Friday, July 19


Year By Year , Our History ~ 2008 ~

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



2008 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 repeated the fine results of 2007 and again competed for the Meads Cup. The results overshadow those of much larger Heartland unions and it is a credit to the management and the solid core of dedicated senior players who continue to give grand service to the team.Their length of loyal service would be the envy of many premier unions struggling to retain players.The likes of Phil Beveridge, Luke Brownlee and Clark Nelson front up game after game, year after year, and install Within their more youthful team-mates a strong team spirit and passion for the amateur game.They typify the game’s provincial pride of yesteryear yet their commitment is barely recognized beyond the small union’s borders as the nation’s media focus on the professional players.

The captain, Clark Nelson, has played in every game during the past eight seasons While Luke Brownlee has played every game since his debut, ten years ago, in 1999. Both are truly outstanding achievements in first class provincial rugby in an era of challenging times for amateur players.There is no doubt that these two men are encouraged to continue their long careers by the enthusiasm, pride and determination of the rest of the team. Buller has the vital ingredients for success – skills in vital positions, and big hearts. Buller and neighbours West Coast were the real achievers of the 2008 Heartland competition. Both unions, low on population and playing numbers, achieved more success than larger unions.

Two line stalwarts, Glen Atkin and Ryan Hughes, again competed for the hooker position, there being little separating their work effort. With Nelson and Beveridge at prop Buller had perhaps the most experienced frontrow in the competition. At lock Casey Gibson won his share of lineout ball and Brownlee also was effective in the air and about the field. Flanker Philip Rossiter was very effective and from the back of the scrum Jo Yalayala continued his fine form of 2007 with several strong bursts.

The backline changed little from 2007 with halfback Andrew Stephens again linking with Nathan Thompson and Marcus Taylor at centre. Thompson’s tactical and goal kicking was a major factor in the team’s success. 20-year-old Kevin Moore, the youngest of the regular team, showed such promise as a versatile player that he gained selection, along with Stephens, for the Heartland tour to USA. Matthew Bonisch was again a steady and reliable fullback. Winger Mitieli Kaloudigibeci was the main strike Weapon, his speed resulted in scoring seven tries, half the team’s total. Sam Marris and former Wanganui player Daniel Hooper also appeared on the wing.

This union and its coaches, Craig Neill and Craig Scanlon, can be well satisfied with the team’s success, from such limited resources, over the recent two seasons.

Higher honours went to:

New Zealand Heartland: K.M.Moore, A.P.Stephens

2008 Match Record: Played 8; Won 4 ; Drew 1 ; Lost 3
Points : For 135 ; Against 164

2008 Fixtures & Results

Sat 23 Aug 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship South Canterbury 18 - 17
Sat 30 Aug 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Horowhenua Kapiti 16 - 16
Sat 06 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Wairarapa Bush 08 - 11
Sat 13 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship North Otago 18 - 22
Sat 20 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship/Rundle Cup West Coast 19 - 20
Sat 27 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Whanganui 42 - 10
Sat 04 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship King Country 25 - 08
Sat 11 Oct 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury 32 - 17


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