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

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1984

SEASON

Founded 1894 – (affiliated NZRU 1894)
President:
Rodney Dawe
Chairman:
Barry Townrow
Selector:
Mr M.J.Woollett
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Capacity:
5,000
Colours:
Cardinal and Blue

Results

09 May, 2:30 pm H West Australia Representative 06 - 09
19 May, 2:30 pm H Thames Valley Representative 10 - 10
04 Jun, 2:30 pm H Nelson Bays Div2 Sth-NPC 16 - 04
23 Jun, 2:30 pm A West Coast Div2 Sth-NPC 06 - 04
07 Jul, 2:30 pm H NZ Juniors Representative 09 - 33
18 Jul, 2:30 pm H Mid Canterbury Div2 Sth-NPC 09 - 07
28 Jul, 2:30 pm H West Coast Seddon Shield 06 - 04
08 Aug, 2:30 pm A Canterbury Ranfurly Shield 57 - 13
25 Aug, 2:30 pm H Marlborough Div2 Sth-NPC 09 - 39
08 Sep, 2:30 pm A South Canterbury Div2 Sth-NPC 22 - 21
12 Sep, 2:30 pm A Southland Div2 Sth-NPC 34 - 06
15 Sep, 2:30 pm A North Otago Div2 Sth-NPC 09 - 17

THE 1984 SEASON:

1984 was a crowded season full of interest for Buller Rugby supporters. Visits from Western Australia and Thames Valley, neither of whom had previously visited Westport, along with a match against New Zealand Juniors, a Ranfurly Shield challenge (the support for which necessitated a special train being chartered) and two Seddon Shield matches made this a very full season.

Buller’s major achievement in the 1984 season was to maintain its Second Division status, the drop into Division III being avoided by virtue of victories over Nelson-Bays, North Otago and Mid-Canterbury.

The Seddon Shield was retained for one further game when West Coast were beaten in a cliff-hanger finish. Buller dominated the entire game but simply could not get the ball over the West Coast line.

Finally, when all hope seemed gone, a drop goal from Michael Bonisch retained the Shield for Buller. However, in the next defence, Marlborough, who were clearly the strongest overall team in the Seddon Shield area in the 1980s, were far too strong and took the shield 39-9.

Another notable visiting team was the 1984 New Zealand Juniors, a team which included such illustrious names as Grant Fox, Steve McDowell, Andy Earl, Kurt Sherlock and Dale Atkins, all of whom played against Buller.

From the players’ point of view, the major highlight must have been the opportunity to play on Lancaster Park in the Ranfurly Shield challenge against Canterbury. Although that encounter was lost 57-13, Buller put up one of the best performances of the season against one of the best Canterbury teams ever, which was then at the peak of its powers.

The Ranfurly Shield challenge also had a personal note to it as this game was Richard Banks’ 50th game for Buller

Matches played were:

v Western Australia at Westport Lost 6-9
v Thames Valley at Westport Drew 10-10
v Nelson-Bays at Westport Won 16-4
v West Coast at Greymouth Lost 4-6
v New Zealand Juniors at Westport Lost 9-33
v Mid-Canterbury at Westport Won 9-7
v West Coast at Westport  Won 6-4
v Canterbury at Christchurch Lost 13-57 {Ranfurly Shield}
v Marlborough at Westport Lost 9-39 {Seddon Shield}
v South Canterbury at Timaru Lost 21-22
v Southland at Invercargill Lost 6-34
v North Otago at Oamaru Won 17-9

Scorers were:

v Western Australia: John McArthur (try), David Baird (conversion)
v Thames Valley: Lex Powell (try), David Baird (2 penalties)
v Nelson-Bays: Richard Banks (try), Mark Macintosh (try), David Baird (conversion,2 penalties)
v West Coast: Michael Bonisch (try)
v New Zealand Juniors: David Baird (3 penalties)
v Mid-Canterbury: David Baird (try, conversion, penalty)
v West Coast: Rex Mumm (penalty), Michael Bonisch (drop goal)
v Canterbury: Mark Macintosh (try), David Baird (penalty, 2 drop goals)
v Marlborough: David Baird (2 penalties, drop goal)
v South Canterbury: Michael Kissell (try), Penalty Try, David Baird (2 conversions, 2 drop goals, penalty)
v Southland: David Baird (2 penalties)
v North Otago: Mark Caldwell (try), Mark Macintosh (try), David Baird (penalty, 2 drop goals)