Thursday, July 25


Year By Year , Our History ~ 2007 ~

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



2007 Status:
Heartland Championship
Founded 1894– (affiliated NZRU 1894)
B.A.(Brian) Ahern
C.W.(Craig) Neill
C.M.(Craig) Scanlon
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue

Buller enjoyed one of its better seasons and only narrowly missed the semi-finals for the Meads Cup. An upset win over Wanganui was followed by excellent performances away at Ruatoria and Gisborne then victory at home over South Canterbury. Four wins in succession boosted interest in Westport and larger than usual crowds at Victoria Square was the result. Prior to the championship season Buller played two non-first-class fixtures, losing to Nelson Bays 45-17 at Motueka then defeating Canterbury Maori 20-7 at Reefton.

The team’s strength was its forward pack.The experienced frontrow of captain Clark Nelson, Glen Atkin and Gavin Briggs was never bettered. Craig Moore and Bradley Walters won their share of lineout ball, but it was the loose trio of Phil Rossiter, Luke Brownlee and Josaia Yalayala which was so effective in general play. Rossiter was the team’s most outstanding individual, a thinker and great worker. Yalayala impressed with his high work-rate and was involved in many try scoring moves, a player who could gain higher honours.

Behind the forwards Andrew Stephens and Nathan Thompson excelled, an effective combination on attack and strong defenders. The experienced Michael Mumm was in good form at second five-eighth and his loss, through injury, in the South Canterbury game was sorely felt, the backs not being as effective without him. Canterbury loan player Marcus Taylor scored four tries in the demolition of East Coast. Neither of the wings, Stu Neighbours and Paul Clarkson, registered a try but Neighbours proved a match winner with his goal-kicking. Fullback Matthew Bonisch continues to develop as a reliable player and keen to attack.

Buller is fortunate to have a good relationship with Tasman union where Todd Blackadder was generous in supplying quality players to their smaller neighbour. Yalayalu could have been playing for the Tasman B team and Briggs was a popular squad member, his experience and encouragement being a major factor in the team’s success, a grand motivator who provided much inspiration.


2007 Match Record: Played 8; Won 5 ; Lost 3
Points : For 171 ; Against 186

2007 Fixtures & Results

Sat 18 Aug 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship North Otago 51 - 20
Sat 25 Aug 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Whanganui 19 - 15
Sat 01 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship East Coast 07 - 38
Sat 08 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Poverty Bay 13 - 15
Sat 15 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship South Canterbury 20 - 18
Sat 22 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Wairarapa Bush 17 - 24
Sat 29 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury 45 - 18
Sat 06 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship King Country 24 - 13


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