Thursday, July 25


Year By Year , Our History ~ 2016 ~

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



2016 Status:
Heartland Championship
Founded 1894– (affiliated NZRU 1894)
J.W.(John) Lennon
B.A.(Brian) Ahern
C.W.(Craig) Neill
C.M.(Craig) Scanlon
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue

For the second time in three seasons Buller went all the Way to the Meads Cup final, losing to favourites Wanganui 18-20 in a match for which Buller really rose to the occasion. With an ounce of luck, extra time could have been forced but two penalty kicks went astray in the final five minutes.

From the 2015 squad, missing were Jale Masi (Canterbury), Taione Ratu (South Canterbury), Mitieli Kaloudigibeci (injured) and Paul Clarkson (unavailable). Thirty-one players took the field with 12 doing so for the first time, although James So’oialo had previously represented Wellington and Samoa.

The big and fast backline was always a constant threat to the opposition and responsible for 29 of the 36 tries scored. Anthony Tailua had a notable debut season. Having started the year playing rugby league in Christchurch, his attacking prowess from fullback brought him eight tries. His shift from wing to fullback only came about when James So’oialo suffered injury in the opening match. Wing Setafano Sauqaqa again was a good finisher, running in seven tries. James Lash returned for 2016 and continued on from his standout 2014 performances. The classy first five-eighth was the top points scorer in the Heartland Championship and joint top try scorer for the union. Andrew Stephens remains one of the better halfbacks in the Heartland Championship. Newcomer Joshua Tuidriva appeared in the midfield in all 10 matches.

At number eight, Daniel Hytongue was the standout forward, turning in a number of noteworthy performances. Luke Brownlee set a new appearance record for Buller, removing Thomas Stuart’s name from the record books. From his debut in 1999 he has made 161 first-class appearances and, incredibly, only missed three matches. Loan player Blair Mcllroy was again useful at blindside flanker, being very good defensively. Ciaran Neilsen showed some promise in his debut season at lock, while hooker Anthony Ellis, in his first full season, displayed good improvement on last year. At the age of 42 prop Phil Beveridge was the oldest player in the Heartland Championship and announced his retirement after the Meads Cup final, having debuted in 1993.

On 6 August, a Seddon Shield challenge to Nelson Bays was lost 16-19 when conceding a converted try three minutes from the end, in a non-first-class match.

Higher honours went to:

New Zealand Heartland: D.W.L.Hytongue, J.J.Lash

2016 Match Record: Played 10 ; Won 7 ; Lost 3
Points : For 292; Against 216
note: a new points structure was trialed in the 2016 Heartland Championship in 2017 they revert back to the 2016 scoring system :
  • Try = 6 points
  • Penalty Try = 8 points (no conversion attempt required)
  • Conversion = 2 points
  • Penalty goal = 2 points
  • Dropped goal = 2 points


Sat 27 Aug 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship South Canterbury 28 - 26
Sat 03 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury 34 - 32
Sat 10 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Poverty Bay 18 - 30
Sat 17 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship/Rundle Cup West Coast 48 - 0
Sat 24 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship East Coast 54 - 22
Sat 01 Oct 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Wairarapa Bush 24 - 26
Sat 08 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Whanganui 00 - 28
Sat 15 Oct 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship King Country 38 - 40
Sat 22 Oct 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship/Meads Cup Semi Final South Canterbury 06 - 16
Sat 29 Oct 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship/Meads Cup Final Whanganui 20 - 18


    Position PL
Andrew Paul Stephens Scrumhalf 10
Anthony Tailua Fullback, Winger 9
Anthony W. Ellis Hooker 9
Blair Stewart McIlroy Flanker 9
Callum Lennon Scrumhalf 1
Ciaran Neilsen Lock 8
Placeholder Craig Michael Moore Lock, Prop 1
Daniel Hytongue No. 8 9
David Eglestaff Lock 9
Glen Anthony Duncan Hooker, Prop 4
Hemi W. Manawatu Prop 3
Isaac Hogarth Centre 4
James Jeffery Lash First Five 9
Placeholder James S. So'oialo First Five, Fullback, Winger 1
Placeholder Jareth J.J.I. McKay Hooker/Prop 0
Joshua T. Tuidriva Centre, Winger 9
Placeholder Kahutia Parata Flanker, Lock 1
Placeholder Lochie C. Elley Prop 3
Logan Matthew Mundy Lock, Prop 8
Luke George Brownlee Flanker 7
Luke W. Watson Lock 8
Matthew Paul Bonisch Fullback 6
Penijamini Nabainivalu Centre 7
Placeholder Petaia T. Saukuru Centre, Winger 8
Philip.J.’Phil’ Beveridge Hooker, Prop 8
Scott William Neighbours Winger 3
Placeholder Shane David Grieve Flanker, Lock 1
Simon Abel Flanker 6
Stefano Tuidrodroa Sauqaqa Centre 9
Stephen Robert Crackett Hooker, Prop 4
Thor H. Manawatu Scrumhalf 3