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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1976 Status:
Second Division
Founded 1886 – Affiliated 1893 – Amalgamated 1971
Mr D.B.Wolland
Mr R.T McKenzie
Main ground:
Memorial Park , Masterton
Green and Red

_awbThe change of Selector failed to improve on the poor record of the previous season, although Mr. McKenzie cast his net wide in the search for players worthy of representation. The backs were kept well together and were generally well experienced, but could not match such sides as Taranaki and Hawke’s Bay. The forwards looked promising in the earlier games but their form faded, and this too handicapped the backs.

Rowlands captained the side and was a consistently solid prop and general forward; he reached his century of first-class matches during the season, and was captain of the Southern XV. in the Prince of Wales Cup match and represented New Zealand Maoris – a just reward. Sargent, who had last represented in 1973, a vigorous player for his size; he is a New Zealand wrestling representative, and Peachey were the other props. Peachey, 41 years old, had last represented Wairarapa in 1966, and was still playing good club Rugby. Turley, who was handicapped through a farm accident, locked the scrum with Guscott, a good line-out forward but who was injured in the Waikato match, when the 6′ 4”, 23 year-old new representative Grant was called on and impressed as a promising forward.

The flank forwards called on included the 6′ 3”, 22 year-old Mahoney (son of ex-All Black, Athol Mahoney), who showed promise; McConnochie, a reliable player; Darlington, another newcomer; and Cochrane, a tall vigorous new representative. Clarke who had last represented in 1974, filled in at lock. Taylor, who had last appeared in 1973, was the only forward to play in all 14 matches –  a solid No.8 who covered well and stood out in the line-out where his height 6ft. 3in. was useful; he captained the side when Rowlands was absent. The hooker, McGlashan had a splendid season, raking well and his general play being excellent. He played in all 14 matches as well, but an injury forced him to retire in the final game.

Neil Kjestrup, the 21 year-old full-back, had a very good season – a courageous fielder of the high ball, a good touch-finder and eager to join the backline. He contributed 57 points from his boot. Couch played only once, having elected to join the Senior B Tuhirangi Club for whom he played mostly at second five-eighth,

Barnes, who had last appeared in 1971, was a strong runner and good tackler but had handling lapses; he scored two excellent blindside tries against Horowhenua. With B. G. Martin not available it was hoped Patrick could play at centre, but the arrival of the brilliant little Poverty Bay centre, Huriwai, meant that Patrick again played on the wing where he was a sound performer. Huriwai was a clever attacker and strong tackler. Garter, still only 19 years old, showed improved form in his second season, and more could be seen of him. His two tries against Waikato brought a surprise victory.

After Hugh Kjestrup, elder brother of the full-back, had failed to impress, O’Neill became the regular first five-eighth and had some good games, but on occasions overdid the kicking instead of spinning the ball. Robertson played well behind the scrum but moved to wing where his speed was given scope, when Herangi, a lively young player who had played once in 1974, was brought in. McGilvray, an 18 year-old newcomer, is a promising player.

No players from this Union received National recognition.

19761976 Match Record: Played 14 : Won 4 ; Lost 10


Wed 19 May 2:30 pm Bruce Steel Cup Wairarapa-Bush RU v Manawatu 00 - 23
Tue 01 Jun 2:30 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v Wellington 06 - 25
Mon 07 Jun 2:30 pm Representative Match Hawkes Bay v Wairarapa-Bush RU 45 - 00
Tue 22 Jun 2:30 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v NZ Juniors 03 - 24
Wed 28 Jul 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC King Country v Wairarapa-Bush RU 06 - 03
Sat 31 Jul 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC Waikato v Wairarapa-Bush RU 07 - 08
Tue 10 Aug 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC Wairarapa-Bush RU v Thames Valley 20 - 11
Sat 14 Aug 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC Wairarapa-Bush RU v Ngāti Porou East Coast 18 - 04
Tue 17 Aug 2:30 pm Representative Match Wairarapa-Bush RU v Marlborough 07 - 13
Sat 28 Aug 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC Horowhenua v Wairarapa-Bush RU 12 - 23
Sat 04 Sep 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC Taranaki v Wairarapa-Bush RU 42 - 10
Sat 11 Sep 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC Wairarapa-Bush RU v Poverty Bay 03 - 06
Sat 18 Sep 2:30 pm 2nd Division North Island NPC Wairarapa-Bush RU v Whanganui 13 - 19
Sat 25 Sep 2:30 pm Representative Match Wellington XV v Wairarapa-Bush RU 15 - 06

Cap# & Wairarapa Bush REPRESENTATIVES 1976 {Total Games}

003 William Nepia ‘Bill’ Rowlands Prop Red Star 12
004 lan Francis Turley Loose Forward, Lock Red Star 12
010 Roy Te Ra Riwai Couch First Five, Fullback Tuhirangi 1
014 Michael Barnes Centre Woodville 9
022 Gary Keith McGlashan Hooker Red Star 14
034 Brian J. McConnochie Flanker, Winger Masterton 6
039 Neville Douglas Taylor No. 8 Featherston 14
045 Nigel Peter Sargent Prop Featherston 9
047 Richard Ewing ‘Ritchie’ Robertson Scrumhalf, Winger Greytown 10
056 Rex Basil Playle Prop Carterton 1
060 Brian William James Clarke Lock Red Star 8
063 Bruce Bernard Patrick Centre Gladstone 12
064 Neil Francis Kjestrup First Five, Fullback Gladstone 13
069 Bruce H. Herangi Scrumhalf Pioneer 10
074 Philip John Guscott Lock Masterton 6
079 Kevin Wayne Carter First Five Pahiatua 13
081 Alistar John O’Neill First Five Red Star 11
082 Bruce Douglas McKenzie Flanker Tiraumea 1
083 Peter C. Mahoney Flanker Pahiatua 10
084 Hugh Gordon Kjestrup First Five Gladstone 3
085 Ewan A. Mason Winger Tuhirangi 2
086 Ernest John Darlington Flanker Red Star 5
087 Rowan Bruce McGilvray Winger Carterton 1
088 Hona T. Huriwai Utility Back Red Star 11
089 Lynn David Evans Fullback Greytown 4
090 Simon L. Cadwallader East Coast 1
091 Daniel Meredith Matthews Greytown 1
092 James Tiwai Karaitiana Lock Martinborough 1
093 Warren Scott Grant Lock East Coast 10
094 Michael Henry ‘Mick’ Peachey Flanker, Prop Pioneer 5
095 Steven Ross Cochrane Flanker Carterton 3