WEST COAST COLOURS: RED AND WHITE HOOPS
(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selectors: Messrs. R.R.King, W.Williams and B.Kelly
Difficulties of isolation threaten Rugby Union on the West Coast, and again the only Unions to meet the Coast representatives were Buller (thrice) and Canterbury (twice). Efforts will need to be made to meet the special circumstances which exist, and so give the game a “boost,” and raise the standard both of team and of individual play. There have been, and still are, good players, and keen administrators on the West Coast, but further interest from major Unions is necessary.
During the season 28 players were called on for the matches, and ten of these were making a first appearance. In the forwards, particularly, the Coast experienced an influx of new blood, four new forwards being called on in the opening match, and two more in later games. Birchfield retired during the season, after having represented West Coast in 52 First-Class matches since 1936. The only experienced forwards then remaining were the Eastgate brothers, Nelson, who captained the side, Pather and Fisher. One factor against efficient scrummaging was the constant changing round of the positions players occupied in the pack.
Nelson was a hard-working and solid last man down, R.Eastgate developed into a good side-ranker, Herrick, a new representative only 18 years old, was an efficient lock or siderow man, and Panther again rendered sound support from the front row, whilst Mettrick held the hooking position throughout. A new representative in Hornby stood out as a hard-working lock, with Lines and Wells two other newcomers to give promise of developing into valuable forwards. Hagen, who represented only in the final game, had previously appeared for the Coast in 1943.
The side was well served in the backs, with Lindbom again in very good form at fullback, Walker, a classy and capable all-round centre, Amberger, a good utility back, and Hurren, at halfback. The five-eighths positions presented most difficulty, experienced players in Dewar, Gillan and Olsen filling the positions in some matches, with a promising young player, Breeze, 19 years old, giving indications of good all-round ability. The Stoop brothers were capable wings, with Rex also a sound inside back. A cousin, A.E.Stoop, appeared in the first match only. Hamilton, a 1945 representative, was halfback in the first game, L.H.Silcock, wing-three quarter in past years, had transferred to Thames Valley.
An interesting feature of the Seddon Shield Challenge was the appearance of young Steel, who had been with Sydenham Club, Christchurch, the previous year; D.H.Steel is a son of the famous West Coast wing and All Black of former days, Jack Steel.
The only West Coast players to appear in main New Zealand Trials were Walker, Lindbom, Amberger, and R.R.Eastgate, the first name being most unfortunate in missing the later Trials owing to injury.
Rex M.Stoop (Hokitika Kiwi)
E.G.Walker (Hokitika Excelsior)
Merle Stoop (Hokitika Kiwi)
D.H.Steel (Greymouth Star)
W.H.Amberger (Hokitika Excelsior)
Arthur E.Stoop (Hokitika. Excelsior)
J.Gillan (Greymouth United)
C.D.Dewar (Greymouth United)
E.H.Andrews (Hokitika Excelsior)
R.L.Breeze (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
W.J.Hamilton (Greymouth Celtic)
P.T.Hurren (Hokitika Kiwi)
R.R.Eastgate (Hokitika Kiwi)
P.B.Eastgate (Hokitika Kiwi)
Basil Mettriek (Cobden)
G.W.Nelson (Greymouth Star)
J.J.Henderson (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
K.M.(“Mac”)Wells (Hokitika Excelsior)
Played 5; Won 1; Lost 4 ; Points: For 44; Against 100
June 7 v CANTERBURY, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 3 to 22
Arthur E.Stoop, try
Referee: Mr.A.S.Fong (West Coast)
June 26 v BULLER, at Westport Won 15 to 12
Merle Steep, R.R.Eastgate and A.P.Panther, tries
C.D.Dewar andG.W.Nelson, penalty goals.
July 17 v BULLER, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 6 to 13
Merle Stoop and Basil Mettriek, tries.
Referee: Mr.R.Marshall (Buller).
July 31 v CANTERBURY (New Zealand Trial), at Christchurch Lost 14 to 32
E.G.Walker and M.W.Herrick , tries
J.H.Lindbom, 2 penalty goals and conversion
September 18, v. BULLER (Selldon Shield), at Westport Lost 6 to 21
W.H.Amberger, dropped goal