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 2017 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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2017 Status:
Heartland Championship
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
R.A.(Richard) Dahlberg
T.H.G. (Tim) Nathan
A.R.(Tony) Hargood
J.R.(Joe) Harwood
Assistant Coach:
J.C.(James) Bruce
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

Wairarapa Bush’s fortunes fell dramatically in 2017, from last year’s fourth position with six wins and a Meads Cup semi-final appearance, down to 11th on the table and a solitary win against East Coast who finished below them in last place. Injuries and form did affect the squad with 35 players used, only 16 returning from last year, and the depth was not adequate locally. Lack of fitness may have been an issue as well.

The new coach Joe Harwood discarded a number of the 2016 local regulars in Cameron Hayton, Andrew Smith and Richard Puddy, while elsewhere went Glen Walters (Wellington), Zac Guildford (Waikato) and Andy Humberstone had returned to England. Former Waikato/Counties Manukau.’Thames Valley rep Armyn Sanders was an arrival in. Experienced campaigners Nick Olsen and James Goodger only appeared once due to injuries. Former All Black halfback Piri Weepu was a marquee signing, having returned from France. Although heavier than his All Black days, his experience was invaluable to the young team around him. He missed the final match due to a rib injury and then announced his retirement.

In a mobile forward pack that suffered with size and height in comparison to some other Heartland teams, the loose forwards Brendon Campbell, captain Eddie Cranston, Chris Raymond and Epeli Rayaqayaqa all functioned together quite well. Rayaqayaqa’s play, in particular, was quite outstanding. Lock Sam Gammie only made four appearances but exhibited good hard running in the tight.

Of the backs, 20-year-old wing Soli Malatai looked promising, and Tipene Haira appeared in four different positions. It was a blow- when concussion ended Sam Monaghan’s season early.
In November 2016 the union announced that from 2019 loan players would not be chosen and only local club players and players of origin would be selected for the representative team.

No player was called upon for higher honours.

2017 Fixtures & Results

12 Aug, 2:30 pm A Poverty Bay Representative Match 31 - 06
18 Aug, 7:00 pm H Manawatu Development Representative Match 17 - 33
26 Aug, 2:30 pm A Wanganui Heartland Championship 79 - 07
02 Sep, 2:30 pm H Ngāti Porou East Coast Heartland Championship 36 - 10
09 Sep, 2:30 pm A King Country Heartland Championship 32 - 25
16 Sep, 2:30 pm H Mid Canterbury Heartland Championship 24 - 60
23 Sep, 2:30 pm A Buller Heartland Championship 29 - 24
01 Oct, 12:10 pm N Horowhenua-Kapiti Heartland Championship 12 - 38
07 Oct, 2:30 pm A South Canterbury Heartland Championship 29 - 20
14 Oct, 6:00 pm H West Coast Heartland Championship 26 - 36

Name Club Games for Union Points for Union
Robbie Anderson Eketahuna 21 26
Cyrus Baker College Old Boys 1 &2 16 10
Brendon.Campbell Eketahuna 28 0
Eddie Cranston Gladstone 19 45
Nikora Ewe Pioneer 7 10
Gerard Faitotoa Northern United 3 4 0
Sam Gammie Eketahuna 14 12
James Goodger Marist 40 54
Tipene Haira Martinborough 21 20
Nick Hohepa Greytown 16 0
Jacko Hull Carterton 20 0
Tavita Isaac Greytown 7 5
Inia Katia Gladstone 63 55
Matthew Kawana Pioneer 25 5
Blane Kete Greytown 2 0
Sol Malaitai Marist 9 15
Jayden Mason Pioneer 6 0
Chaz Matthews Greytown 1 0
Matthew McCrae Gladstone 2 0
Corey McFadzean Carterton 19 5
Lachie.McFadzean Carterton 34 0
Andrew McLean Gladstone 74 26
Sam Monaghan Eketahuna 23 52
Nick Olson Greytown 79 110
James Pakoti Martinborough 9 5
Daryl Pickering Carterton 4 0
Regan Pope Greytown 7 0
Tim Priest Martinborough 29 223
Epeli Rayaqayaqa East Coast 6 25
Chris Raymond Martinborough 17 15
Armyn Sanders Martinborough 1 0
Pu’a Tafa Marist 2 0
Sosaia Tufui Petone 3 6 0
Hone Vella Carterton 2 0
Piri Weepu Arrived from overseas 4 8 5
1 Player of Origin    2 ManawatuRU    Wellington RU  4 Arrived from overseas