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 2016 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

Acknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

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2016 Status:
Heartland Championship
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
R.A.(Richard) Dahlberg
P.L. (Paora) Ammunson
A.R.(Tony) Hargood
J.D. (Josh) Syms
Assistant Coach:
J.C.(James) Bruce & J.R.(Joe) Harwood
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

Wairarapa Bush made the top four Meads Cup playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons to consolidate their position as one of the Heartland heavyweights. Only two defeats were experienced in the round robin, each by just two points, and both could have been won. Conversely, the two-point win over Poverty Bay could have been lost as no opponent was ever really dominated, but the defence was a strong point. The defeat in the semi—final against Wanganui was just a case of coming up against a team in top form.

Locals from 2015 that did not reappear were Tipene Haira, Cody Whittaker (both to Taranaki James Wall (Wellington), Paul Tikomainavalu (returned to Fiji), Kurt Simmonds and John McFadzean (both retired). Thirty players were called upon, with only 16 having represented union previously. Some interesting newcomers were Sam Gammie (West Coast), Andrew Smith (Mid Canterbury), Abe Haira (Taranaki), Stan Wright (the Cook Islands representative who had finished a long stint in France and previously represented Mid Canterbury and Northland) and former All Black Zac Guildford, back to the province of his birth, after not taking up a contract at Tasman. In addition, Sam Monaghan returned from overseas.

The forward pack was mobile, but not a big one by Heartland standards, and the scrum was vulnerable on occasions. The loose forwards Sam Gammie, Nick Cranston and James Goodger were in outstanding form, with Goodger also providing a lot of lineout ball. Cranston, in his debut season at first-class level, was also given the captaincy. The trio’s combination came to a premature end with the unfortunate injury to Goodger. Andrew McLean had a huge work rate at lock and was left as the principal lineout Winner with Goodger’s unavailability. The scrum went better with the valuable experience of Stan Wright on the tighthead side while Richard Puddy’s good form saw him supplant Abe Haira at hooker by the end of the season.

Loan player John Ika was in superb form at halfback, very quick to break around the fringes, but was another to succumb to iniury before the end. Tim Priest was steady at first five-eighth and an accurate goalkicker. At second five-eighth it seemed to be a choice of the better attacker in Iziq Foa’i or the sound defender in Andy Humberstone. Zac Guildford, placed in the unfamiliar position of centre, did not get many opportunities on attack, but his experience was invaluable. At fullback, Sam Monaghan was another who did not get many opportunities. On the right wing, Cameron Hayton was top try-scorer with six. The backline may have been better served with Monaghan at first five-eighth and Zac Guildford at fullback or wing. Fijian winger Peni Rokoduguni made a couple of cameo appearances; he is a brother of Semesa who played for England in 2014.

Higher honours went to:

New Zealand Heartland: E.J.Cranston, S.J.Monaghan

2016 Match Record: Played 10 ; Won 7 ; Lost 3
Points : For 292; Against 246
note: a new points structure was trialled in the 2016 Heartland Championship in 2017 they revert back to the 2016 scoring system :
  • Try = 6 points
  • Penalty Try = 8 points (no conversion attempt required)
  • Conversion = 2 points
  • Penalty goal = 2 points
  • Dropped goal = 2 points
1. August 13 vs Poverty Bay (Jeremy David Memorial Trophy), at Masterton
Won 26 – 14
Wai-Bush Scorers : Gammie, Ika, Smith, tries
T.C.Priest (3) Conversions, (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr.V.F.Ringrose
2. August 27 vs King Country, at Masterton
Lost 16 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Goodger, Puddy, Tries
T.C.Priest (1) Conversion, (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr.H.G.Reed
3. September 3 vs Horowhenua-Kapiti, at Wellington (Westpac Stadium)
Won 32 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : Guildford, Smith, Goodger, Monaghan, try
T.C.Priest (2) Conversions, (2) Penalty Goals
Referee: Mr.N.Hashimoto (Japan)
4. September 10 vs Mid Canterbury, at Ashburton
Won 26 – 16
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hayton, Penalty Try, Ika, tries
T.C.Priest (2) Conversions, (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr.N.J.Webster
5. September 17 vs Thames Valley , at Masterton
Won 28 – 18
Wai-Bush Scorers : Wright, Ika, Walters, tries
T.C.Priest (3) Conversions , (1) Penalty Goal ; A.R.Humberstone (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr.T.N.Griffiths
6. September 24 vs North Otago, at Oamaru
Won 38 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : Ika, Fao’i, Walters, Guildford, McLean tries
T.C.Priest (3) Conversion, (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr.J.D.Munro
7. October 1 vs Buller, at Masterton
Lost 24 – 26
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hayton(2), Gammie, tries
T.C.Priest (2) Conversions; A.R.Humberstone (1) Penalty Goal
Referee: Mr.V.F.Ringrose
8. October 8 vs Poverty Bay, at Gisborne
Won  32 – 30
Wai-Bush Scorers : Cranston (2), Rokoduguni (2), tries
A.R.Humberstone (4) Conversions
 Referee: Mr.G.W.Jackson
9. October 15 vs East Coast, at Masterton
Won 44 – 22
Wai-Bush Scorers : Hayton (3), Guildford, Monaghan, Cranston, tries
A.R.Humberstone (4) Conversions
Referee: Mr.T.N.Griffiths
10. October 22 vs Wanganui (Meads Cup Semi-final) , at Wanganui
Lost 26 – 58
Wai-Bush Scorers : Cranston (2), Walters, Guildford tries
A.R.Humberstone (1) Conversion
Referee: Mr.R.J.M.Gordon
Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES {2016 + Total Games}
Name Club 2016 Total for Union
Robert Anderson Eketahuna 7 16
Brendon Campbell Eketahuna 10 19
Eddie Cranston (Capt.) Gladstone 10 10
Liam Devine Marist 7 8
Iziq Foa’i Central (2) 6 6
Sam Gammie Eketahuna 10 10
James Goodger Marist 7 39
Zac Guildford Tech OB (3) 9 9
Abe Haira (1) Clifton (4) 10 10
Cameron Hayton Gladstone 10 49
Nick Hohepa Greytown 8 8
Jacko Hull Carterton 2 18
Andrew Humberstone Carterton 10 20
John Ika Moutere (2) 7 7
lnia Katia Gladstone 9 54
Matthew Kawana Pioneer 9 18
Blake Knight Martinborough 4 4
Corey McFadzean Carterton 6 11
Lachlan McFadzean Carterton 1 29
Andrew McLean Gladstone 10 65
Stuart McLeod Gladstone 1 1
Sam Monaghan Eketahuna 9 18
Daryl Pickering Carterton 3 3
Vaike Potoru Martinborough 2 2
Tim Priest Martinborough 9 20
Richard Puddy Gladstone 10 61
Peni Rokoduguni Carterton 2 2
Andrew Smith Gladstone 10 10
Glen Walters Greytown 10 31
Stan Wright Overseas (5) 7 7
1 Player of Origin ; 2 Tasman RU  ; 3 Hawkes Bay RU  ; 4 Taranaki RU ; 5 Overseas