~ 1935 ~

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

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Founded 1894– (affiliated NZRU 1894)
F.Keating. esq
A.G.Colvin, H.E.Hammond & J.Tiplady
A.G.Colvin, S.Davies & L.W.Griffiths
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue


Sat 25 May 2:30 pm H Rundle Cup West Coast 06 - 16
Sat 27 Jul 2:30 pm A Rundle Cup West Coast 06 - 11
Wed 31 Jul 2:30 pm A Representative Match South Canterbury 33 - 12
Sat 03 Aug 2:30 pm A Representative Match North Otago 13 - 21
Wed 07 Aug 2:30 pm A Representative Match Otago 20 - 00
Sat 10 Aug 2:30 pm A Representative Match Ashburton County 15 - 12
Wed 14 Aug 2:30 pm A Representative Match Canterbury B 06 - 30
Sat 17 Aug 2:30 pm A Seddon Shield Marlborough 03 - 09
Sat 31 Aug 2:30 pm H Seddon Shield Golden Bay-Motueka 32 - 13
Sat 07 Sep 2:30 pm H Representative Match Wellington Colts 28 - 09
Sat 14 Sep 2:30 pm H Seddon Shield Nelson 17 - 05

Played, 11; Won, 7; Lost, 4. For, 178; Against, 142

This was Buller’s biggest season to date, with a record number of eleven matches played. An extensive tour was undertaken, culminating with the annexing of the Seddon Shield at Blenheim; the Shield was held in the two challenges later played at home. In all, seven wins were recorded, every South Island Union except Southland being met in the course of the year;

The list of matches was as follows:

v. West Coast At Westport Lost 6 to 19
v. West Coast At Greymouth Won 11 to 6
v. South Canterbury At Timaru Lost 12 to 33
v. North Otago At Oamaru Won 21 to 13
v. Otago At Dunedin Lost 0 to 20
v. Ashburton County At Ashburton Lost 12 to 15
v. Canterbury “B” At Christchurch Won 30 to 6
v. Marlborough At Blenheim Won 9 to 3 {Seddon Shield}
v. Golden Bay-Motueka At Westport Won 32 to 13 {Seddon Shield}
v. Wellington Colts At Westport Won 28 to 9
v. Nelson At Westport Won 17 to 5 {Seddon Shield}

The Oamaru game represented the first meeting between Buller and North Otago.

Early in the year comprehensive trials were held throughout the country for the selection of the All Black team to go to the British Isles and Canada. P. Ahern (Westport White Star), J. H. Buttress (Westport Old Boys), Anthony Graham (Millerton Rangers), E. Harding (Westport Old Boys), J. Hill (Granity Rover), E. C. Holder (Westport Old Boys), G. A. Orman (Millerton Rangers) and Charles Robertson (Granity Rover) took part in the Nelson trial, E. C. Holder and G. A. Orman later being tried out at Christchurch and at Wellington.

Late in the season G. A. Orman was in the South Island XV in the first of his three appearances in the Inter-Island match. The season was to see the end of Westport Rival Club, a Club that had served Buller well over a long period. Actually the Club was the second of that title to have Buller affiliation.

Excerpt from the Rugby Almanac 1936 edition –

Showing a wonderful improvement, Buller experienced a really great season. This especially when it is realised that it was due to no importation of good players, but solely to local talent, that the success was due. The decision to make an extensive tour of the South Island proved a wise one, and the Buller reps. made no doubt of their effort to capture the Seddon Shield, thus fittingly finishing off a long tour.

Altogether, eleven games were played, as against. four the previous season, and of these seven were won, several by large margins.

There is no doubt that the captaincy and general play of E.C.Holder (Westport Old Boys) had much to do with the team’s success. Playing in every game, ten at centre and one on the wing, Holder proved his worth as a scorer, aggregating 63 points in these games. A.Strachan (Westport Old Boys) also played in every match eight at five-eighth, and three at wing three-quarter. J.Buttress (Westport Old Boys) and G.A.Orman (Millerton Rangers) likewise appeared in all the Buller fixtures. Orman had a great season, and showed up as the best hooker in the country. His front row supports were J. Stewart (United) and R. Allan (Westport) in eight games, and R. Pratt (United) in five games. A.Graham (Rangers), full-back in eight games and five-eighth in two, J.Brown (White Stars) and J.Hill (Rovers) played in ten games, Hill also once substituting. S.Lowther (United) and C.Robertson (Old Boys) appeared nine times. W. Neighbours (United) played eight times. S. Stewart (Westport), a former Nelson player, played in the final six matches. D.Fairley (Waimangaroa) was half-back in six games, a broken leg in the Marlborough match laying him aside for the later matches. A. Reid (Rangers), who reappeared after a season’s spell, played half-back four times. J.Easton (Westport), forward, who played in four matches, and who was a replacement in the Wellington match, scored four tries and converted one try against the Capital City’s representatives. P.Ahearn (White Stars), three games, E.Harding (Old Boys), four games, and M. Hill (Rovers), four games and twice emergency, were old players continuing to appear. Former representatives in J.Caldwell, C.George, R.Peggie (forwards), G.Mason (five-eighth), J.Simpson (full-back), and T.Connelly (wing), did not play at all. C.Todd (Rangers) appeared four times and O.Prince (White Stars) three times.

Ahearn, Buttress, Graham, Harding, J. Hill, Robertson, Holder and Orman played in the Nelson Trial. Holder and Orman later were tried out in the Christchurch and Wellington Trials, but missed selection to tour. Orman, however, appeared in the South side in the lnter-Island match. Late in September it was announced that Holder had accepted an offer to play in the English League, and he left for London shortly afterwards.

The greatest success enjoyed by the Union was the wlnning of the Seddon Shield.

The victors were represented by:
A.Graham ; W.Neighbours ; E.C.Holder (Captain) ; J.Hill ; A.Strachan ; S. Stewart ; D.Fairley ; C.Robertson ; E.Harding ; S.Lowther ; J.Brown ; J.Buttress ;R.Pratt ; G.A.Orman ; J.Stewart

Pratt was injured in the first spell, and was replaced by R.Allan. Fairley was re-placed by M. Hill after the interval. With Reid and Allan in place of Fairley and Pratt, the above team also defeated Golden Bay-Motueka and Wellington.

Only 27 players were called on for the eleven matches. and this keeping of the team together doubtless helped to success.

Played, 11; Won, 7; Lost, 4. For, 178; Against, 142

May 25, v. West Coast, at Victoria Square, Westport.
Lost 6 to 19.
E. C. Holder, 2 tries.
Referee: Mr. H. Casey (Buller)

July 27, v. West Coast, at Greymouth.
Won 11 to 6
G. A.Orman, try; E. C. Holder, 2 penalty goals
A. Graham, conversion.

July 31, v. South Canterbury, at Timaru
Lost 12 to 33
D.Fairley and J. Hill, tries; E. C’. Holder, conversion
M. Hill, dropped goal.

August 3, v. North Otago, at Oamaru
Won 21 to 13
J.Hill (2), E. C. Holder and A.Strachan, tries
E.C.Holder. 3 conversions and penalty goal

August 7, v. Otago, at Dunedin
Lost 0 to 20

August 10, v. Ashburton, at Ashburton
Lost 12 to 15

J.Hill, try; A, Graham (2) and E. C. Holder, penalty goals.

August 14, v. Canterbury 2nd XV., at Christchurch
Won 30 to 6
E.C.Holder (3), J.Easton (2), S.Stewart, R.Allan and D. Fairley, tries
E.C.Holder, G.A.Orman and J.Hill, conversions.

August 17, v. Marlborough (Seddon Shield), at Blenheim
Won 9 to 3
G.A.Orman, S.Stewart and W.Neighbours, tries.

August 31, v. Golden Bay-Motueka (Seddon Shield), at Victoria Square, Westport
Won 32 to 13
J.Hill (2), E.C.Holder, W.Neighbours, J.Brown, E.Harding and A.Strachan, tries
E.C.Holder, 4 conversions and penalty goal
Referee: Mr.E.A.Empson (Canterbury)

September 7, v. Wellington Colts XV, at Victoria Square, Westport.
Won 28 to 9
J.Easton (4), E.C.Holder (2), J.Hill and A.Strachan, tries
A.Graham and J.Easton, conversions.
Referee: Mr.A.W.Alloo (Buller)

September 14, v. Nelson (Seddon Shield), at Victoria Square, Westport
Won 17 to 5
J.Hill (2), A,Reid and W.Neighbours, tries
E. C. Holder, penalty goal; A. Graham, conversion
Referee: Mr.H.O.Jefcoate (Canterbury).