We hope you enjoy this look back as we look forward to many more years of recording the history of Buller Rugby Union.
We acknowledge all the information from the NZ “Rugby Almanack” Series since 1934 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. – Web Admin
Buller ﬁnished sixth in the round robin with a 50/50 record and then lost at home in the Lochore Cup semi-ﬁnal to King Country; a disappointing ﬁnish after having defeated King Country in the round robin. If either of the one-point defeats to Wairarapa Bush or North Otago had been overcome then Buller would have ﬁnished fourth with a Meads Cup semi-ﬁnal. The best Performance of the campaign was the Win at Horowhenua Kapiti where Buller completely dominated the ﬁrst 60 minutes to lead 44-10.
In the backs Setefano Sauqaqa again was an elusive ﬁnisher to score nine tries, including a record-equaling four against Thames Valley. Scott Neighbours and Penijamini Nabainivalu both gave reliable performances every week. Loan player Hagen Schulte started in the 10 jersey, but a change was made after the fourth match with Jesse Elley brought forward. He challenged the opposition defence well. Andrew Stephens appeared in every match and took over the goal kicking with Elley’s shift. Last year’s record-breaking try scorer Iliesa Ravudra had shifted to Tasman but appeared in the ﬁnal ﬁve matches on loan.
Luke Brownlee’s record run of consecutive matches ended when missing the opening match against King Country due to injury, while fellow ﬂanker Blair Mcllroy never turned in a bad game and was unlucky to miss New Zealand Heartland selection. Lock Craig Moore had a standout season and fully deserved his New Zealand Heartland selection. Fellow lock Taione Ratu, a number eight last year, made a good impression in the role. The two props Phil Beveridge and Logan Mundy gave excellent service in every game, with Mundy ﬁnally scoring his ﬁrst try for the province in his 79th match. Brad Hemopo was a valuable loan acquisition but injury restricted him to only half the games.
Thirty-one players were used, of which 13 were new, and John Noble and Stephen Crackett earned recalls after last appearing in 2011 and 2012 respectively. Missing from last year were James Lash (Tasman), Mike Lealava’a (Wellington) and Isei Lewaqai (West Coast).
On 8 August a Seddon Shield challenge to Nelson Bays sub-union was lost 6-36 in a non ﬁrst-class ﬁxture.
Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland: C.M.Moore
2015 Match Record: Played 9 ; Won 4 ; Lost 5
Points : For 206; Against 207
HEARTLAND CHAMPIONSHIP 2015
|22 Aug, 5:00 pm||H||King Country||Heartland Championship||32 - 20|
|29 Aug, 5:00 pm||A||West Coast||Heartland Championship||21 - 07|
|05 Sep, 5:00 pm||H||Wairarapa Bush||Heartland Championship||13 - 14|
|12 Sep, 5:00 pm||A||Wanganui||Heartland Championship||35 - 09|
|19 Sep, 5:00 pm||H||Poverty Bay||Heartland Championship||36 - 14|
|26 Sep, 5:00 pm||A||North Otago||Heartland Championship||35 - 34|
|03 Oct, 5:00 pm||H||Thames Valley||Heartland Championship||25 - 17|
|10 Oct, 5:00 pm||A||Horowhenua Kapiti||Heartland Championship||31 - 44|
|17 Oct, 5:00 pm||H||King Country||Heartland Championship/Lochore Cup Semi Final||06 - 20|
2015 Buller REPRESENTATIVES
|Craig Moore||Lock, Prop||9|
|Glen Duncan||Hooker, Prop||9|
|Hagen Schulte||First Five||5|
|Iliesa Ravudra||Fullback, Winger||5|
|Jale Masi||No. 8||7|
|Jesse Elley||First Five, Fullback||8|
|Lance Gahan||Centre, Fullback||3|
|Paul Clarkson||Flanker, Lock, Winger||7|
|Stephen Crackett||Hooker, Prop||4|
|Taione Ratu||Lock, No. 8||7|
|Tyler Price||Centre, Fullback||1|