to 0
J. G. Wyeth, G. Karaitiana and J. A. Cotter  tries
D. W.Bracewell and C. H. Kaka conversions
Referee: Mr C. Dainty (Wellington)
14. October 3 v. Southland (Promotion-relegation fixture) at Rugby Park, Invercargill
Won 10 to 9
M. J. Dudley and C. D. Baker tries
D. W. Bracewell conversion
* National second division fixture
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1981  {Total Games}
G.J.Anderson (Eketahuna) 13
C.D.Baker (Martinborough) 14
S.J.Bignell (Masterton) 2
D.W.Bracewell (Pioneer) 14
M.A.Bracewell (Pioneer) 6
K.W.Carter (Woodville) 1
M.E.Cornford (Masterton) 12
G.M.Cotter (Carterton) 3
J.A.Cotter (Carterton) 10
M.J.Dudley (Masterton) 14
A.E.Earl (Tuhurangi) 13
C.H.Kaka (Martinborough) 12
C.C.Kapene (Martinborough) 14
G.Karaitiana (Masterton) 11
N.F.Kjestrup (Gladstone) 14
B.J.Lett (Carterton) 1
M.J.McCool (Pongaroa) 13
G.K.McGlashan (Red Star) 13
A.”Tony” McKenna (Eketahuna) 4
G.W.Patrick (Gladstone) 2
W.N.Rowlands (Red Star) 11
P.D.Rutene (Masterton) 3
N.P.Sargent (Featherston) 3
S.R.Thompson (Gladstone) 1
J.G.Wyeth (Masterton) 13


SIR JAMES DOUGLAS HUTCHISON who died at Wellington on July 20, 1981 aged 86, represented New Zealand Universities against Sydney University in 1920 as a hooker in the old 2-3-2 scrum, and as a member of Victoria University club played for Wellington against Hawke’s Bay (a try) and Wairarapa. With Carterton club he represented Wairarapa in four matches in 1922 and in five the following season, including the Ranfurly Shield challenge against Hawke’s Bay when his hooking partner was All Black, Quentin Donald.

Sir James Hutchison was born in Dunedin on September 29, 1894.