~ 2021 ~ Heartland

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



2021 Status:
Heartland Championship
Founded 1894– (affiliated NZRU 1894)
H.W. (Hugh) McMillan
A.C. (Andrew) Duncan
Justin “Gus” Martyn
Assistant Coach:
T.T. (Ti’i) Paulo
Main ground:
Victoria Square, Westport
Cardinal and Blue


Buller finished second last in the Heartland Championship without a win in their eight games.

Their best performances were in their final two matches when they led West Coast 11-7 at halftime and were only 3-8 down at halftime against Mid Canterbury. Two problems that persisted throughout the season were turnovers conceded and missed tackles.

The forward pack did sterling work securing enough ball for the backs, including against the two eventual finalists South Canterbury and Thames Valley, with strong set pieces in the scrum and lineout.

Captain and hooker Anthony Ellis was always prominent and played his 50th match in the last game, and with props Jacob Wetere, Tuala Tauasosi and Tim Dallison formed an effective front row in the scrums and with ball carrying in general play. Phil Beveridge, who last appeared in 2017, came back for one match on account of injuries.

Locks Caleb Havili, Jeff Lepa, Sam Godwin and Isei Lewaqai were proven ball winners in the lineout and with a high workrate around the field. Samoan international Lepa unfortunately suffered injury in the second match which ruled him out for the rest of the season, while Lewaqai also filled in at blindside flanker.

The loose forwards Petrus “Gabba” De Kock, Kahu Parata and Kyle Te Tai were of great value together, being never far from the ball.

There were some talented backs out wide but the backline overall was less effective than it could have been. The wings Mitieli Kaloudigibeci and Iliesa Tora started to receive more ball as the season went along and the loss to injury of the attacking fullback Alex Paterson for the season, after the Thames Valley match, was a blow.

Logan Heath shored up the midfield with his strong defence and Erenimo Tau arrived midseason to add more attacking thrust. The backline functionality seemed to be better when Andrew Norton-Taylor, who last appeared in 2012, was moved into first five-eighth. The two halfbacks Thor Manawatu and Jack Ferguson appeared to be on a rotation policy.


Sat 31 Jul 2:00 pm H Pre-Season Tasman Development XV 07 - 47
Sat 07 Aug 2:30 pm H Pre-Season North Canterbury 07 - 41
Sat 18 Sep 2:30 pm H Heartland Championship South Canterbury 13 - 48
Sat 25 Sep 2:30 pm A Heartland Championship Poverty Bay 76 - 14
Sat 02 Oct 2:00 pm A Heartland Championship Thames Valley 30 - 15
Sat 09 Oct 2:30 pm H Heartland Championship Horowhenua Kapiti 12 - 27
Sat 16 Oct 2:30 pm A Heartland Championship East Coast 50 - 26
Sat 23 Oct 1:00 pm H Heartland Championship North Otago 29 - 45
Sat 30 Oct 2:30 pm H Heartland Championship/Rundle Cup West Coast 14 - 22
Sat 06 Nov 2:00 pm A Heartland Championship Mid Canterbury 22 - 03