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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2004 Status:
Third Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

Wairarapa Bush was the big mover of the third division. From sixth position, with just three wins in 2003, the team lost just once during the round robin to finish second highest qualifier. Poverty Bay, having lost two games, amassed seven bonus points to head off Wairarapa Bush as top qualifier. The success could be attributed to the union’s policy, established the previous year, of using local club players only. Coach Peter Russell was forced, however, to bring in Esavo Tiko for the NPC. It was the union’s best record in recent times and the team’s success quickly attracted back public support. In the final, against a Poverty Bay team stacked with quality loan players, Wairarapa Bush were outgunned but this union should feel confident that they have successfully achieved by using their own resources.

The best performances were against Horowhenua Kapiti, King Country and the back-to-back wins over Mid Canterbury. A feature of the squad was its consistency of selection; the backline was unchanged in six successive games. Peter Russell was fortunate injuries did not influence selection to any extent, only Jiogi Tamani was missed, having suffered a broken arm early season. He appeared for Bay of Plenty in 1996 and NZ Sevens, briefly, in 1997.

The outstanding player was Stu Smith. His locking partner was either Dan Griffin or the most improved forward Dan Joblin. All three stand 2 metres tall which gave the team lineout advantages. Highly promising 20-year-old Rob Foreman was the hooker with another prospect,Dylan Higginson, at prop. Logan Ili and Kojak Faioso both appeared in every game in the frontrow. Mike Robinson again led the side from No 8 with Brian Saolele and promising Sam Henderson on the sides.

Hamish McKenzie and James Bruce shared time at halfback while outside them were experienced five-eighths in accurate goalkicker Patrick Rimene and Nathan Riwai-Couch. At centre Simanu Simanu was the best of the backs and on the wings Esavo Tiko and Jaco Pieterse. Tiko scored seven tries to equal the union record in NPC rugby for tries in a season. Richard Carroll was again at fullback. Simanu and Stu Smith were selected for the Divisional trials.

2004 Pre-Season Match Record: Played 1 ; Lost 1
Points :For 15 ; Against 35
1. June 23 vs Manawatu , at Palmerston North {Bruce Steel Cup}
Lost 15 – 35
Wai-Bush Scorers : Pieterse (2) Tries
Rimene (1) Conversion (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr S.Edwards (Hawke’s Bay)
2004 NPC Third Division Match Record: Played 9 ; Won 6; Drew 1 ; Lost 2
Points : For 206; Against 166
1. August 21 vs Buller, at Masterton
Won 27 – 15
Wai-Bush Scorers : Henderson, Pieterse, Carroll tries
Rimene (3) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr M.L.Peters (Bay of Plenty)
2. August 28 vs Horowhenua-Kapiti, at Masterton
Won 35 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Tiko (2), McKenzie, Robinson, Simanu tries
Rimene (2) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr D.R.Luckin (Taranaki)
3. September 4 vs King Country, at Masterton
Won 30 – 17
Wai-Bush Scorers : Tiko (2), McKenzie, Saolele tries
Rimene (2) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr G.J.Wise (Hawke’s Bay)
4. September 11 vs South Canterbury, at Timaru
Drew 11 – 11
Wai-Bush Scorers : Tiko Try
Rimene (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr J.B.Noonan (Canterbury) replaced by P.Henshaw (Sth Canterbury)
5. September 18 vs Poverty Bay, at Gisborne
Lost 05 – 30
Wai-Bush Scorers : Tamani Try
Referee: Mr D.S.King (Nth Harbour)
6. September 25 vs West Coast, at Masterton
Won 42 – 07
Wai-Bush Scorers : Riwai-Couch (2), Pieterse, Simanu,Tiko, Henderson, tries
Rimene (3) Conversions (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr M.V.Standish (Auckland)
7. October 2 vs Mid Canterbury, at Ashburton
Won 26 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : S.Smith, Tiko, Carroll, Riwai-Couch, tries
Rimene (3) Conversions
Referee: Mr B.A.Murray (Wellington)
8. October 9 vs Mid Canterbury, at Masterton
Won 16 – 09
Wai-Bush Scorers : Ili , try
Rimene (1) Conversion (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr C.J.Pollock (Wellington)
9. October 16 vs Poverty Bay, at Gisborne {NPC 3rd Division Final}
Lost 14 – 37
Wai-Bush Scorers : Robinson , try
Rimene (3) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr J.M.White (Otago)
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 2004 + {Total Games for WBRFU}
J.C.Bruce Gladstone 35
R.J.Carroll Pioneer 27
D.Connolly Carterton
B.F.Couch Marist 27
U.Faioso Eketahuna 10
R.W.Foreman Eketahuna
D.J.Griffin Eketahuna 10
S.W.Henderson Gladstone 10
A.J.Hullena Eketahuna 9
L.F.Ili Carterton 33
S.R.Iro Greytown-Tuhirangi
D.P.Joblin Gladstone
R.A.MacDonald Carterton 26
H.M.McKenzie Eketahuna 29
S.G.Olds Eketahuna 14
F.J.Pieterse Marist
P.H.Rimene Marist 39
N.L.A.Riwai-Couch Marist
M.R.Robinson Gladstone 51
B.Saolele Carterton 17
S.F.Simanu Eketahuna
D.R.Smith Eketahuna 5
S.G.Smith Eketahuna
J.B.Tamani Eketahuna 4
R.T.Thompson Gladstone 17
E.Tiko Oriental-Rongotai , Wellington RU 9
B.H.Walker Eketahuna 8