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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1984 Status:
First Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Turquoise jersey with scarlet collar bands and cuffs, red shorts, green socks with red bands

With only three wins from 10 championship games, Wairarapa Bush did not have a great season but managed to hold on to First Division status comfortably enough. The team had good wins over Bay of Plenty and Hawkes Bay and upset Counties at the end of the season. It also set a record for the union with a 50 points win over Horowhenua. Although soundly thrashed by Auckland and Otago, Wairarapa Bush performed well against Wellington and could well have beaten North Auckland. It also put up a good showing in the Ranfurly Shield Challenge.

Injuries suffered by leading players such as Greg Karaitiana, Graeme Anderson, Chris Kapene and Nigel Sargent created difficulties for coach Lance Penn but he managed to unearth some talented young players whose form augured well for the union’s future.

Mark Benton settled down well at fullback and showed a great deal of attacking skill while the two young wings, David Rutene and Mike Foster, were full of promise. Garry Cotter and the experienced Charlie Kaka were solid in mid-field while both Greg Gray and Philip Rutene handled the first five-eighth berth capably. Bernie Lett proved a good substitute for the injured Anderson.

Although the pack lacked size it stood up well to the bigger forwards, largely through the efforts of David White and Brent Anderson, who were a competent pair of locks. Veteran prop Rex Playle, who did not play in 1983, turned out again and was good value, as was hooker Steve Thompson, for so long understudy to Gary McGlashan. Tom Hullena, Brett Harvey and Paul Hawkins, who took over the captaincy after Graeme Anderson was injured, were a useful trio in the loose.

Harvey played in the All Black trial and David Rutene won selection for New Zealand Colts. Kaka and Hawkins took part in the Prince of Wales Cup match, Kaka going on as a replacement for New Zealand Maoris against Hawkes Bay.

Played 14, Won 6, Lost 8
Points: For 215, Against 271
May 16 v. New Zealand Teachers at Memorial Park, Masterton
Lost 13-17
D.White try
G.Gray (3) penalty goals
Referee: Mr J.R.Smith (Wairarapa-Bush)
June 2 v. Hawke’s Bay*  at Napier
Won 19-9
G.Anderson,D.Rutene,S.J.Bignell, S.R.Thompson tries
G.Gray drop goal
Referee: Mr C.J.Dainty ( Wellington)
July 4 v. Auckland* at Auckland
Lost 4-43
G.I.Karaitiana Try
Referee: Mr R.W.Petersen (Bay of Plenty)
August 4 v. Horowhenua at Levin
Won 50-0
M.Foster (3), P.Rutene, M.Beton, C.H.Kaka, D.Rutene, G.Cotter,T.Hullena tries
M.Benton  4 Conversions , 2 penalty goals
Referee: Mr P.W.Ellis (Horowhenua)
August 8 v. Waikato* at Hamilton
Lost 16-52
D.Rutene, B.A.Harvey, C.H.Kaka tries
M.Benton  2 Conversions
Referee: Mr N.B.Whittaker (Bay of Plenty)
August 11 v. North Auckland* at Whangarei
Lost 6-7
M.Benton  penalty goal , C.H.Kaka penalty goal
Referee: Mr B.A.Amphlett
August 18 v. Wanganui at Memorial Park, Masterton
Won 21-16
G.Cotter, C.H.Kaka tries
M.Benton (2) conversions, C.H.Kaka penalty goal, G.Gray (2) drop goals
Referee: Mr J.Francis (Wairarapa Bush)
August 21 v. Wellington* at Memorial Park, Masterton 
Lost 23-29
D.Rutene (2), C.H.Kaka tries
C.H.Kaka conversion,penalty goal ; M.Benton (2) penalty goals
Referee: Mr K.H.Lawrence (Bay of Plenty)
August 25 v. Manawatu* at Memorial Park, Masterton 
Lost 6-12
M.Benton  (2) penalty goals
Referee: Mr L.D.Daines (Marlborough)
September 2 v. Otago* at Memorial Park, Masterton  
Lost 3-45
P.Rutene drop goal
Referee: Mr M.J.Haley (Wellington)
September 8 v. Canterbury* (Ranfurly Shield) at Christchurch
Lost 6-24
M.Benton  (2) penalty goals
Referee: Mr K.L.Henderson ( Southland)
September 19 v. King Country at Memorial Park, Masterton  
Won 12-11
D.Rutene try
M.Benton conversion , (2) penalty goals
Referee: Mr R.C.Francis (Wairarapa-Bush)
September 22 v. Bay of Plenty at Memorial Park, Masterton
Won 22-0
D.Rutene (2), M.Benton tries
M.Benton (2) conversions , (2) penalty goals
Referee: Mr D.J.Hooper ( Poverty Bay )
October 2 v. Counties at Memorial Park, Masterton 
Won 14-6
D.Rutene, P.Rutene, J.G.Wyeth tries
M.Benton conversion
Referee: Mr M.W.Thompson (Auckland)
* National first  division fixture


Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1984 {Total Games + Career}
Player Club 1984 Career
B.I.Aitkenhead Gladstone 2 2
G.W.Anderson Eketahuna 3 55
B.Anderson Masterton 11 13
M.Benton Featherston 14 24
S.J.Bignall Masterton 1 4
G.Cotter Carterton 14 25
N.Craw Gladstone 1 1
M.Foster Featherston 12 12
G.Fraser Masterton 2 2
G.Gray Marist 7 8
B.A.Harvey Tirumea 13 27
P.H.Hawkins Martinborough 12 37
T.Hullena Red Star 13 23
S.J.Hurley Carterton 4 17
C.H.Kaka Martinborough 13 43
C.R.Kapene Martinborough 3 58
G.I.Karaitiana Masterton 2 38
B.J.Lett Carterton 11 19
R.B.Playle Carterton 12 64
G.I.Rolston Eketahuna 2 14
D.Rutene Masterton 14 14
P.D.Rutene Masterton 7 15
N.P.Sargent Featherston 1 58
B.Stilborn Masterton 2 2
B.Styles Gladstone 10 12
S.R.Thompson Gladstone 12 29
D.White Gladstone 14 28
J.G.Wyeth Masterton 4 43