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 2013 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

1996

waibush2014

Season

1996 Status:
Second Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
President:
J.H.White
Chairman:
G.A.Lind
.Executive.Officer:
A.J.O’Neill
Selector:
G.W.Anderson
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Capacity:
10,000
Colours:
Green and Red

_awb

The 1996 season was disastrous for Wairarapa Bush, not one win being recorded in the team’s 13 matches.

After fighting for survival in the second division for many seasons Wairarapa Bush were officially relegated after their last match of the season, against Thames Valley — a game they should have won. However, a reprieve arrived in the form of the newly formed Hawke’s Bay – Manawatu combined team (Central Vikings) .

Because of the NZRFU’s desire to have a nine-team second division, Wairarapa Bush were asked to remain and make up the numbers.

An indication of the team’s struggle, and a cause for concern about its 1997 fate, was the massive 612 points conceded, 396 during the NPC. When added to early season losses to third division neighbours Wanganui and Horowhenua, the conclusion can be drawn that a rebuilding period in third division would be appropriate for Wairarapa Bush.

The best performance of the season was the 18-23 loss to Western Samoa, and the Thames Valley game looked safe when a 24-3 lead was established.

The departure of the experienced Marty Berry to Manawatu and injury to captain Darren Guildford meant a loss of leadership in key positions and the side, at times, seemed to lack ideas, continuity and confidence. In total, 43 players were used, including eight from Wellington and two from Manawatu.

The most consistent backs were wingers Colin Sullivan and Kelsey Beales, who were always looking for work. Midfield backs Peter Bresaz and Willie Furnell were steady while Neil Foote again gave good service from halfback. Greg Gray, who had last represented in 1992, kicked 65 points and directed play well at first five-eighth.

In the forwards, flanker Mike Fleming, tireless in his pursuit of the ball, was the standout player. Other forwards to show out were locks Richard Watt and Dean Gifford and captain John Kendal. In the front row, Glen Carlson, Matthew Hoggard, Hemi Tui and Graeme Cheetham were solid workers.

1996 Pre-Season Match Record: Played 5 ; Lost 5
Points : For 97  ; Against 216
1. May 8 vs Wellington, at Masterton
Lost 16 – 51
Wai-Bush Scorers : Coley , Try
Hooper (1) Conversion (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr S.A.Hannam (Wairarapa Bush)
2. May 15 vs Wanganui, at Wanganui
Lost 17 – 40
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foote (2),  tries
Hooper (2) Conversions (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr R.Haywood (Horowhenua)
3. June 3 vs Western Samoa , at Masterton
Lost 18 – 23
Wai-Bush Scorers : Beales (2), C.I.Sullivan  tries
Carroll (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr M.J.Hoffman (Bay of Plenty)
4. July 10 vs North Harbour , at Masterton
Lost 16 – 71
Wai-Bush Scorers : Bresaz , try
Henderson (1) Conversion (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr S.A.Hannam (Wairarapa Bush)
5. August 17 vs Horowhenua, at Masterton
Lost 30 – 31
Wai-Bush Scorers : Telford (2), C.I.Sullivan, Watt Tries
Couch (2) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr G.J.Wise (Hawke’s Bay)
1996 NPC Second Division Match Record: Played 8Lost 8
Points : For 185 Against 396

1. August 17 vs Northland, at Whangarei
Lost 22 – 66
Wai-Bush Scorers : Telford, Furnell, C.I.Sullivan, Tries
Telford (2) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr M.Arbuckle (Auckland)
2. August 24  vs Manawatu, at Masterton (Bruce Steel Cup)
Lost 24 – 41
Wai-Bush Scorers : M.Percy, Gifford  tries
Gray (1) Conversion (3) Penalty Goals ; Carroll (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr B.O.Fisher (Waikato)
3. August 31 vs Nelson Bays, at Masterton
Lost 06 – 33
Wai-Bush Scorers :–
Gray (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr S.Harding (Canterbury)
4. September 14  vs Hawke’s Bay, at Napier
Lost 18 – 46
Wai-Bush Scorers : Beales, Furnell tries
Gray (1) Conversion  (2) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr B.O.Fisher (Waikato)
5. September 21 vs South Canterbury, at Timaru
Lost 26 – 62
Wai-Bush Scorers : Furnell, C.I.Sullivan, Telford, Penalty Try , tries
Gray (3) Conversions
Referee: Mr P.J.Honiss (Canterbury)
6. September 28 vs Bay of Plenty, at Masterton
Lost 35 – 64
Wai-Bush Scorers : Beales (2), Furnell, Tui , tries
Gray (3) Conversions (3) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr P.A.Burgess (Nelson Bays)
7. October 5 vs Southland, at Invercargill
Lost 30 – 57
Wai-Bush Scorers : C.I.Sullivan (2), Fleming, Foote , tries
Gray (2) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr K.R.Skipper (Auckland)
8. October 12  vs Thames Valley, at Masterton
Lost 24 – 27
Wai-Bush Scorers : Cummings, Cheetam, C.I.Sullivan tries
Gray (3) Conversions (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr B.R.Smallridge (Bay of Plenty)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1996 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
D.A.Bassett Hutt OB Marist – Wellington RU 34
K.D.Beales Eketahuna 26
P.R.Bresaz Masterton Red Star
52
G.Carlson Greytown 10
R.Carroll Pioneer
5
G.M.Caylis Marist 15
G.Cheetham Eketahuna
13
M.D.Childs Greytown 22
S.C.Coley Masterton Red Star 32
A.Couch Marist 1
J.Cummings Masterton Red Star
25
T.Eagle Greytown
1
M.Fleming Greytown
23
N.M.W.Foote Greytown 38
R.E.Fuller Harlequins – Wellington RU 7
W.M.Furnell Marist – Manawatu RU
7
D.Gifford Wellington – Wellington RU
10
G.R.Gray Marist
54
D.W.C.Guildford Greytown 39
K.T.Hargood Marist 8
A.Henderson Upper Hutt – Wellington RU
1
M.E.Hoggard Masterton Red Star 19
K.Hooper East Coast 2
J.Huriama Greytown 29
G.K.P.Japeth Petone – Wellington RU
1
J.Kendal Pioneer
19
T.Lightfoot Marist
1
P.Noble Pioneer
12
B.R.Oliver Marist
5
J.M.Patangaroa Marist
4
B.F.Percy Eketahuna
4
M.B.Percy East Coast
28
D.T.Power Hutt OB Marist – Wellington RU
1
J.Rasmussen Carterton
8
D.Smith Eketahuna
3
D.R.Spicer Greytown
15
Chris Sullivan Featherston
2
C.I.Sullivan Avalon – Wellington Ru
20
J.K.Telford United
7
M.Tufuga Pioneer
3
H.Tui Featherston
8
R.A.Watt Poneke – Wellington RU
19
G.Williams East Coast
14