~ 1939 ~

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

Back to Year by Year Index click here



Founded 1894 – (affiliated NZRU 1894)
A.G.Colvin. Esq
J.Mason, J.P.McEnaney & M.B.Scully
H.A.P.Casey, G.V.Goodall & P.Ryan
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue


Sat 01 Jul 2:30 pm H Rundle Cup West Coast 08 - 06
Sat 15 Jul 2:30 pm A Rundle Cup West Coast 03 - 12
Sat 29 Jul 2:30 pm H Seddon Shield Marlborough 08 - 00
Sat 12 Aug 2:30 pm H Seddon Shield Golden Bay-Motueka 24 - 05
Sat 26 Aug 2:30 pm H Representative Match Nelson 11 - 03
Sat 09 Sep 2:30 pm H Tour match Fiji 04 - 09
Sat 16 Sep 2:30 pm H Seddon Shield West Coast 11 - 09
Sat 23 Sep 2:30 pm A Representative Match Canterbury 12 - 04

Played, 8; Won, 6; Lost, 2. Points: For, 82; Against, 47

Again six matches were won, and again four of the successes were in defence of the Seddon Shield. One loss was “away”, the other to the Fijian team visiting New Zealand for the first time.

These are the details:

v. West Coast At Westport Won 8 to 6
v. West Coast At Greymouth Won 12 to 3
v. Marlborough At Westport Won 8 to 0 {Seddon Shield}
v. Golden Bay-Motueka At Westport Won 24 to 5 {Seddon Shield}
v. Nelson At Westport Won 11 to 3
v. Fiji At Westport Lost 4 to 9
v. West Coast At Westport Won 11 to 9 {Seddon Shield}
v. Canterbury At Christchurch Lost 4 to 12

It was intended to send a New Zealand side to South Africa in 1940, and as an aid to selection trials were held in Wellington. However, the War intervened, and the tour postponed. G. D. Mason (Westport Old Boys) was Buller’s sole representative in the trials.

In August a match was played at Christchurch between sides representing North Island and South Island “Minor Unions,” it serving materially as an additional trial.

G.D.Mason played in that fixture, too, and was joined by J.C.Alexander (Waimangaroa United), C.Robertson (Granity Rover) and W.C.Weenink (Westport Old Boys).

Excerpt from the Rugby Almanac 1939 edition –

Holding the Seddon Shield against the challenges of the four Unions entitled to compete for that trophy, Buller again experienced a good season. Always difficult to defeat on their home ground, this Union’s XV. yet had to bow to the superiority of the touring Fijians, after a match which our visitors declared was the hardest of the tour. In this game the Buller pack excited the Fijians’ respect. West Coast was played three times for three wins. Buller’s other loss was against Canterbury at Christchurch late in the season, when the side was depleted, and three players were compelled to retire with injuries.

Changes from the previous sides were K.F.Brown, to Golden Bay-Motueka, S.Stewart, retired, and R.Butterfield, halfback in every match during 1938, was played once only – as an emergency. Forward, J.D.Lake and R.L.Pratt did not appear. Buttress, of the 1937 pack, was in Wellington. However, a good team was soon brought together, a Trial match giving the Selectors an opportunity of viewing the material available. Taking the players in general, Dunn was again an excellent fullback, and well deserving of a trial for higher honours. Weenink received few chances, being closely marked in his games, but he will get his opportunity Strachan was a first-class centre, and Alexander lived up to his promise of_ 1938. The brothers Neighbours were in good form and consistently sound. Wyeth was not a success, and Finlayson, a 1937 Rep., was tried again with happy results in the final fixtures. To the pack Buller owed much of the success, forwards like Mason, Wilson and Robertson being worth a place in any side, and all were vigorous players. Fox and Dawson were new Representative packmen who did well, the latter holding his place in the frontrow throughout the season. K Corrie hooked with success, and Phipps and Jackson were former Reps., who pulled their weight in the scrum. D.Neighbours, the third of the brothers to represent Buller, was full of promise. Davis deputized efficiently at full-back on occasions. Porter showed attacking ability at five-eighth, while Mallett was a new player of a good type. Altogether 28 players represented Buller during the season, ten of them for the first time, although Porter played in the 1938 Horowhenua side. Mason was the captain, with Wilson leading against Canterbury.

Dunn, Weenink, Alexander, Robertson and Mason were nominated for the Trials, only Mason receiving a call to Wellington. The four last—mentioned, however, played for the South Island Minor Unions XV., for which Strachan was an additional nomination.

Played, 8; Won, 6; Lost, 2. Points: For, 82; Against, 47

1.—July 1, v. WEST COAST, at Victoria Square, Westport.
Won 8 to 6
W.E.Neighbours and W.C.Weenink, tries
F.Mallett, conversion
Referee: Mr.V.Anderson (Buller)

2.—July 15, v. WEST COAST, at Greymouth
Won 12 to 3
J.Fox and D.L.Strachan, tries
D.L.Strachan, dropped goal; A.J.R.Dunn, conversion.

3.—July 29, v. MARLBOROUGH (Seddon Shield), at Victoria Square, Westport.
Won 8 to 0
F.J.Neighbours and J.C.Alexander, tries
A.J.R.Dunn, conversion
Referee: Mr.C.R.McCallum (Canterbury)

4.—August 12, V. GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA (Seddon Shield), at Victoria Square, Westport.
Won 24 to 5
J.C.Alexander, D.Neighbours, F.J.Neighbours, D.L.Strachan, F.Mallett and C. Robertson, tries
J.C.Alexander, dropped goal ; A.J.R.Dunn conversion
Referee: Mr.H.T.Coulter (Canterbury)

5.—August 26, v. NELSON (Seddon Shield), at Victoria Square, Westport
Won 11 to 3
W.E.Neighbours, try; A.J.R.Dunn 2 penalty goals and conversion
Referee: Mr.D.F.Johnson (Canterbury)

6.—September 9, v. FIJI, at Victoria Square, Westport.
Lost 4 to 9
F.J.Neighbours, dropped goal
Referee: Mr.W.Kelly (Buller)

7.—September 16 v. WEST COAST (Seddon Shield), at Victoria Aquare, Westport
Won 11 to 9
D.L.Strachan (2) and W.E.Neighbours, tries
A.J.R.Dunn, conversion
Referee: Mr.E.A.Empson (Canterbury)

8.—September 23 v. CANTERBURY, at Christchurch
Lost 4 to 12
A.J.R.Dunn, dropped goal.