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

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1997 Status:
Second Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red


Wairarapa Bush showed considerable improvement on the dismal 1996 effort, scoring three good wins in the NPC matches. With the early-season games not having first class status, the official programme was unusually brief.

Only seven ofthe 1996 squad returned, giving the team something of a new look. Outside players added strength to the side and enabled Wairarapa Bush to play some attractive football. A consistent selection policy also paid off.

Fullback Russell Thompson, adept at mounting counter-attacks and a plucky defender, played well throughout. His positional play also impressed. Peter Bresaz had another good season, setting up his wings and defending well, while Greg Kingi was a strong finisher and a good tackler.

Brendon Thomas impressed in niidfield. At first five-eighth, Nathan Couch created openings for his outsides and was an accurate tactical kicker. He received reliable service from halfback and
captain Neil Foote.

Mike Robinson, Steve Veitch and Bruce Bowie were busy loose forwards who chased hard and tackled strongly. Danish import Mike Jeppesen used his height to advantage in the lineouts, where he stood out in every game. Manu Faraimo, Gavin Cayless, Tom Lightfoot and Kerry Hargood toiled hard in the tight.

Wairarapa Bush 1997
Wairarapa Bush 1997
1997 NPC Second Division Match Record: Played 8Won 3 ; Lost 5
Points : For 172 Against 343

1. August 17 vs Northland, at Masterton
Lost 09 – 71
Wai-Bush Scorers : —
Thompson (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr K.Deaker (Canterbury)
2. August 23  vs Nelson Bays, at Nelson
Lost 20 – 35
Wai-Bush Scorers : Kingi, Searle, Bresaz tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion  (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr K.R.Skipper (Auckland)
3. August 30 vs Thames Valley, at Masterton
Won 43 – 06
Wai-Bush Scorers : Robinson (2), Cayless, Kingi, Banivalu, N.Couch tries
N.Couch (2) Conversions (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr A.Greene (Waikato)
4. September 13  vs Bay of Plenty, at Rotorua
Lost 12 – 70
Wai-Bush Scorers : Robinson, Thompson tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr P.W.Rollinson (Counties Manukau)
5. September 20 vs Wanganui, at Masterton
Won 24 – 21
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rogers, O’Connell, Foote tries
N.Couch (3) Conversions ; Thompson (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr R.T.A.Ross (North Harbour)
6. September 26 vs King Country, at Taupo
Lost 21 – 38
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rogers, Penalty try, tries
Thompson (1) Conversion (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr R.Lozell (Wellington)
7. October 4 vs South Canterbury, at Masterton
Won 31 – 07
Wai-Bush Scorers : Robinson, Searle, Thompson, Bowie, Bresaz tries
N.Couch (3) Conversions
Referee: Mr M.J.Hoffman (Bay of Plenty)
8. October 11 vs Central Vikings, at Napier
Lost 12 – 95
Wai-Bush Scorers : B.Couch, Thompson tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr B.McDonald (Taranaki)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1997 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
P.Banivalu Marist 3
G.Bolsted Marist 1
B.D.Bowie Puketoi
P.R.Bresaz Masterton Red Star 60
G.M.Cayless Marist
S.C.Coley Masterton Red Star 35
B.Couch Marist
N.Couch Marist 7
M.Faraimo Carterton 8
N.M.W.Foote Greytown 46
K.T.Hargood Marist
M.Jeppesen Denmark
G.Kingi Wellington
T.Lightfoot Marist 5
A.O’Connell Wellington 4
T.Para Marist
M.Robinson Wellington
G.Rogers Greytown
A.Satchwell Eketahuna 3
S.Searle Carterton 4
B.Thomas Puketoi
R.Thompson Marist 8
M.Tufuga Pioneer 4
R.Tuhaka Wellington 3
T.Vakaloloma Wellington
S.Veitch Gladstone