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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Second Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
C.E.Morrison (Mrs)
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Turquoise jersey with scarlet collar and cuffs, red shorts, green socks with red bands

Wairarapa Bush, after being relegated to the second division at the end of the 1987 season, failed to win its way back to the top division for 1989. However, results overall were reasonable, the only losses in the championship being to Marlborough and Hawkes Bay and there were no severe drubbings from first division sides. A draw with Wellington early in the season was encouraging, as were narrow losses to Bay of Plenty and Manawatu.

Regular fullback Mark Benton moved to first five-eighth to make way for a newcomer, Craig Pepperell, who was the find of the season. Taking over the goal-kicking duties from Benton, Pepperell set a new union record with I31 points for the season. Another to enter the record books was Mike Foster, who equalled Greg Karaitiana’s try scoring record.

Former All Black Marty Berry played only one game and there was a weakness in midfield which was offset to some extent when Charlie Kaka was available. Bernard Lett played well at halfback and he and Pepperell were the best of the Wairarapa Bush rearguard.

The team had a strong forward pack which held its own throughout the season. Greg Hawkins, 1986 All Black Brett Harvey and Peter Sargent showed plenty of dash in the loose and another former All Black, Brent Anderson, formed a strong locking combination with Stewart Cruden, formerly a midfield back. Chris Kapene, Robbie McLean and Vince Burgess were a strong front row, Bryan Styles also shaping well when called on.

Wairarapa Bush players who appeared above provincial level in 1988:
Central Zone: Anderson, McLean, Styles.
New Zealand Maoris: Kapene.
New Zealand Divisional XV: Anderson, McLean.

1988 Match Record: Played 14 ; Won 8 ; Drew 1 ; Lost 5
Points : For 326 ; Against 242
(NC) = National Championship
1. March 26 vs Wellington, at Masterton
Drew 09 – 09
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hawkins , try
Pepperell (1) Conversion, (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr R.C.Francis (Wairarapa Bush)
2. June 1 vs NZ Combined Services, at Masterton
Won 26 – 00
Wai-Bush Scorers : Sargent (2), B.Lett, Haira, Kennedy, tries
Pepperell (3) Conversions
Referee: Mr G.Maurett (France)
3. June 6 vs Horowhenua, at Levin
Won 26 – 13
Wai-Bush Scorers : Haira, Burgess, Pepperell, tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion, (4) Penalties
Referee: Mr A.Boag (Horowhenua)
4. July 6 vs Wanganui, at Masterton
Won 25 – 16
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster (3), B.Lett, tries
Pepperell (3) Penalties
Referee: Mr J.Francis (Wairarapa Bush)
5. July 17 vs Bay of Plenty, at Masterton
Lost 16 – 23
Wai-Bush Scorers : Christiansen (2), Pepperell, tries
Pepperell (2) Conversions
Referee: Mr A.F.Eagle (Wairarapa Bush)
6. August 6 vs Manawatu, at Masterton
Lost 17 – 21
Wai-Bush Scorers : Cruden, B.Lett, tries
Pepperell (3) Penalties
Referee: Mr J.Francis (Wairarapa Bush)
7. August 13 vs Waikato, at Hamilton
Lost 10 – 24
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster, Pepperell, tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr B.O.Fisher (Waikato)
8. August 20 vs Mid Canterbury, at Masterton (NC)
Won 43 – 06
Wai-Bush Scorers : Kapene (3), B.Lett (2), Hawkins, Foster, Kennedy, tries
Pepperell (4) Conversions, (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr M.E.Dombroski (Taranaki)
9. August 27 vs Poverty Bay, at Masterton (NC)
Won 25 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster (3), Kapene, tries
Pepperell (3) Conversions ; Benton (1) Drop Goal
Referee: Mr D.L.Stockman (Taranaki)
10. August 30 vs South Canterbury, at Masterton (NC)
Won 30 – 13
Wai-Bush Scorers : Huirama, B.Lett, C.Lett, Sargent, tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion, (4) Penalties
Referee: Mr C.R.Garrett (Thames Valley)
11. September 10 vs King Country, at Taumarunui (NC)
Won 25 – 15
Wai-Bush Scorers : Anderson (2), Foster, Sargent, tries
Pepperell (3) Conversions, (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr J.R.Mead (North Harbour)
12. September 17 vs Southland, at Invercargill (NC)
Won 30 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster, B.Lett, Hawkins, Anderson, Pepperell, tries
Pepperell (2) Conversions , (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr M.E.Taylor (Marlborough)
13. September 24 vs Marlborough, at Blenheim (NC)
Lost 26 – 30
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster, Ryan, Kennedy, Pepperell, tries
Pepperell (2) Conversions , (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr Mr K.I.Chapman (Otago)
14. October 1 vs Hawkes Bay, at Masterton (NC)
Lost 18 – 32
Wai-Bush Scorers : Kennedy, B.Lett, Harvey, Anderson, tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr M.W.Thompson (Auckland)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1988 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
B.L.Anderson Masterton 69
M.F.C.Benton Featherston 80
C.F.W.Berry Greytown 5
M.J.Berry Greytown 29
P.R.Bresaz Red Star 3
VJ.Burgess Carterton 10
L.D.Christiansen Red Star 1
S.N.Cruden Masterton 27
D.C.Finlayson Greytown 2
M.T.Foster Carterton 71
B.A.Harvey Featherston 80
G.R.Hawkins Martinborough 13
S.R.Haira Masterton 9
J.Huirama Greytown 9
C.H.Kaka Martinborough 60
C.R.Kapene Martinborough 93
P.B.J.Kennedy Carterton 11
B.J.Lett Carterton 66
C.J.Lett Carterton 4
R.J.McLean Woodville 24
M.C.O’Connor Carterton 2
C.N.Pepperell Red Star 14
G.l.Rolston Eketahuna 26
RD.Rutene Masterton 39
P.W.Ryan Masterton 5
P.W.Sargent Featherston 26
H.E.Styles Carterton 49
M.Tua Eketahuna 30
A.G.J.Watt Greytown 5