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Year By Year , Our History ~ 2012 ~

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



2012 Status:
Heartland Championship
Founded 1894– (affiliated NZRU 1894)
E.C.(Erik) Westergaard
B.A.(Brian) Ahern
C.W.(Craig) Neill
C.M.(Craig) Scanlon
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue

Buller and neighbours West Coast were the only remaining regions in New Zealand rugby never to have won a national championship trophy — until 2012. Buller had sighted the Lochore Cup when Westport hosted the 2010 final but Wairarapa Bush took the trophy home. There was no prize for second place despite Buller’s narrow 15-9 loss. In 2012 Buller hosted the Lochore Cup final again after a most successful season. Hosting rights ‘were assisted by South Canterbury being stripped of two championship points because of a breach of the eligibility regulations,

During the round robin only Wanganui comfortably defeated Buller, the other losses being to North Otago and eventual Meads Cup winner East Coast. Memories of the 2010 final lost returned to several of the players, and coaches, when a semi-final against Poverty Bay was set to be played at Westport. The disappointment of two years; previous made the home side more determined to avoid a repeat. Buller raced away to a 31-03 halftime lead and Won 42-22.

In the final South Canterbury were dominant during the first half, scoring two tries while Marty Banks kicked four penalties to keep the home side in the game. Near halftime Andrew Norton-Taylor scored under the posts and Buller trailed by one point. After the break, Pene Nabainivalu scored, and later Ilaisa Namua. For the remaining 20 minutes Buller defended its ll-point lead against South Canterbury’s strong attacks. A try was conceded but the game was won 31-28. It was Buller’s Finest Hour in championship rugby.

For the coaches Craig Neil and Craig Scanlon the cup win was a fitting reward for six years guiding the team. Reward also to the players who had given many years’ service to the small union including the centurions Luke Brownlee and Phil Beveridge. Nabainivalu was in outstanding form, he forming a dangerous attacking midfield partnership with Trael Joass. Teenager Andrew Norton-Taylor showed much promise on the wing and a versatile William Saukuru performed well in each of the four positions he was placed. Marty Banks, a former Canterbury B rep, set a new union record for points in a season. Andrew Stephens’ consistent form again earned him Heartland selection.

James Foster locked the scrum with Ben Coman and later Craig Moore. Coman led the side in the final games following the injury to captain Bevan Tetai. Coman was one of the standout performers of the championship and deserved his Heartland selection. Props Beveridge, Logan Mundy and Stephen Crackett formed a strong front row with hooker Ilaisa Namua. Matt Parata was a promising loose forward while veteran Luke Brownlee retains his place, his commitment and high tackle count being an inspiration to the younger players.

Higher honours went to:

New Zealand Heartland: B.F.Coman, A.P.Stephens

2013 Match Record: Played 10 ; Won 7 ; Lost 3
Points : For 278 ; Against 230

2012 Fixtures & Results

25 Aug, 5:00 pm H Thames Valley Heartland Championship 24 - 14
01 Sep, 5:00 pm A North Otago Heartland Championship 22 - 15
08 Sep, 5:00 pm A East Coast Heartland Championship 20 - 18
15 Sep, 5:00 pm H King Country Heartland Championship 31 - 19
22 Sep, 5:00 pm A South Canterbury Heartland Championship 32 - 45
29 Sep, 5:00 pm H Horowhenua Kapiti Heartland Championship 34 - 16
06 Oct, 5:00 pm A Wanganui Heartland Championship 39 - 12
13 Oct, 5:00 pm H West Coast Heartland Championship/Rundle Cup 26 - 18
20 Oct, 5:00 pm H Poverty Bay Heartland Championship/Lochore Cup Semi Final 42 - 22
28 Oct, 5:00 pm H South Canterbury Heartland Championship/Lochore Cup Final 31 - 28


  Name   Position PL
Andrew Duncan Scrumhalf 1
Andrew Stephens Scrumhalf 10
Placeholder Andrew.W.Norton-Taylor Winger 9
Placeholder Apenisa Ratugoleavanua Flanker 9
Placeholder Benjamin Coman Lock 10
Placeholder Bevan.P.Tetai Flanker, Lock 8
Placeholder Craig Moore Lock, Prop 7
Placeholder David.R.Greig Scrumhalf 6
Placeholder Ilaisa Namua Hooker 10
Placeholder Isei Lewaqai Lock, No. 8 6
Placeholder James Foster Lock 10
Logan Mundy Prop 10
Luke Brownlee Flanker 10
Placeholder Marcos.M.Nariaria Winger 1
Placeholder Martin 'Marty' Banks First Five, Fullback 10
Placeholder Matt Parata Flanker 7
Penijamini Nabainivalu Centre 10
Philip.J.’Phil’Beveridge Hooker, Prop 10
Placeholder Phil Kinraid Lock 1
Placeholder Phillip Gibson First Five 4
Placeholder Sam Marris Winger 7
Scott Neighbours Winger 7
Stephen Crackett Hooker, Prop 8
Stephen Lowe Lock 6
Placeholder Trael.J.Joass Centre 9
Placeholder Warwick Knox Hooker, Prop 9
Placeholder William Saukuru Centre, Fullback 10

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