Year By Year , Our History ~ 2014 ~

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



2014 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 reached the Meads Cup semi-finals for the very first time, and went on to host the final in which they bowed to defending champion Mid Canterbury 13-36. Despite the final outcome, the team of 2014 set many new standards for future Buller teams to benchmark themselves against: most wins in a season — 10 (previously seven on five occasions); most tries in a season — 46 (previously 40 in 1935), as well as the numerous new entries recorded on the title page. The loss in the Meads Cup final not only denied the 2014 team any silverware and a perfect first-class record for the year, it also prevented the side equaling the union’s record of 11 consecutive wins set in 1931-32.

Luke Brownlee set a new national record for most consecutive first-class appearances for any province when he took the field against King Country at Te Kuiti. It was his 138th first-class match for the province — all consecutive — to beat the record of 137 set by Ramon Sutherland for Marlborough in 1974 and equaled by another Buller man, Thomas Stuart, in 1999. At season’s end Luke had taken the new record to 145, a tremendous achievement.

Only 25 players were used in the ll first-class matches with 11 players appearing in all matches. Seven players were new with James Lash having previously represented Mid Canterbury and loan player Attila Va’a previously representing Counties Manukau. Prominent losses from last year were Lee Nelmes, Paul Clarkson (both overseas) and William Saukuru (Canterbury).

The free-running backline played with a lot of flair. Wingers Scott Neighbours and Setefano Sauqaqa scored three tries each while behind them Ilieasa Ravudra Was the star, setting a new try-scoring record for the season of 11, breaking the record set in 1935. The midfield pairing of Mike Lealava’a and Penijimani Nabainivalu was always a dangerous one. The partnership ended when Lealava’a was injured against West Coast, which brought Ravudra up from fullback. James Lash had a stellar debut season for Buller in all facets of first five-eighth play. His 142 points was a new season record for the union. At halfback Andrew Stephens fed the backline at every opportunity.

The forward pack was a mobile one. Blindside flanker Blair Mcllroy was a standout, being a very aggressive ball winner at the breakdown, as was Luke Brownlee. Newcomer Taione Ratu was strong at running from number eight and won good ball at the back of the lineout. Another standout was lock Craig Moore, and along with 2.03m debutant Morgan Eames, was prominent in the lineout. When Eames returned to England halfway through the season, loan player Glen Angus formed a good partnership with Moore. The front row of Logan Mundy, Warwick Knox and Jerome Va’ai was strong in the tight and all were solid ball carriers. 40-year-old Phil Beveridge appeared in his 16th season for the union.

Five players were selected into the NZ Heartland team, another new record for Buller. For the co-coaches, Craig Neill and Craig Scanlon, first appointed in 2007, it was their eighth consecutive season in charge, making them the current longest-serving head coaches in a current tenure out of all 26 provinces.

The Seddon Shield was won for the first time since 1992 with the pre-Heartland 42-31 win over West Coast in a first-class fixture. The following Weekend the Shield was lost to Nelson Bays 17-18 in a non first-class fixture.

Higher honours went to:

New Zealand Heartland: J.J.Lash, C.M.Moore, L.M.Mundy, P.B.Nabainivalu, A.P.Stephens

2014 Match Record: Played 11; Won 10 ; Lost 1
Points : For 359; Against 227

2014 Fixtures & Results

Sat 09 Aug 5:00 pm A Rundle Cup West Coast 31 - 42
Sat 23 Aug 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship North Otago 17 - 09
Sat 30 Aug 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship East Coast 06 - 67
Sat 06 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship King Country 29 - 53
Sat 13 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship South Canterbury 19 - 10
Sat 20 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury 19 - 29
Sat 27 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Horowhenua Kapiti 19 - 12
Sat 04 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship West Coast 29 - 24
Sat 11 Oct 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Wairarapa Bush 36 - 49
Sat 18 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship/Meads Cup Semi Final Horowhenua Kapiti 22 - 15
Sat 25 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship/Meads Cup Final Mid Canterbury 13 - 36


    Position PL
Andrew Stephens Scrumhalf 11
Placeholder Attila Va’a Prop 3
Blair McIlroy Flanker 11
Craig Adams Fullback, Winger 8
Placeholder Craig Moore Lock, Prop 10
Placeholder Glen Angus Lock 8
Glen Duncan Hooker, Prop 8
Iliesa Tora Centre/Fullback, Winger 11
Placeholder Isei Lewaqai Lock, No. 8 11
James Lash First Five 11
Placeholder Jerome Va’ai Prop 11
Jesse Elley First Five, Fullback 10
Logan Mundy Prop 11
Luke Brownlee Flanker 11
Placeholder Mike Lealava’a Centre 9
Placeholder Morgan Eames Lock 5
Penijamini Nabainivalu Centre 11
Philip.J.’Phil’Beveridge Hooker, Prop 9
Placeholder Reece Burton Flanker, No. 8 11
Placeholder Sam Marris Winger 11
Scott Neighbours Winger 11
Setefano Sauqaqa Centre 10
Simon Abel Flanker 5
Placeholder Taione Ratu Lock, No. 8 11
Placeholder Warwick Knox Hooker, Prop 10

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.