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

Acknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

Back to Year by Year Index click here


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 had a disappointing season, slipping to fifth place in the second division and showing little sign of regaining first-division status in the near future. This was somewhat disappointing after the promise shown by the team in 1988.

The union lost Brent Anderson to Waikato and Stu Cruden to Manawatu, while Brett Harvey and Peter Sargent had retired. The loss of these experienced players no doubt affected Wairarapa Bush’s results.

There were some talented individuals in the backline but mistakes at crucial times cost points. The best back was Craig Pepperell, the find of the I988 season, whose positional play, tackling, kicking and counter-attacking were of a very high standard. Mike Foster set a new try-scoring record and there was some strong running and solid defence from Peter Bresaz at centre. These two made the most of the chances that came their way. The captain and halfback Bernard bett was another back who impressed. His service was not as fast as usual but he played extremely well under pressure.

The main strength of the pack lay in the front row, where selector Alan Cornelius had three strong props to call on. Robbie McLean, Bryan Styles and Chris Kapene held their own against all opposition and hooker Chris Lett also played his part well. The locks, Gary Rolston and Chris Smith, were good in set play, while the loose trio of Greg Hawkins, Lance Christiansen and Paddy Berry were quick to breakdowns.

Wairarapa Bush players who appeared above provincial level in 1989:
Central Zone: McLean, Styles.
New Zealand Divisional XV: Foster, Styles, Kapene (reserve)

1989 Match Record: Played 13 ; Won 4 ; Lost 9
Points : For 193 ; Against 280
(NC) = National Championship
1. March 25 vs Wellington, at Masterton
Lost 08 – 56
Wai-Bush Scorers :
Hawkins, Bresaz , tries
Referee: Mr A.F.Eagle (Wairarapa Bush)
2. June 5 vs Horowhenua , at Masterton
Won 36 – 06
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster (3), Kapene (2), Bresaz,  tries
Pepperell (3) Conversions, (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr L.Cockeram (Wairarapa Bush)
3. June 20 vs Bay of Plenty, at Rotorua
Lost 17 – 19
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster, D.Rutene, Pepperell, tries
Gray (1) Conversion, (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr F.A.Howard (England)
4. June 28 vs Wanganui, at Wanganui
Lost 12 – 13
Wai-Bush Scorers : B.Lett, try
Gray (1) Conversion, (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr B.N.Robertson (Wanganui)
5. July 11 vs Argentina, at Masterton
Lost 04 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers :
Foster , try
Referee: Mr C.J.Hawke (South Canterbury)
6. July 19 vs Hawkes Bay, at Hastings
Lost 17 – 32
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster, O’Connor, Richardson, tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion, (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr S.P.Lunn (Hawkes Bay)
7. August 19 vs Thames Valley , at Paeroa (NC)
Won 13 – 06
Wai-Bush Scorers : Bresaz, Gray, tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion, (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr R.M.Spence (Bay of Plenty)
8. August 23 vs Poverty Bay, at Gisborne (NC)
Won 12 – 04
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hawkins, try
Pepperell (1) Conversion, (2)  Penalties
Referee: Mr R.D.Eaglestone (Auckland)
9. September 5 vs Southland, at Masterton (NC)
Lost 10 – 24
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster , try
Pepperell (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr M.E.Dombroski (Taranaki)
10. September 9 vs Mid Canterbury, at Ashburton (NC)
Lost 10 – 21
Wai-Bush Scorers : Bresaz, try
Pepperell (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr R.Vercoe (Marlborough)
11. September 16 vs Marlborough, at Masterton (NC)
Lost 19 – 26
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foster (2) , tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion , (3) Penalties
Referee: Mr B.Amphlett (Manawatu)
12. September 23 vs Manawatu , at Palmerston North
Lost 10 – 29
Wai-Bush Scorers : Bresaz, try
Pepperell , (2) Penalties
Referee: Mr J.A.E.Taylor (Counties)
13. September 30 vs King Country, at Masterton
Won 25 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : Bresaz, P.Berry, tries
Pepperell (1) Conversion, (4) Penalties ; Benton (1) Penalty
Referee: Mr P.Harrison (North Harbour)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1989 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
M.F.C.Benton Featherston 86
C.F.W.Berry Greytown 6
P.D.Berry Featherston 13
B.D.Bowie Puketoi 4
P.R.Bresaz Red Star 16
T.Burgess Carterton 1
V.J.Burgess Carterton 13
L.D.Christiansen Red Star 13
M.T.Foster Carterton 83
G.R.Gray Marist 22
G.R.Hawkins Martinborough 25
A.Holmes Greytown 1
J.Huirama Greytown 11
C.R.Kapene Martinborough 101
P.B.J.Kennedy Carterton 12
B.J.Lett Carterton 79
C.J.Lett Carterton 14
R.J.McLean Woodville 32
M.C.O’Connor Carterton 9
C.N.Pepperell Red Star 26
G.C.Richardson Eketahuna 3
H.R.Reedy Pioneer 19
G.I.Rolston Eketahuna 39
D.Rutene Marist 20
P.D.Rutene Masterton 41
P.R.Smith Martinborough 14
B.E.Styles Carterton 58