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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2000 Status:
Third Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

_awbNo union, in any division, produced such a marked improvement in results than Wairarapa Bush during the 2000 national championship. Having slipped from the second division after the 1998 season, in 1999 they languished at the bottom of the third division, having achieved just one victory.

And the 2000 season could have been even better for new coach Roger Walker as Wairarapa Bush were desperately unlucky not to win their semi-final at Ruatoria after leading until close to full-time. It took a dropped goal by Mano Flutey almost on the final whistle to give East Coast a one point victory. Had that match been won, Wairarapa Bush were confident of beating North Otago. In both round-robin matches, despite one being narrowly lost, they had had the better of their opponents.

Given the sudden resurgence of form produced by Walker it was surprising that his name did not appear on the nominations list for NPC Coach of the Year. Few coaches have made such an impact in their first season.

Several non first-class games were played earlier in the season with wins over Wanganui and Manawatu and losses to New Zealand Universities, Marlborough and a Wellington XV.  In the defeat of Manawatu, Wairarapa Bush took possession of the Bruce Steel Cup for the first time since 1972 and later defended the trophy successfully against Horowhenua-Kapiti. While the union made maximum use of Wellington players residing in the Hutt Valley, this policy did not dampen public support for the team and it is encouraging to see increased crowd numbers and enthusiasm at home fixtures.

The team”s strength was in the forwards and while the backs lacked true attacking power they were sound on defence. Mike Robinson was an outstanding captain and had excellent support from fellow loose forwards (Germaine Anaha and Wal Frith. The two young locks, James Saipani and Norm Henricksen. not only excelled in the lineouts but were mobile and industrious about the field. New props Rakai Te Ture and Wai Heybloom ensured a steady scrum with Matthew Hoggard and Joe Harwood sharing the hooking duties.

The experienced Peter Bresaz at first five-eighth directed back play with two newcomers outside him in Thomas Gemmell and centre Robert Hooper. The robust Jamie Stewart-McDonald was top try scorer and a determined runner. The other wingers were Sam Booth and the speedy .James Reilly while at fullback Patrick Rimene seized any attacking opportunity.

2000 NPC Third Division Match Record: Played 9 ; Won 6; Lost 3
Points : For 217 ; Against 134
1. August 19 vs North Otago, at Oamaru
Won 20 – 15
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hooper (2) , Robinson tries
Rimene (1) Conversion  (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr J.M.White (Otago)
2. August 26 vs Poverty Bay, at Masterton
Won 16 – 12
Wai-Bush Scorers : Stewart-McDonald Try
Rimene (1) Conversion  (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr P.W.B.Boyden (Hawke’s Bay)
3. September 2 vs North Otago, at Masterton
Lost 14 – 19
Wai-Bush Scorers : Te Ture Try
Rimene (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr G.J.Wise ( Hawke’s Bay)
4. September 9 vs West Coast, at Masterton
Won 43 – 06
Wai-Bush Scorers : Anaha (2), Gemmell, Henricksen, Robinson, Stewart-McDonald tries
Rimene (5) Conversions  (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr A.W.Treloar (King Country)
5. September 16 vs Buller, at Masterton
Won 39 – 19
Wai-Bush Scorers : Frith (2), Robinson, Booth, Hoggard, Saipani tries
Rimene (1) Conversion  , Reilly (2) Conversions (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr N.J.McAlister (Manawatu)
6. September 23 vs East Coast, at Ruatoria
Lost 20 – 33
Wai-Bush Scorers : Te Ture, Hooper, Stewart-McDonald, tries
Rimene (1) Conversion  (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr M.L.Peters (Bay of Plenty)
7. September 30 vs Horowhenua-Kapiti, at Levin
Won 24 – 07
Wai-Bush Scorers : Saipani, Te Ture, Stewart-McDonald Tries
Reilly (3) Conversions  (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr M.S.Elliot (Auckland)
8. October 7 vs South Canterbury, at Timaru
Won 24 – 05
Wai-Bush Scorers : Bruce, Gemmell, Rimene Tries
Rimene (1) Conversion , Reilly (2) Conversions (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr P.A.Macfie (Taranaki)
9. October 15 vs East Coast, at Ruatoria {Semi Final}
Lost 17 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Va’a, Bresaz, Reilly Tries
Reilly (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr M.L.Peters (Bay of Plenty)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 2000 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
G.S.Anaha Masterton Red Star 27
S.J.Booth Masterton Red Star 15
V.M.Boyce Masterton Red Star
P.Bresaz Masterton Red Star 69
J.C.Bruce Gladstone
W.J.Firth Masterton Red Star 9
T.P.Gemmell Avalon – Wellington RU
J.R.Harwood Carterton 7
N.A.Henricksen Puketoi 12
W.V.Heybloom Masterton Red Star 9
M.E.Hoggard Masterton Red Star
R.B.Hooper Avalon – Wellington RU
M.B.Percy East Coast
A.M.Persico Marist 5
M.Puia Puketoi 2
W.J.C.Reilly Marist St Pats –  Wellington RU
P.H.Rimene Marist
M.R.Robinson Upper Hutt – Wellington RU
F.J.T.Saipani Gladstone 16
S.Smith Eketahuna 6
J.F.Stewart-McDonald Marist
R.Te Ture Masterton Red Star
J.H.Va’a Wainuiomata – Wellington RU
C.B.Woodhouse Carterton 5
A.W.Wichman Masterton Red Star