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 2014 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

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First Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
D.M.Hewetson (Mrs)
Memorial Park , Masterton
Turquoise jersey with scarlet collar and cuffs, red shorts, green socks with red bands

Wairarapa Bush had a disappointing season, finishing bottom of the first division and being relegated for 1988. A number of records were set in the first match of the season, against Horowhenua, and the side looked good when it beat North Auckland and drew with Waikato.

However, crushing defeats were inflicted by Auckland and Otago although Wairarapa Bush welt not disgraced in either the Canterbury or Wellington games.

A serious blow was the loss through injury early in the season of the two best backs, Marty Berry and Charlie Kaka. As a result, Stewart Cruden played second five-eighth while Ivan Karaitiana was also moved to midfield. These two did their best but naturally lacked the ability of the men they had replaced and the backline suffered accordingly.

Mark Benton played steadily at fullback and again scored over 100 points for the season, Veteran wing Greg Karaitiana is still an elusive runner and his tries in the Wellington match were exciting ones. Philip Rutene and Bernie Lett combined well and both gave good service.

The Wairarapa Bush pack was a very strong one, especially in scrummaging and mauling. Apart from Auckland, it was not really mastered by the opposition all Season. Brent Anderson and Craig Sims were two strong locks who won more than their share in the lineouts and worked solidly in the tight. Anderson’s selection for the All Blacks were well deserved.

Robbie McLean, Motu Tua and Brian Styles formed a tough front row. McLean’s selection for the tour to Japan came as a major surprise, however, especially as he was in his first year of first-class rugby. Captain Brett Harvey, Tom Hullena and Peter Sargent were an effective loose trio who were always close to the ball.

Wairarapa Bush players who appeared above provincial level in 1987 were :
New Zealand: Anderson, McLean.
New Zenland Trials: Berry, Anderson, Harvey.
Central Zone: Anderson, Harvey.
New Zealand Colts: Sims.


1987 Match Record: Played 14 ; Won 5 ; Drew 1 ; Lost 8
Points : For 290 ; Against 307
(NC) = National Championship
1. May 31 vs Horowhenua , at Masterton
Won 82 – 09
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster (4), M.Berry (3), O’Rourke (2), Harvey (2), Kaka, Rutene, Lett, Sims , tries
Benton (11) Conversions
Referee: Mr A.Eagle (Wairarapa Bush)
2. (NC) July 1 vs Auckland, at Masterton
Lost 04 – 63
Wai-Bush Scorers : McLean, try

Referee: Mr M.E.Dombroski (Taranaki)
3. July 8 vs NZ Colts, at Masterton
Won 24 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Harvey (2), O’Rourke,Cotter, tries
Benton (1) Conversion, (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr K.O.Beckett (Nelson Bays)
4. July 29 vs Wanganui, at Wanganui
Won 42 – 4
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rarasea, Rutene, I.Karaitiana, Harvey, Anderson, B.Lett, tries
Benton (6) Conversions, (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr B.Wilson (Wanganui)
5. August 8 vs Hawkes Bay, at Masterton
Won 19 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Styles, McLean, tries
Benton (1) Conversion, (2) Penalties , Rutene (1) Drop Goal
Referee: Mr J.Francis (Wairarapa Bush)
6. (NC) August 12 vs Bay of Plenty, at Rotorua
Lost 16 – 33
Wai-Bush Scorers : Anderson, Foster, tries
Benton (1) Conversion, (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr D.G.Winter (Auckland)
7. (NC) August 15 vs Counties, at Pukekohe
Lost 20 – 25
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hullena (2), Rolston, Penalty Try, tries
Benton (2) Conversions
Referee: Mr K.H.Lawerence (Bay of Plenty)
8. (NC) August 22 vs Canterbury, at Masterton
Lost 16 – 20
Wai-Bush Scorers : Anderson, try
Benton (4) Penalties
Referee: Mr M.C.Piested (Hawkes Bay)
9. (NC) August 29 vs Manawatu, at Masterton
Lost 16 – 26
Wai-Bush Scorers : Anderson, Tua, tries
Benton (1) Conversion, (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr I.A.Blackmore (North Auckland)
10. (NC) September 8 vs North Auckland , at Masterton
Won 15 – 09
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hullena, Cruden, tries
Benton (2) Conversions, (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr K.H.Lawerence (Bay of Plenty)
11. (NC) September 12 vs Waikato, at Masterton
Drew 13 – 13
Wai-Bush Scorers : Anderson, Foster, tries
Benton (1) Conversion, (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr G.F.Smith (Hawkes Bay)
12. (NC) September 19 vs Wellington, at Wellington
Lost 12 – 20
Wai-Bush Scorers : G.Karaitiana (2) tries
Benton (2) Conversions
Referee: Mr C.J.Hawke (South Canterbury)
13. (NC) September 26 vs Otago, at Dunedin
Lost 00 – 30
Wai-Bush Scorers :—-
Referee: Mr M.G.Farnworth (Wellington)
14. (NC) October 3 vs Taranaki, at Masterton
Lost 11 – 15
Wai-Bush Scorers : Anderson, G.Karaitiana, tries
Benton (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr T.C.Doocey (Canterbury)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1987 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
B.L.Anderson Masterton 55
M.F.C.Benton Featherston 69
C.F.Berry Greytown 4
M.J.Berry Greytown 28
G.C.Cotter Carterton 2
S.N.Cruden Masterton 25
M.T.Foster Featherston 58
S.L.Haira Masterton 2
B.A.Harvey Featherston 69
T.H.Hullena Red Star 50
C.H.Kaka Martinborough 53
G.I.Karaitiana Masterton 65
l.T.Karaitiana Masterton 14
B.J.Lett Carterton 54
C.Lett Carterton 2
R.J.McLean Woodville 14
S.Munro Greytown 2
M.H.O’Rourke Masterton 19
I.S.Rarasea Carterton 16
G.J.Rolston Masterton 21
G.Rutene Masterton 4
P.D.Rutene Masterton 35
P.W.Sargent Featherston 17
C.Sims Masterton 10
B.E.Styles Carterton 42
M.Tua Tararua 28