~ 1984 ~ 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

Back to Year by Year Index click here



Founded 1894 – (affiliated NZRU 1894)
Rodney Dawe
Barry Townrow
Mr M.J.Woollett
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue


Wed 09 May 2:30 pm H Representative West Australia 06 - 09
Sat 19 May 2:30 pm H Representative Thames Valley 10 - 10
Mon 04 Jun 2:30 pm H Div2 Sth-NPC Nelson Bays 16 - 04
Sat 23 Jun 2:30 pm A Div2 Sth-NPC West Coast 06 - 04
Sat 07 Jul 2:30 pm H Representative NZ Juniors 09 - 33
Wed 18 Jul 2:30 pm H Div2 Sth-NPC Mid Canterbury 09 - 07
Sat 28 Jul 2:30 pm H Seddon Shield West Coast 06 - 04
Wed 08 Aug 2:30 pm A Ranfurly Shield Canterbury 57 - 13
Sat 25 Aug 2:30 pm H Div2 Sth-NPC Marlborough 09 - 39
Sat 08 Sep 2:30 pm A Div2 Sth-NPC South Canterbury 22 - 21
Wed 12 Sep 2:30 pm A Div2 Sth-NPC Southland 34 - 06
Sat 15 Sep 2:30 pm A Div2 Sth-NPC North Otago 09 - 17


1984 was a crowded season full of interest for Buller Rugby supporters. Visits from Western Australia and Thames Valley, neither of whom had previously visited Westport, along with a match against New Zealand Juniors, a Ranfurly Shield challenge (the support for which necessitated a special train being chartered) and two Seddon Shield matches made this a very full season.

Buller’s major achievement in the 1984 season was to maintain its Second Division status, the drop into Division III being avoided by virtue of victories over Nelson-Bays, North Otago and Mid-Canterbury.

The Seddon Shield was retained for one further game when West Coast were beaten in a cliff-hanger finish. Buller dominated the entire game but simply could not get the ball over the West Coast line.

Finally, when all hope seemed gone, a drop goal from Michael Bonisch retained the Shield for Buller. However, in the next defence, Marlborough, who were clearly the strongest overall team in the Seddon Shield area in the 1980s, were far too strong and took the shield 39-9.

Another notable visiting team was the 1984 New Zealand Juniors, a team which included such illustrious names as Grant Fox, Steve McDowell, Andy Earl, Kurt Sherlock and Dale Atkins, all of whom played against Buller.

From the players’ point of view, the major highlight must have been the opportunity to play on Lancaster Park in the Ranfurly Shield challenge against Canterbury. Although that encounter was lost 57-13, Buller put up one of the best performances of the season against one of the best Canterbury teams ever, which was then at the peak of its powers.

The Ranfurly Shield challenge also had a personal note to it as this game was Richard Banks’ 50th game for Buller

Matches played were:

v Western Australia at Westport Lost 6-9
v Thames Valley at Westport Drew 10-10
v Nelson-Bays at Westport Won 16-4
v West Coast at Greymouth Lost 4-6
v New Zealand Juniors at Westport Lost 9-33
v Mid-Canterbury at Westport Won 9-7
v West Coast at Westport  Won 6-4
v Canterbury at Christchurch Lost 13-57 {Ranfurly Shield}
v Marlborough at Westport Lost 9-39 {Seddon Shield}
v South Canterbury at Timaru Lost 21-22
v Southland at Invercargill Lost 6-34
v North Otago at Oamaru Won 17-9

Scorers were:

v Western Australia: John McArthur (try), David Baird (conversion)
v Thames Valley: Lex Powell (try), David Baird (2 penalties)
v Nelson-Bays: Richard Banks (try), Mark Macintosh (try), David Baird (conversion,2 penalties)
v West Coast: Michael Bonisch (try)
v New Zealand Juniors: David Baird (3 penalties)
v Mid-Canterbury: David Baird (try, conversion, penalty)
v West Coast: Rex Mumm (penalty), Michael Bonisch (drop goal)
v Canterbury: Mark Macintosh (try), David Baird (penalty, 2 drop goals)
v Marlborough: David Baird (2 penalties, drop goal)
v South Canterbury: Michael Kissell (try), Penalty Try, David Baird (2 conversions, 2 drop goals, penalty)
v Southland: David Baird (2 penalties)
v North Otago: Mark Caldwell (try), Mark Macintosh (try), David Baird (penalty, 2 drop goals)