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Obituary – Stu Smith


It is with great sadness that we today farewell Stu Smith , Wairarapa Bush Representative (2000-2004) who passed away last weekend after a long battle with the Motor Neurone disease.

The Wairarapa Bush Rugby Union wishes to send out our heartfelt condolences to Stu’s wife Kelly and to his children, also to his extended family and to the Eketahuna Rugby Club family on our loss.

Here follows an extract from a news article run in 2013 that showed the love and respect the wider community had for Stu.

A report headed “Stu Smith the star performer”, which appeared in the Wairarapa Times-Age in October 2004, spelled out Smith’s value to Wairarapa-Bush in that year’s NPC third division competition, in which they finished runners-up.

It read: “The huge workrate of Eketahuna lock Stu Smith has seen him grab headlines in game after game. Not only has he shone in his specialist job of lineout forward but he has grafted tigerishly in the rucks and mauls, made numerous charging runs with ball in hand and made more tackles than you’d ever expect a middle rower to make.”

And his efforts that season did not go without reward as he was a finalist for the Air NZ NPC Third Division Player of the Year and Wairarapa Times-Age Senior Sports Personality of the Year awards.

Eketahuna Rugby Club president Dennis Dougherty recalls Smith as a totally committed club man, on and off the field. “He hardly ever missed a training and he always gave it everything he had, he was a superb role model for the players around him.”

Those sentiments are echoed by Graeme Cheetham, a former Wairarapa-Bush hooker, who coached and played alongside Smith at Eketahuna: “You always knew what you would get from Stu, he was always prepared to give that extra yard. He was a great guy to have around the team.”

Steve Olds played with Smith for Eketahuna and Wairarapa-Bush and called him “perhaps the most consistent player I ever played with.

“He was the sort of guy who never had a bad game and he could really lift himself for the big ones.”

Club Eketahuna RFC
PROVINCE(s) Wairarapa Bush (44) / Nelson Bays (8) / Tasman (2) /Hawkes Bay
Heartland DEBUT 2 September 2000
North Otago at Masterton (L) 14-19 (+) = substitute
LAST Heartland  12 August 2006
vs Manawatu at Blenheim (W) 43-00 (+) = substitute
Provincial GAMES 44 Games – Wairarapa Bush / 8 Games – Nelson Bays / 2 games – Tasman / Hawkes Bay
STARTING POSITIONS Lock – Jersey Number 4 / 5
Career GAME POINTS 15pts (3 tries)
Breakdown of games that Stu played

(S) = Started ; (+) = substitute;  () = replaced

2000 – (6 Games) Wairarapa Bush
+ 02 Sept vs North Otago at Masterton (L) 14-19
+ 09 Sept vs West Coast at Masterton (W) 43-06
+ 16 Sept vs Buller at Masterton (W) 39-19
+ 30 Sept vs Horowhenua-Kapiti at Levin (W) 24-07
S 07 Oct vs South Canterbury at Timaru (W) 24-05
S 15 Oct Semi Final NPC vs East Coast at Ruatoria (L) 17-18
2001 – (8 Games) Wairarapa Bush
+ 13 June vs Wanganui at Wanganui (L) 26-33
+ 25 Aug vs North Otago at Masterton (L) 06-20
S 01 Sept vs South Canterbury at Timaru (L) 10-12
S 15 Sept vs West Coast at Masterton (W) 47-13 ( Stu scored 1 Try )
+ 22 Sept vs Poverty Bay at Gisborne (L) 21-28
+ 29 Sept vs Buller at Masterton (W) 21-05
+ 06 Oct vs Horowhenua-Kapiti at Levin (W) 31-00
+ 13 Oct Semi Final NPC vs South Canterbury at Timaru (L) 14-18
2002 – (11 Games) Wairarapa Bush
S 14 Apr vs Japan ‘A’ at Masterton (W) 32-14
+ 22 May vs Wellington XV at Masterton (L) 05-39 ( Stu scored 1 Try )
S 19 Jun vs Manawatu at Masterton (L) 03-08
+ 17 Aug vs Wanganui at Wanganui (W) 20-33
S 24 Aug vs King Country at Masterton (L) 11-26
S 31 Aug vs Poverty Bay at Gisborne (W) 26-20
S 07 Sept vs Horowhenua-Kapiti at Masterton (L) 20-22
S 14 Sept vs Buller at Westport (L) 24-32
S 21 Sept vs West Coast at Masterton (W) 37-05
S 28 Sept vs South Canterbury at Timaru (L) 08-42
+ 05 Oct vs North Otago at Masterton (L) 14-27
2003 – (9 Games) Wairarapa Bush
S 02 Jun vs Hawkes Bay at Napier (L) 15-37
S 18 Jun vs Manawatu at Palmerston North (L) 09-21
S 23 Aug vs West Coast at Greymouth (L) 32-37
S 30 Aug vs Poverty Bay at Masterton (W) 28-15
S 06 Sept vs Buller at Masterton (W) 25-00
S 13 Sept vs Horowhenua-Kapiti at Paraparaumu (L) 12-34
S 20 Sept vs Wanganui at Masterton (W) 35-18
S 27 Sept vs South Canterbury at Masterton (L) 06-32
S 04 Oct vs King Country at Taupo (L) 18-24
2004 – (10 Games) Wairarapa Bush
S 23 Jun vs Manawatu at Palmerston North (L) 15-35
S 21 Aug vs Buller at Masterton (W) 27-15
S 28 Aug vs Horowhenua-Kapiti at Masterton (W) 35-18
S 04 Sept vs King Country at Masterton (W) 30-17
S 11 Sept vs South Canterbury at Timaru (D) 11-11
S 18 Sept vs Poverty Bay at Gisborne (L) 05-30
S 25 Sept vs West Coast at Masterton (W) 42-07
S 02 Oct vs Mid Canterbury at Ashburton (W) 26-22 ( Stu scored 1 Try )
S 09 Oct Semi Final NPC vs Mid Canterbury at Masterton (W) 16-09
S 16 Oct Final NPC vs Poverty Bay at Gisborne (L) 14-37
2005 – (8 Games) Nelson Bays
S 13 Jul vs Canterbury {Ranfurly Shield} at Nelson (L) 00-85
S 13 Aug vs Hawkes Bay at Napier (L) 25-42
S 20 Aug vs Manawatu at Nelson (W) 24-09
S 27 Aug vs North Otago at Nelson (W) 49-19
S 03 Sept vs Marlborough at Blenheim (W) 25-18
S 17 Sept vs Counties Manukau at Nelson (L) 33-42
S 01 Oct vs Poverty Bay at Gisborne (W) 50-22
S 08 Oct vs Wanganui at Wanganui (L) 15-27
2006 – (2 Games) Tasman
+ 30 Jul vs North Harbour at Blenheim (L) 27-33
+ 12 Aug vs Manawatu at Blenheim (W) 43-00

 Rest in peace Stu