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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1998 Status:
Second Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red


Although only one NPC match was won, against King Country, it seemed harsh that Wairarapa Bush were relegated to the third division for 1999.

Disadvantaged by having to meet eventual division winners Central Vikings twice in round-robin play, Wairarapa Bush were a mere two bonus points short of having their status preserved. They appeared to be better organised and with a more settled squad than King Country. The side played with a considerable amount of spirit with a strong loose forward trio and experience among the inside backs.

Several players loaned by Wellington added strength to a union affected by decreasing player numbers. With teams in the northem district of Pahiatua and Woodville, once known as Bush Union, now playing in the Manawatu competition, Wairarapa Bush’s catchment area has greatly diminished.

Experienced halfback Neil Foote again led the side and dictated back play. At five-eighth Nathan and Ben Couch had their moments with Nathan Couch finishing the season at fullback when veteran Mark Benton, who had last represented in 1992, was brought in to add greater control to the backline. Centre Robin Walker had represented Nelson Bays in 1997. George Rogers showed speed on the wing. Wairarapa Bush lost their promising fullback of last season, Russell Thompson to Counties Manukau but gained young Poverty Bay rep Jeremy David, who proved a dangerous runner on attack. Tragically, Jeremy David died on Christmas Day after falling from a two-storey building.

The feature of the forwards was the effectiveness of the loose trio, Aaron Satchwell, Elliot Fuller and Mike Fleming. They were a better combination than several other second division teams, being fast to the breakdowns and strong tacklers. Former New Zealand Universities lock Andrew Elvidge continues to impress as a lineout taker and provided tidy ball. Junior Maligi was effective and mobile as a flanker or lock and 23-year-old Deon Mitchell is an energetic hooker showing considerable promise. Alan Kent a New Zealand Colts triallist in 1995, and Shane Coley were the regular props.

Wairarapa Bush 1998
1998 Pre-Season Match Record: Played 3 ; Won 2 ; Lost 1
Points : For 73  ; Against 75
1. May 20 vs Wellington XV, at Masterton
Lost 15 – 30
Wai-Bush Scorers : Searle, Matenga tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr G.Reisima (Wairarapa Bush)
2. May 27 vs Horowhenua-Kapiti, at Masterton
Won 38 – 30
Wai-Bush Scorers : David (2), T.Coley, Thomas, Veitch, Foote tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr S.A.Hannam (Wairarapa Bush)
3. August 15 vs Hawke’s Bay , at Masterton
Won 20 – 15
Wai-Bush Scorers : Walker (2), David tries
Foote (1) Conversion (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr G.Moorcock (Wairarapa Bush)
1998 NPC Second Division Match Record: Played 8Won 1 ; Lost 7
Points : For 126 Against 287

1. August 22 vs Central Vikings, at Palmerston North
Lost 12 – 79
Wai-Bush Scorers : Renata, Walker tries
Benton (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr P.A.Macfie (Taranaki)
2. August 29  vs Nelson Bays, at Masterton
Lost 15 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rasmussen, Foote tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion  (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr M.S.Elliot (Auckland)
3. September 5 vs East Coast, at Masterton
Won 25 – 05
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foote, Benton tries
N.Couch (5) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr K.Deaker (Hawke’s Bay)
4. September 12  vs Marlborough, at Blenheim
Lost 22 – 35
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rogers (2), B.Couch tries
N.Couch (2) Conversions  (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr P.W.Rollinson (Counties Manukau)
5. September 19 vs Bay of Plenty, at Masterton
Lost 15 – 41
Wai-Bush Scorers : Elvidge, S.Coley tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr A.W.Treloar (King Country)
6. September 26 vs Central Vikings, at Masterton
Lost 03 – 55
Wai-Bush Scorers : —
N.Couch (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr P.W.Rollinson (Counties Manukau)
7. October 3 vs Wanganui, at Wanganui
Lost 17 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : Elvidge, N.Couch, Booth
Benton (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr A.F.Greene (Waikato)
8. October 10 vs Thames Valley, at Paeroa
Lost 17 – 28
Wai-Bush Scorers : Foote, Rogers, Fleming tries
N.Couch (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr P.W.B.Boyden (Hawke’s Bay)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1998 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
G.Anaha Pioneer 7
M.F.C.Benton Carterton 115
S.J.Booth Masterton Red Star
S.C.Coley Masterton Red Star 49
T.A.Coley Masterton Red Star
B.F.Couch Marist 15
N.L.A.Couch Marist
R.J.P.David Marist 11
D.Edwards Eketahuna 1
A.D.Elvidge Marist St Pats – Wellington RU 9
M.N.Faraimo Carterton
M.J.Fleming Greytown
N.M.W.Foote Greytown
R.E.Fuller Harlequins -Wellington RU 16
M.Gibbs Eketahuna 1
K.T.Hargood Marist
G.Hill Marist
D.W.Hume Tuhirangi
A.J.Kent Hutt OB Marist – Wellington RU 9
J.W.Kilmister Gladstone 9
S.Kurewaka Gladstone
J.Q.Maligi Northern United – Wellington RU 9
A.Matenga East Coast 2
B.Mears Marist 1
D.G.Mitchell East Coast
S.T.Namana Carterton
P.K.Noble Pioneer
J.O.Rasmussen Masterton Red Star
T.Renata Wainuiomata – Wellington RU
G.H.Rogers Greytown
R.Rutene Carterton
A.W.Satchwell Eketahuna
S.Searle Carterton
B.Thomas Puketoi
V.G.Thompson Pioneer
M.Tufuga Gladstone
S.Veitch Gladstone
R.W.Walker Featherston