~ 1998 ~ 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)
Mr B.Stewart
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue


Sun 10 May 2:30 pm H Representative West Coast 16 - 06
Sat 30 May 2:30 pm A Seddon Shield Nelson Bays 29 - 03
Mon 01 Jun 2:30 pm H Seddon Shield West Coast 22 - 16
Sat 22 Aug 2:30 pm A Div3 - NPC Horowhenua Kapiti 32 - 19
Sat 29 Aug 2:30 pm H Div3 - NPC East Coast 12 - 25
Sat 05 Sep 2:30 pm A Div3 - NPC West Coast 30 - 15
Sat 12 Sep 2:30 pm H Div3 - NPC North Otago 17 - 36
Sat 19 Sep 2:30 pm A Div3 - NPC Mid Canterbury 55 - 05
Sat 26 Sep 2:30 pm H Div3 - NPC Horowhenua Kapiti 07 - 16
Sat 03 Oct 2:30 pm H Div3 - NPC South Canterbury 15 - 23
Sat 10 Oct 2:30 pm A Div3 - NPC Poverty Bay 32 - 21

THE 1998 SEASON: excerpt from Rugby Almanac 1999

Although a small union, Buller produced some attractive rugby during 1998 and the players showed pride in representing the region, displaying commitment and determination that some stronger teams would envy. With only four clubs, Buller again joined neighbours West Coast for an early-season combined competition. This is proving successful with players competing against different opposition from fellow Westport players, so many of whom had played together since high school days. The combined competition has also raised the standard of rugby in both unions.

Preferring to provide maximum opportunities for players within the union, Buller this season had no loan players from Canterbury. They failed to win any NPC matches but defeated West Coast twice early in the season. The best performances in the championship came in the matches against Horowhenua Kapiti. A long, wet winter resulted in training being held on sodden grounds and at one stage Victoria Square was unusable and the match against East Coast had to be transferred to the local high school ground.

Buller lost the services of Nathan Peipi (to Marlborough), Robert Cook (injured), Tony Mason and Chris Alexander from the previous year, although Alexander returned when halfback Dean Lamplough was injured late in the season.

Jarrod Southon was a clever runner at first five-eighth and when the 21-year-old moved to fullback he showed out as one of the most dangerous attacking fullbacks in the third division. The experienced Tony Pratt and Craig Neill, promising centre Damien Warren and wings Cyril Waldren and Warren Hall completed a useful backline. Matt Cottrell-Jury, a 17-year-old Buller High School student, showed considerable promise behind the scrum.

Thomas Stuart, who played his 100th NPC game during the year, again captained the team and although the 34-year-old had lost some pace he remains a grand leader and an inspiration to the younger players. Another veteran, John Brazil returned to the front row after a season’s absence. Gerard O’Connor and Craig Scanlon were the regular flankers with newcomer Matt Hart used frequently as a substitute. At lock, Steve Dellaca was joined by Verrin Robertson, a 21-year-old and the first representative from the Reefton club since 1990, who showed excellent skill in the lineout and in general play.

Buller’s most consistent performer was hard-working hooker Teiri Tinomana, a saw-miller from the remote settlement of Karamea, a 90-minute drive north of Westport. The third division enables players such as Tinomana the opportunity to see New Zealand, an opportunity which amalgamations of unions may prohibit. His willingness to travel long hours on winding roads for both club and representative rugby may be overlooked if the NPC is restructured.