~ 1983 ~ NPC

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)
Rodney Dawe
Barry Townrow
Mr C.A.Fussell
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue


Wed 23 Mar 2:30 pm H Representative East Coast 24 - 00
Wed 13 Apr 2:30 pm H Representative Meiji University 13 - 07
Sat 28 May 2:30 pm A Representative West Coast 18 - 10
Sat 11 Jun 2:30 pm A Div2 Sth-NPC Nelson Bays 24 - 00
Sat 09 Jul 2:30 pm H Div2 Sth-NPC Southland 12 - 16
Wed 20 Jul 2:30 pm H Representative Bay of Plenty 09 - 32
Sat 23 Jul 2:30 pm A Div2 Sth-NPC Mid Canterbury 28 - 12
Wed 03 Aug 2:30 pm H Div2 Sth-NPC North Otago 07 - 00
Sat 13 Aug 2:30 pm A Div2 Sth-NPC(SS) Marlborough 08 - 15
Tue 23 Aug 2:30 pm H Div2 Sth-NPC South Canterbury 03 - 10
Sat 27 Aug 2:30 pm H Div2 Sth-NPC(SS) West Coast 21 - 09
Tue 13 Sep 2:30 pm H Representative Canterbury XV 00 - 18


The 1983 was a season to savour in many ways. Although marginally more games were lost than were won ( 5 Wins from 12 games), Buller again deprived Marlborough of the Seddon Shield and this time held it beyond the first defence, easily repulsing West Coast’s challenge by 21-9.

Another interesting and unusual facet to the season was Buller’s hosting of Meiji University, a very strong Rugby team from Japan who toured New Zealand during the season.

David Baird became recognized as the rightful Buller fullback and major contributor of points with his ability to attempt (and succeed with) kicks at goal, previously deemed unlikely if not impossible. His 26 successful shots at goal, including 23 penalties, was a new record for Buller and he brought up his century of points for Buller in his third season in the Representative team.

Rex Mumm played only one game for the season, that against South Canterbury, but that was enough to allow him to kick the one penalty needed to take him over his double century for Buller.

The team had a generally settled look, apart from injuries, with the backs being built around John Gilbert, David Baird, John McArthur, Grant James, Charlie Neighbours, Gary Donaldson, Michael Bonisch and Lex Powell.

Of the 77 back selections during this season, these players accounted for all but twelve.

The forwards were solidly based on Richard Banks, Wayne Neville, Mark Caldwell, Graeme Anderson, Kevin Wrathall, Robert and Glenn Elley, Duncan Annandale with Murray Dickson and Piet Groot sharing one locking position. Despite this settled appearance, Mark Caldwell was the only player to appear in all twelve games.

A major personal milestone was reached in the game against Mid-Canterbury when John Gilbert reached his 100th game for Buller. Gilbert had maintained his consistent form over thirteen seasons since being first selected in 1971 and reaching his century of games (the first player to do so since Orlando Nahr) was a worthy tribute to both his fitness and prowess over the period.

Matches played were:-

v East Coast at Westport Won 24-0
v Meiji University at Westport Won 13-7
v West Coast at Greymouth Lost 10-18
v Nelson-Bays at Nelson Lost 0-24
v Southland at Westport Lost 12-16
v Bay of Plenty at Westport Lost 9-32
v Mid-Canterbury at Ashburton Lost 12-28
v North Otago at Westport Won 7-0
v Marlborough at Blenheim Won 15-8 {Seddon Shield}
v South Canterbury at Westport Lost 3-10
v West Coast at Westport Won 21-9 {Seddon Shield}
v Canterbury XV at Westport Lost 0-18

Scorers were:-

v East Coast: Charlie Neighbours (2 tries), Grant James (2 tries), Michael Bonisch (try, 2 conversions)
v Meiji University: Wayne Neville (try), Lex Powell (try), John McArthur (conversion), David Baird (penalty)
v West Coast: David Baird (try, 2 penalties)
v Nelson-Bays: No scorers
v Southland: David Baird (4 penalties)
v Bay of Plenty: David Baird (3 penalties)
v Mid-Canterbury: David Baird (4 penalties)
v North Otago: Charlie Neighbours (try), David Baird (penalty)
v Marlborough: David Baird (5 penalties)
v South Canterbury: Rex Mumm (penalty)
v West Coast: Charlie Neighbours (try), Grant James (try), David Baird (2 conversions, 3 penalties)
v Canterbury XV: No scorers