~ 1971 ~

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)
Gerry Adams
Ian Mercer
Tom Lewis
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue


Sat 15 May 2:30 pm A Rundle Cup West Coast 25 - 20
Mon 07 Jun 2:30 pm A Representative Match Nelson Bays 40 - 03
Sun 08 Aug 2:30 pm H Rundle Cup West Coast 16 - 21
Sat 21 Aug 2:30 pm H Representative Match Canterbury XV 15 - 27
Sat 11 Sep 2:30 pm A Seddon Shield Nelson Bays 18 - 06


The 1971 season was one of the most dismal in Buller’s last twenty five. The season began on a sour note with the replacement of the previous season’s selector-coach, John Hunt, by Tom Lewis and, although only five games were played, all were lost and the margin of defeat was larger than any would have wanted in most games.

One noteworthy aspect of the season was that it saw the debut of John Gilbert, the Ngakawau halfback, who was to go on to become Buller’s most capped player and to win higher honours as a South Island Representative and an All Black trialist.

One highlight of the season was the selection of Jim Halsall as captain of the combined Buller-West Coast team which played the touring British Lions.

Others selected in the combined team were Gerald Hart, Robert Alexander, David Evans, Don Stevenson, Alec Fussell and Bruce Hearsey.

The other major highlight was Gerald Hart’s century of points for Buller which he brought up in the game against the Canterbury XV in his 23rd game for Buller, while Hart’s contribution of 17 points in a single game (in the game against West Coast) was exceeded in the South Island only by Laurie Mains with 18.

In total, Hart contributed 75% of Buller’s points for the season with 45 out of the sixty scored.

Another interesting feature was that this season was the last occasion that Buller played a home Representative game out of Westport, the match against West Coast being played at the Ngakawau Domain.

Despite the short season of five matches, only six players were selected for all Buller’s games, these being Hart, Dickson, Evans, Morgan, Fussell and Aldridge.

Matches were played against:

v West Coast at Hokitika Lost 20-25
v Nelson-Bays at Motueka Lost 3-40
v West Coast at Ngakawau Lost 16-21
v Canterbury XV at Westport Lost 15-27
v Nelson-Bays at Motueka Lost 6-18 {Seddon Shield}

Scorers were:

v West Coast: Alec Fussell (try), Gerald Hart (4 penalties, drop goal, conversion)
v Nelson Bays: Gerald Hart (penalty)
v West Coast: John Gilbert (try), David Evans (try), Gerald Hart (2 penalties, 2 conversions)
v Canterbury XV: John Dickson (try), Gerald Hart (4 penalties)
v Nelson Bays: Harold Pablecheque (try), Gerald Hart (penalty)