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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2003 Status:
Third Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

A notable feature of the 2003 squad was that, for the first time for several years, the union relied on local club talent instead of a heavy use of players trekking over the Rimutaka Hill from Wellington. This change in policy can only restore confidence in locals aspiring to NPC level.

The new coach, Peter Russell, a former Carterton resident who had achieved three Wellington senior club championship titles coaching Marist St Pats, produced results which confirmed that this small union can field a respectable team from their own resources. In 2002 the team had won just two games and were 15 championship points short of qualifying for the play-offs. ln 2003 three games were won and the gap to qualifying had shortened to just two championship points.

The 32-37 loss at Greymouth in the first round proved to be the defining match which denied Wairarapa Bush a semi-final place. It was West Coast’s sole win of their season and the visitors had been trailing 10-29 at the break before scoring three second half tries. Despite that loss Wairarapa Bush still had a real chance of finishing in the top four when, in the final round-robin match, they led King Country 18-17 late in the game. When King Country scored within six minutes of fulltime, Wairarapa Bush were consigned from what would have been second position to sixth – an indication of the closeness of the third division championship.

The outstanding player was flanker Germaine Anaha, who not only gained Divisional team honours but was the only player outside a division one union to gain selection to tour Canada with the New Zealand Maori team. Anaha, who has represented Wairarapa Bush with distinction since 1998, was an inspiring captain and his departure to Taranaki will be a big loss to his union. Another standout player was number eight Darryl Fale, who arrived during the season from Manawatu. The former Taranaki and Hurricanes representative added plenty of experience and his defence and driving charges lifted the team considerably. Stu Smith had his best season, playing every game at lock. Other forwards to appear in all NPC games were Damon Searle, Dan Filihiahekava, Logan Ili, Wai Heybloom, Jason Adamson and Ritchie MacDonald.

Best of the backs were the strong-running centre Simanu Simanu and the inside pairing of James Bruce and Patrick Rimene. There were also fine contributions from fullback Richard Carroll, wingers Bevan Gray and Asesela Lagiloa, midfielders Steve Olds and Nathan Couch and halfback Hamish McKenzie.

Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Maori: Germaine Anaha.
New Zealand Divisional Team: Germaine Anaha, J.F.Stewart-McDonald

Wairarapa Bush - 2003
Wairarapa Bush – 2003
2003 Pre-Season Match Record: Played 2 ; Lost 2
Points :For 24 ; Against 58
1. June 2 vs Hawke’s Bay, at Napier
Lost 15 – 37
Wai-Bush Scorers : McKenzie, Harwood tries
Rimene (1) Conversion (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr G.Williamson (Wellington)
2. June 18 vs Manawatu , at Palmerston North {Bruce Steel Cup}
Lost 09 – 21
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rimene (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr C.Wisnewski (Taranaki)
2003 NPC Third Division Match Record: Played 7 ; Won 3; Lost 4
Points : For 156 ; Against 160
1. August 23 vs West Coast, at Greymouth
Lost 32 – 37
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rimene (2), Lagiloa, Gray, Penalty Try, tries
Rimene (2) Conversions (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr S.F.Herbert (Canterbury)
2. August 30 vs Poverty Bay, at Masterton
Won 28 – 15
Wai-Bush Scorers : Couch, Rimene, Olds, Simanu tries
Rimene (1) Conversion (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr K.W.Brown (Southland)
3. September 6 vs Buller, at Masterton
Won 25 – 00
Wai-Bush Scorers : MacDonald, Couch, Lagiloa, Heybloom tries
Rimene (1) Conversion (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr B.A.Murray (Wellington)
4. September 13 vs Horowhenua-Kapiti, at Paraparaumu (Lochore Cup)
Lost 12 – 34
Wai-Bush Scorers : Simanu (2) tries
Rimene (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr L.E.Bray (Wellington)
5. September 20 vs Wanganui, at Masterton
Won 35 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rimene, Anaha, Fale , Gray, Lagiloa tries
Rimene (2) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr G.M.Watson (Nth Harbour)
6. September 27 vs South Canterbury, at Masterton
Lost 06 – 32
Wai-Bush Scorers : Rimene (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr C.J.Rooney (Manawatu)
7. October 4 vs King Country, at Taupo
Lost 18 – 24
Wai-Bush Scorers : Olds, Carroll tries
Rimene (1) Conversion (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr D.J.Heibner (Taranaki)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 2003 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
J.P.Adamson Carterton 29
D.W.Aldworth Eketahuna 2
G.S.Anaha Masterton Red Star
M.Apikatoa Carterton 11
K.D.Beales Eketahuna 34
L.Blatchford Eketahuna
J.C.Bruce Gladstone 25
J.Bubb Masterton Red Star
R.J.Carroll Pioneer 17
D.Connolly Carterton 2
N.L.A.Riwai-Couch Marist
D.J.Drummond Gladstone
D.P.Elms Eketahuna 1
D.G.Fale Carterton 6
D.Filihiahekava Featherston 10
B.J.Gray Marist – Manawatu RU
J.R.Harwood Carterton 10
N.A.Henricksen Greytown/Tuhirangi
W.V.Heybloom Marist – Manawatu RU 16
D.Higginson Greytown/Tuhirangi 2
L.F.Ili Featherston
A.G.Lagiloa Eketahuna 9
R.A.MacDonald Featherstone
H.McKenzie Eketahuna 19
T.McTavish Masterton Red Star
S.Olds Eketahuna 9
B.S.O’Sullivan East Coast
P.H.Rimene Marist
F.J.T.Saipani Carterton
D.R.Searle Carterton
S.Simanu Eketahuna
S.G.Smith Eketahuna
R.van Dieman Masterton Red Star
B.Walker Eketahuna
D.P.Wyeth Marist