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 2020 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

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Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
(Originated, 1971)
Mr I.A.Aitkenhead – Mr J.H.Lawson
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green, with Scarlet collar

Generally the newly-combined Union enjoyed a reasonably successful season, being victorious in six of its ten fixtures including in the win section the defeat of Manawatu in a Bruce Steel Cup challenge. Out of character was the severe defeat at Wellington, this especially after the well-contested match with the capital city’s elect in the season’s opening game, and the fine showing put up against British Isles, although the “Lions” did finish the contest with a substantial lead. Sound scrummaging and line-out work gave the backs ample ball, whilst overall the team had speed and thrust in the open play.

The captain was the former Lincoln College and New Zealand Universities player, Karatau, whose experience behind the scrummage was most useful. Couch was reliable at first five-eighth, his performances in the early games pleasing, whilst Carroll, who had represented Manawatu in 1968 and came into the side for the final matches, and Sanson, were of good standard. A new representative, 18-year old Purvis, showed ability and promise at second five-eighth. Martin, who had played for Canterbury the previous season, was a Constructive centre. Barnes ran with determination, but generally the side was weak in the wing-three quarter positions, though 19-year old newcomer, Dick, showed promise. Marfell was an enterprising and capable full-back, and with three tries, as well as 63 points from his boot, supplied more than half Wairarapa-Bush’s total points.

The retirement of Lochore was obviously a severe loss, emphasized by his display on his sole appearance when he was persuaded to return for the match with the “Lions”. The Union ‘possessed two outstanding loose forwards, both worthy of further notice, in Gray and Ryan. A most intelligent forward, Gray possesses pace and initiative. Ryan has speed and tirelessly chases the ball, whilst his tackling is first-rate. Brock was a sound No.8, and Turley and Oliver, the locks, excelled in the line-out. Turley was not always free of injury. In the front row, Rowlands and Crawley were good all-round forwards, with Falconer the competent hooker.

Altogether, 29 players represented Wairarapa-Bush, of whom only four were in their first season. Fourteen had represented Wairarapa the previous season and three had fielded for Bush; one other played for the Wairarapa-Bush combination. Of the remainder, Ryan had represented Bush in 1969, Couch and Wilkinson had appeared with Wairarapa in 1968, and Howard had previously represented Bush in 1967 and Mid-Canterbury in 1968. Gray and Turley appeared in the North Island trials, and Rowlands played in the Prince of Wales Cup match. Lochore represented New Zealand in the third Test.

Played, 10; Won, 6; Lost, 4
Points: For, 141 ; Against, 176


Wed 26 May 2:30 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v Wellington 22 - 29
Mon 07 Jun 5:00 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v Hawkes Bay 17 - 08
Wed 07 Jul 5:00 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v Horowhenua 19 - 09
Wed 14 Jul 2:30 pm Tour Wairarapa-Bush RU v British & Irish Lions 06 - 27
Thu 29 Jul 2:30 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v Nelson Bays 27 - 17
Sat 07 Aug 2:30 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v King Country 05 - 09
Sat 14 Aug 2:30 pm Representative Match Marlborough v Wairarapa-Bush RU 09 - 10
Sat 28 Aug 2:30 pm Representative Match Whanganui v Wairarapa-Bush RU 05 - 08
Sat 04 Sep 2:30 pm Bruce Steel Cup Manawatu v Wairarapa-Bush RU 11 - 21
Sat 11 Sep 2:30 pm Representative Match Wellington v Wairarapa-Bush RU 52 - 06

After Wanganui had held the above trophy throughout 1970, Manawatu won it back in the first contest of the season, but after a big win at Levin was defeated by Wairarapa-Bush. The newly-originated combined side thus became the third of the contracting Unions to hold this Memorial Cup.

The 1971 series resulted:
Manawatu 20 v 18 Wanganui , At Wanganui
Manawatu 35 v 12 Horowhenua , At Levin
Wairarapa-Bush 21 v 11 Manawatu , At Palmerston North

Cap# & Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1971 {Total Games}

001 Bernard Stewart Wolland Prop Konini 3
002 Graham Edmund Falconer Hooker Carterton 9
003 William Nepia ‘Bill’ Rowlands Prop Red Star 10
004 lan Francis Turley Loose Forward, Lock Red Star 6
005 David Patrick Oliver Lock Konini 10
006 George Neville Gray Flanker Red Star 10
007 Patrick John Ryan Loose Forward Pahiatua 10
008 Robert.R.’Bob’ Brock No. 8 Red Star 9
009 Laurence Herbert Karatau Scrumhalf (c) Masterton 10
010 Roy Te Ra Riwai Couch First Five, Fullback Featherston 7
011 Ken E. O’Shea Winger Featherston 4
012 Neil Alexander Purvis Centre, First Five Masterton 10
013 Bruce George Martin Centre Masterton 6
014 Michael Barnes Centre Woodville 7
015 Vernon Douglas Marfell Fullback Masterton 10
016 William John Crawley Prop Carterton 8
017 William Clayton Howard Centre Konini 2
018 Anthony Reginald ‘Tony’ Duffy Hooker, Prop Masterton 1
019 Roger Frank Sommerville Scrumhalf Red Star 1
020 Malcolm Rex Sanson First Five, Fullback Masterton 5
021 Sir Brian James Lochore OBE-KNZM-ONZ Lock, No. 8 Masterton 1
022 Gary Keith McGlashan Hooker Red Star 2
023 E.W. “Eddie’ Thompson Winger Masterton Marist 1
024 Gary Robert Dick Winger Masterton 5
025 John William Dalziell Hooker, Prop East Coast 4
026 Robert Keith Stevenson Centre Tiraumea 1
027 Thomas William Wilkinson First Five, Winger Carterton 3
028 Joseph J. Carroll First Five Featherston 3
029 Gordon Edward Hamilton Winger Red Star 1