Posts Tagged With: greymouth

“Robert Messenger Bio”


You may have seen his name in dispatches recently . 

He has sent us this interesting and informative bio on himself as we look forward to some more pearls of history that have been forgotten and that Robert is now bringing bringing back to the forefront in our 125th Anniversary year.



Blaketown primary school under 5 stone 1958

I was born in Greymouth in 1948 and attended Blaketown Primary and Greymouth High schools.

Played rugby for Blaketown 1956-67, West Coast under-18s 1965-66, but was advised by brother Ron, president of the NZRFU 1976, that my rugby future lay in writing about it rather than playing it. So this is how that all began:

In early 1958 Digby and Phil James imported an Original Heidelberg printing press from Germany to install at their print works opposite the Regent Theatre.

Before the machine was set in concrete at the works, they demonstrated it at the West Coast Agricultural and Industrial Fair at Victoria Park. It was operated by Brian McEnaney, a close family friend who worked for the Jameses. I was hypnotised by the machine, got printer’s ink in my blood, and from that time on was set on a career in the print industry.

My father had given me an Underwood Universal portable typewriter in 1957 and I had started to write rugby stories on it (at first for my own benefit only!) at age nine. For Christmas 1957, I was given Volume Two of Arthur Swan’s History of New Zealand Rugby, 37/6! It may sound sacrilegious, but that was my bible. Offset web printing enabled Volume One to be finally republished to mark the 75th anniversary of the NZRFU, which I covered for the Grey Star in 1967.


Brother Ron

One very important thing was that we were all encouraged to read back then, and the more we read, the better we were able to write. When I read The Wild West Coast, by Christchurch Press journalist Leslie Hobbs, published to mark the West Coast centenary in 1960, I was imbued with a love of history and how it could be written in an entertaining way.

After the Industries Fair episode, I “haunted” the James printworks every day after school for three years. Phil and Digby James, who had bought a full set of NZ Rugby Almanacks 1935-1959, strongly encouraged me to use their facilities and to submit pieces for West Coast representative match programmes. I started doing that in 1960, aged 12, for the match NSW Country v West Coast (I was also a ball boy for that match). I continued to write for the WCRFU programmes through into 1961.

I started high school the next year and using my typewriter started writing “Rugby News” for GHS distribution (it went into the GHS library – I still have bits and pieces of copies). I also actually wrote to Rugby World in London in 1960, but wasn’t published by them back then. But I kept the “rejection slip”.

Having set my path on a sports writing career, my parents, brother Ron, his friends the McEnaneys, and the Jameses were all very supportive. Through their many connections I got to meet people such as Ron King, Bob Scott (also had a menswear store, in Wellington), Charlie Saxton (Rotary colleague of my dad), Frank Freitas (fishing mate of my dad), Fred Allen (my first cousin Bob Harvey was a trainer of the Auckland rep team in the late 50s) and 1953-54 AB Doug Wilson (a travelling tie salesman).

One of my most treasured possessions is a photo of George Nepia and Bob Scott together (below) , taken in 1954, bought by me in Gisborne in 1960 for 12 shillings, and through Doug Wilson, autographed by Bob Scott (who also gave me a silver fern badge) and taken by 1924-28 All Black Ian Harvey to George Nepia and also signed by Nepia. I still have the covering letter from Ian Harvey, and one from Bob Scott. I also met Teddy Isaacs, member of a famous Otago rugby family who was briefly editor pro tem of the Grey Star, and of course Russell Nelson, who gave me my first job at the Star when I left school at the end of 1965.


George Nepia and Bob Scott


Father Wally Messenger

In late 1967 I was recruited by Terry McLean to join the New Zealand Herald sports staff, then in 1970 I joined The Australian in Sydney as a sports columnist. In 1974 I became rugby correspondent for the Irish Press in Dublin, and travelled the world covering Irish rugby.

I was also Irish rugby writer for the Sunday Times in London and editor of Irish Rugby magazine. I returned to Australia in late 1979 and became sports editor of the Sunday Independent in Western Australia and the Sunday Sun in Brisbane. During that time I was on the executive of the WARFU and the Wests club in Brisbane. In 1991 I was festival director for the International Golden Oldies in Perth. I formed the Senior Citizens’ Rugby Union Movement (SCRUM) in WA.

The last 17 years of my career, 1997-2014, I was with The Canberra Times, mostly as a sport columnist. I covered the 2003 Rugby World Cup and Super 12 for The Canberra Times.

Sorry if you’ve found all this a bit boring, but I like to think that coming from the background I had in Greymouth, with my own family’s connections and the friendship and encouragement of people like the Rochfords and Harveys, Jameses and McEnaneys, then working with such a brilliant team of journalists at the Grey Star, enabled me to enjoy the career I had.

I grew up with a passion for rugby, and for writing, and the Greymouth environment fully nurtured that. It stood me in excellent stead for the career I’d set my heart on, and went on to have.


Robert Messenger


Categories: West Coast RFU | Tags: , , , , ,


_logoNewAcknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

 Back to Year by Year Index click here

1966 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selector: Mr.R.R.King

In a limited programme , West Coast defeated Buller twice, but had no other success. The inability of a number of players to appear more often, due largely to injuries, resulted in 30 players being called on for the live matches, meaning that it was well nigh impossible to achieve any real combination. A light pack could not cope with the Canterbury and Marlborough forward strength, and as a result the backs had few chances.

Wright captained the team, and with MacRae, the other early side-ranker, showed up in the loose. Maughan was played at No.8, and Olson, as hooker. Dixon, 1964 Manawatu representative, was a welcome addition to the team, both as a prop and as an all-round forward. The Baty’s were the usual locks, Rogers being available only on two occasions. Forsyth was a 1964 representative, McDonald, a 1964 Horowhenua prop, and Ross, who played once, had last represented the Coast in 1962. Johnson, a neat half-back, and Gray who was in good form on the wing, were the only members of the team to appear in all live matches. Beams was a sound five-eighth, twice partnered by Conradson, McAra being seldom available. Davies also filled an inside back position quite ably.

Only five of the 29 players were new to representative Rugby, Halsall having represented Buller the previous season. Gray, McAra, Conradson, Beams, Dixon, MacRae, Rogers, Caldwell, McDonald, and a new side-ranker, Everett, all played in matches for the Buller-West Coast combination.

1966 Squad

A.G.King (Greymouth Star)
A.D.Henderson (Hokitika Kiwi)
B.J.Conradson (Greymouth Marists)
Michael A.Gray (Hokitika Kiwi)
Kenneth McNee (Hokitika Excelsior)
T.E.McLean (Greymouth Star)
L.B.Halsall (Hokitika Excelsior)
K.J.J.Beams (Greymouth Marists)
J.A.Davies (Greymouth Star)
T.N.McAra (Greymouth Marists)
B.W.Johnson (Hokitika Excelsior)
P.W.Veale (Harihari)
J.A.L.Wright (Hokitika Excelsior)
R.W.Baty (Hokitika Kiwi)
V.K.Baty (Hokitika Excelsior)
M.S.MacRae (Harihari)
B.E.Caldwell (Greymouth Marists)
J.W.Olson (Hokitika Excelsior)
K.J.Dixon (Hokitika Excelsior)
J.B.Maughan (Greymouth Marists)
T.E.Rogers (Hokitika Kiwi)
T.T.McDonald (Harihari)
L.J.Everett (Greymouth United)
Robert Forsyth (Blaketown)
M.G.Sturgeon (Greymouth United)
D.H.Minchin (Greymouth Star)
L.J.Trowbridge (Blaketown)
K.J.Heveldt (Hokitika St.Mary’s)
B.L.Ross (Hokitika Excelsior)


Played 5 ; Won 2 ; Lost 3 ; Points: For 45 ; Against 96

April 25 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 0 to 41
Referee: Mr.J.C.Reynish (West Coast)

May 28 v BULLER at Westport Won 8 to 6
Michael A.Gray, try
J.W.Olson, penalty goal and conversion

June 11 v BULLER at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 17 to 15
Kenneth McNee, M.S.MacRae and J.A.L.Wright, tries
B.J.Conradson, 2 penalty goals and conversion
Referee: Mr.P.Reynolds (Buller)

August 13 v GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA at Motueka Lost 9 to 11
Robert Forsyth, try
T.N.McAra, dropped goal
M.G.Sturgeon, penalty goal

September 3 v MARLBOROUGH (Seddon Shield) at Blenheim Lost 11 to 23
J.A.Davies, try
B.J.Conradson dropped goal
A.D.Henderson, penalty goal and conversion


Selectors: Messrs. Robt.R.Dickson (Buller) and R.R.King (West Coast)

Once again the Westland Province’s two Unions were paired to meet opposition. Three matches were played, the first against the northern section of the Seddon Shield Districts, the second against British Isles, and the third against A Canterbury XV as a curtain-raiser to the Lions – Canterbury fixture. All the matches were lost

The 1966 WEST COAST – BULLER Squad

R.T.Dawe (Buller)
Brian Stack (Buller)
M.G.Head (Buller)
Michael A.Gray (West Coast)
W.N.Forsyth (Buller)
B.J.Conradson West Coast)
K.J.J.Beams (West Coast)
T.N.McAra (West Coast)

Mason Geddes (Buller)
J.W.Halsall (Buller)
T.A.Craddock (Buller) (Capt.)
O.H.Nahr (Buller)
T.E.Rogers (West Coast)
L.J.Everett West Coast)
K.J.Dixon (West Coast)

B.P.Roche (Buller)
T.T.McDonald (West Coast)
B.E.Caldwell (West Coast)

J.B.Shaw (Buller)
M.S.MacRae (West Coast)
C.R.F.Carlyon (Buller)
J.W.Olson (West Coast)


Played 3 ; Lost 3 ; Points: For 20 ; Against 67

June 15 v MARLBOROUGH, NELSON & GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA at Motueka Lost 9 to 34
Michael A.Gray, J.W.Halsall and L.J.Everett, tries

July 20 v BRITISH ISLES at Victoria Square, Westport Lost 6 to 25
Michael A.Gray, try
K.J.Dixon, penalty goal
Referee: Mr.L.C.Walker (South Canterbury)

July 23 v A CANTERBURY XV at Christchurch Lost 5 to 8
R.T.Dawe, try
K.J.Dixon, conversion

Categories: West Coast RFU, Year by Year | Tags: , , , ,


_logoNewAcknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

 Back to Year by Year Index click here


1963 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selectors: Messrs.L.W.Champion and L.F.Pegley

Able to hold its own with its neighbours in the Seddon Shield area, West Coast revealed its limitations when opposed to stronger sides such as Canterbury and New Zealand Maoris. A lack of weight in the pack meant less ball to the backs against such opposition, and bustling loose tactics whilst upsetting to a degree do not win matches. The fast and lively pack was made up of McHugh, the captain, and McPherson as experienced and hard-working props, with Richardson again the hooker; Rogers, a hard toiler, and a lock who occasionally played on the side, and who was named as a reserve for the South Island team; new representatives in Williams (6ft. 5in.lock) and Quintal (a side-ranker) ; MacRae, brother of the All Black (a promising No. 8); Vieceli and Wright, keen loose forwards, and Lindbom again a useful lock or prop.

The backs found it difficult to achieve combination, and in any case their role was largely a defensive one, King proved a reliable full-back, Ryall was a sound inside back and Bellis tried hard. Keehan, and a young new representative, Johnson, shared the halfback’s duties; a young 20-year old, Gray, shaped promisingly at centre, and another 20-year old Bruce.J.Brown was a speedy winger, who was later displaced by Barry.J.Brown. The previous season’s winger, Brian.J.Brown, had been transferred to Wellington.

Fourteen of the 30 players were new representatives, Gooch having last appeared in 1961 and James in 1960.

1963 Squad

A.G.Kini (Greymouth Star)
D.G.Mirfin (Cobden)
Bruce J.Brown (Blaketown)
M.A.Gray (Hokitika Kiwi)
Kenneth McNee (Blaketown)
W.A.R.James (St.Mary’s Old Boys)
Barry J.Brown (Greymouth Marist)
W.T.Ryall (Greymouth Marist)
M.W.Gooch (Hokitika Excelsior)
B.J.Conradson (Greymouth Marist)
M.G.Bellis (Blaketown)
B.G.Aitken (Hokitika Excelsior)
C.J.Mahuika (Hokitika Kiwi)
G.R.Keehan (Greymouth Marist)
B.W.Johnson (Hokitika Excelsior)
C.H.Quintal (Greymouth Star)
T.E.Rogers (Hokitika Kiwi)
K.J.Williams (Fox Glacier/Cobden)
P.G.Finch (Cobden)
B.J.Viecelli (Cobden)
S.E.McHugh (Hokitika Kiwi)
C.J.P.McPherson (Greymouth United)
Ralph Richardson (Greymouth Star)
J.A.L.Wright (Hokitika Excelsior)
M.S.MacRae (Cobden)
A.J.Lindbom (Cobden)
E.J.Steele (Hokitika Excelsior)
N.G.Bishop (Greymouth United)
J.F.Thompson (Blaketown)
N.R.McMillan (Greymouth Marist)


Played 9 ; Won 4 ; Lost 5 ; Points: For 95 ; Against 169

June 3 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 3 to 25
Kenneth McNee, try
Referee: Mr.J.J.Walton (West Coast)

June 29 v BULLER at Cass Square, Hokitika Won 8 to 6
M.G.Bellis, try
A.G.King, penalty goal and conversion
Referee: Mr.E.Lennon (Buller)

July 13 v BULLER at Westport Won 14 to 9
Kenneth McNee (2) and M.G.Bellis, tries
A.G.King, penalty goal and conversion

August 3 v NEW ZEALAND MAORI TEAM at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 8 to 53
M.A.Gray, try
A.G.King , penalty goal and conversion
Referee: Mr.K.C.Gawn (North Otago)

August 10 v NORTH OTAGO at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 27 to 14
M.A.Gray (2), W.T.Ryall (2), G.R.Keehan (penalty) and B. J. Viecelli, tries
A.G.King, penalty goal 3 conversions
Referee: Mr.R.G.Condliffe (West Coast)

August 24 v BULLER (Seddon Shield) at Westport Lost 6 to 9
A.G.King, dropped goal and penalty goal

August 31 v GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 14 to 3
D.G.Mirfin, Kenneth McNee and B.J.Viecelli, tries
C.J.P.McPherson, penalty goal and conversion
Referee: Mr.J.C.Reynish (West Coast)

September 21 v CANTERBURY at Christchurch Lost 9 to 30
Kenneth McNee and M.S.MacRae, tries
B.G.Aitken , penalty goal

September 28 v MID-CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 6 to 20
B.G.Aitken, try
A.G.King, penalty goal
Referee: Mr.J.J.Walton (West Coast)

Categories: West Coast RFU, Year by Year | Tags: , ,


_logoNewAcknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

 Back to Year by Year Index click here

1961 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selector: Mr.E.G.Walker

West Coast had a good season, being successful in all games except the two with Canterbury and that with Wellington, and as the successes included the winning of the Seddon Shield from Marlborough, the Union could feel well pleased. The team was much as the previous season, the forwards playing with vim and fire and the backs possessing ability, but also having weaknesses. Actually four of the regular backs were new, and of these, MacRae had some fine games at second five-eighth. Keehan was a capable half-back, with Ryall and Thomas defending well. McAra, a lively attacker, was prone to make too great a use of his boot and his outsides suffered as the result.

Hibbs impressed at centre, and Eathorne was eager for chances that seldom came; both were useful points-getters, registering 78 of Coast’s 138 between them; neither had appeared in 1960, but were representatives in 1959. Morton again captained the side and proved a tireless No.8. Vieceli and Ross were eager breakaways, Rogers in particular, but also Lindbom were sound locks, Richardson a first-class hooker, and Bergman and McPherson reliable and experienced props. Altogether of the 27 who represented, ten were in their first year. Of the remainder of the side, Inkster had previously represented in 1958.

During the season Chadwick removed to King Country. Rogers appeared in the South Island Trials.

1961 Squad

E.E.Thomas (Greymouth United)
L.R.H.Bunt (Greymouth Marist)
J.M.Eathorne (Greymouth Marist)
J.H.Wood (Cobden)
W.T.Ryall (Greymouth Marist)
C.A.Hibbs (Greymouth Star)
R.A.Dalton (Blaketown)
I.R.MacRae (Greymouth Marist)
T.N.McAra (Greymouth Marist)
M.W.Gooch (Hokitika Excelsior)
G.R.Keehan (Greymouth Marist)
S.J.Kermode (Hokitika Excelsior)
A.J.Goodall (Blaketown)
S.N.Morton (Hokitika Excelsior)
J.E.G.Chadwick (Hokitika Kiwi)
A.J.Lindbom (Cobden)
T.E.Rogers (Hokitika Kiwi)
B.J.Vieceli (Blaketown)
C.J.P.McPherson (Greymouth United)
Ralph Richardson (Greymouth Star)
D.W.Bergman (St. Mary’s Old Boys)
B.L.Ross (Hokitika Excelsior)
R.N.Inkster (Blaketown)
J.B.Maughan (Greymouth Marist)
W.F.Bell (Blaketown)
J.A.L.Wright (Hokitika Excelsior)
C.J.Nightingale (Hokitika Excelsior)


Played 10 ; Won 6 ; Drew 1 ; Lost 3 ; Points: For 138 ; Against 86

June 5 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 9 to 14
C.A.Hibbs, try and penalty goal
T.N.McAra, dropped goal
Referee: Mr.J.Corkill (West Coast)

June 17 v BULLER at Cass Square, Hokitika Won 16 to 8
C.A.Hibbs, B.J.Vieceli and B.L.Ross, tries
C.A.Hibbs, penalty goal and 2 conversions
Referee: Mr.J.D.Last (Buller)

July 15 v BULLER at Westport Won 8 to 5
Ralph Richardson, try
C.A.Hibbs, penalty goal and conversion

August 26 v CANTERBURY at Christchurch Lost 8 to 14
J.M.Eathorne, try
T.N.McAra, dropped goal
C.A.Hibbs, conversion

August 30 v A WELLINGTON XV at Cass Square, Hokitika Lost 5 to 11
G.R.Keehan, try
C.A.Hibbs, conversion
Referee: Mr.J.Corkill (West Coast)

September 2 v GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 33 to 3
T.N.McAra, B.L.Ross, C.J.P.McPherson, J.M.Eathorne, I.R.MacRae and R.A.Dalton, tries
A.J.Goodall, dropped goal; J.M.Eathorne, 2 penalty goals and 3 conversions
Referee: Mr.J.J.Walton (West Coast)

September 9 v MARLBOROUGH (Seddon Shield) at Blenheim Won 14 to 6
W.T.Ryall and T.N.McAra, tries
J.M.Eathorne, 2 penalty goals and conversion

September 16 v WAIRARAPA at Masterton Won 17 to 3
J.M.Eathorne, C.A.Hibbs and S.N.Morton, tries
J.M.Eathorne, 2 penalty goals and conversion

September 20 v BUSH at Eketahuna Drew 14 to 14
J.H.Wood and M.W.Gooch, tries
J.M.Eathorne, 2 penalty goals and conversion

September 23 v HOROWHENUA at Levin Won 14 to 8
J.M.Eathorne, D.W.Bergman and C.A.Hibbs, tries
T.N.McAra, dropped goal; J.M.Eathorne, conversion.

Categories: West Coast RFU, Year by Year | Tags: , ,


_logoNewAcknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

 Back to Year by Year Index click here

1956 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selector: Mr.B.Watkin

Being successful in half of the fixtures, and ending the season holding the Seddon Shield, this Union enjoyed a much more profitable season than in 1955. A fiery, if light, pack was supported by enterprising backs, with McNabb a sound fullback, and a splendid touch-finder and goal kick; McEnaney prominent on the left wing; and Dawson and Negri lively inside backs. Eastgate, back after a season in Auckland, captained the side, the other leading forwards being Ross, the other front-row prop, Bird and Egerton at lock, Ferguson, the hooker, Inkster and Foster on the side, and Gardiner, a new rep., at the back of the scrum.

The 33 players called on included seven new representatives, Venis and Punch having last appeared for Coast in 1954, and McCone in 1953, whilst Champion had played for Nelson in 1954. A loss from the previous season was the transfer of J. A. Dawson to Wellington. Gugich, Williams, Negri, Bird, Bebbington (a new rep.), Foster, Egerton, Ross, McNabb, Inkster, Champion and McEnaney were members of the combined West Coast-Bullet side. Foster played in the South Island Trial.

1956 Squad

K.J.Brown (Hokitika St.Mary’s Old Boys)
A.J.Lindbom (Greymouth Star)
F.W.Gugich (Hokitika Excelsior)
C.W.Thorpe (Hokitika Excelsior)
A.J.McEnaney (Blaketown)
R.D.Hyndman (Hokitika Excelsior)
E.G.Walker (Hokitika Excelsior)
J.M.Patrick (Greymouth United)
N.K.Williams (Greymouth United)
L.E.Stratford (Greymouth United)
A.W.Negri (Blaketown)
A.A.McNabb (Hokitika Excelsior)
A.G.Dawson (Blaketown)
L.W.Champion (Greymouth M.B.O.B.)
A.R.Taylor (Hokitika Kiwi)
M.G.Bellis (Inangahua Junction)
G.S.Coleman (Hokitika Excelsior)
N.R.Venis (Ikamatua)
N.J.S.Bebbington (Hokitika St.Mary’s Old Boys)
A.J.Krakosky (Cobden)
G.O.Ferguson (Hokitika Excelsior)
R.R.Eastgate (Hokitika Kiwi)
B.L.Ross (Hokitika Excelsior)
P.J.Punch (Hokitika St.Mary’s Old Boys)
T.I.Egerton (Cobden)
K.C.Foster (Hokitika St.Mary’s Old Boys)
T.A.Bird (Blaketown)
R.R.Gardiner (Greymouth M.B.O.B.)
R.N.Inkster (Blaketown)
A.A.McCone (Cobden)
C.J.P.McPherson (Greymouth United)
J.Reid (Cobden)
G.A.Fyall (Greymouth Star)


Played 8; Won 4; Lost 4. Points: For 117 ; Against 150

May 5 v BULLER at Westport Won 17 to 14
R.R.Eastgate, F.W.Gugich, C.W.Thorpe and N.K.Williams, tries
K.J.Brown, penalty goal and conversion

May 26 v BULLER at Cass Square, Hokitika Lost 5 to 14
F.W.Gugich, try
K.J.Brown, conversion
Referee: Mr.J.B.Hughes (Buller)

June 4 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 12 to 8
C.W.Thorpe and A.J.McEnaney, tries
A.A.McNabb, 2 penalty goals
Referee: Mr.H.E.Ellis (West Coast)

June 23 v NEW ZEALAND MAORI TEAM at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 20 to 26
J.Reid and A.W.Negri, tries
A.A.McNabb, 4 penalty goals and conversion
Referee: Mr.I.W.Webby (Nelson)

September 5 v CANTERBURY (Ranfurly Shield) at Christchurch Lost 17 to 38
R.N.Inkster, try
A.A.McNabb 4 penalty goals and conversion

September 8 v GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA (Seddon Shield) at Motueka Won 6 to 3
L.W.Champion, dropped goal
A.A.McNabb, penalty goal

September 20 v SOUTHLAND at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 19 to 14
N.K.Williams, A.J.McEnaney and A.R.Taylor, tries
A.A.McNabb, 2 penalty goals and 2 conversions
Referee: Mr.A.V.O’Brien (West Coast)

October 6 v CENTURIONS CLUB at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 21 to 33
E.G.Walker, A.W.Negri, J.M.Patrick and R.R.Gardiner, tries
A.A.McNabb, penalty goal and 3 conversions
Referee: Mr.A.R.Lindbom (West Coast)


Selectors: Messrs. B.Watkin (West Coast) and G.A.Orman and Oliver Smallholme (Buller)

Once again Buller and West Coast were in partnership, and besides competing against the combined northern Seddon Shield Districts XV. and the New Zealand Maori team met the visiting South Africans. Except for a draw in the first engagement, the side was not strong enough to present anything more than token resistance.


Played 3 ; Drew 1 ; Lost 2 ; Points: For 15 ; Against 55

June 20 v NELSON, MARLBOROUGH & GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA at Nelson Drew 6 to 6
S.P.Orman, try
A.A.McNabb, penalty goal

June 27 v NEW ZEALAND MAORI TEAM at Victoria Square, Westport Lost 3 to 22
S.P.Orman, try
Referee: V.J.Jackson (Marlborough)

July 25 v SOUTH AFRICA at Victoria Square, Westport Lost 6 to 27
B.L.Ross, try
A.A.McNabb, penalty goal
Referee: Mr.W.J.D.McGonagle (Wanganui)

1956 West Coast-Buller XV Squad :

A.A.McNabb (West Coast)
F.W.Gugich (West Coast)

J.Ross Burrow (Buller)
A.J.McEnaney (West Coast)
N.K.Williams (West Coast)
L.W.Champion (West Coast)

M.G.White (Buller)
M.J.Easton (Buller)
J.H.Hunt (Buller)
A.W.Negri (West Coast)
N.J.S.Bebbington (West Coast)

P.L.Dent (Buller)
T.A.Bird (West Coast)
K.C.Foster (West Coast)
T.I.Egerton (West Coast)

A.R.Hawes (Buller)
S.P.Orman (Buller)
J.B.Shaw (Buller)
J.H.Duncan (Buller)
B.L.Ross (West Coast)
R.N.Inkster (West Coast)

O.H.Nahr (Buller)
Geo.Anderson (Buller)
J.E.Cockfield (Buller)

Categories: West Coast RFU, Year by Year | Tags: , , ,


_logoNewAcknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:

 Back to Year by Year Index click here

1955 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selector: Mr.B.Watkin

A small programme provided West Coast with little opportunity to develop into a side fit to tackle the Ranfurly Shield , and when in addition there was a gap of over two month between the previous game and the Shield challenge, the isolation of the Coast is emphasized. West Coast played its Seddon Shield challenge on July 23, and its next fixture was the match at Christchurch on September 27. Another difficulty was that 34 players were called on for the five games, and 15 of them were making their first appearance in representative Rugby. The only old reps. to appear regularly were Gugich, Bird and A.Dawson in all games, Williams and Foster in four games, and Ross and Nelson in three. J. H. Lindbom, Walker and Mathieson reappeared after a year’s break, whilst Krakosky had last represented in 1951.

McEnaney was a member of the New Zealand Colts touring team. A. J. Lindbom, Williams, Bird, Foster and Egerton were members of the West Coast and Buller Combined XV which played the Australians at Greymouth. R.R.Eastgate, of the 1954 team, had moved to Auckland.

1955 Squad
K.J.Brown (Hokitika St.Mary’s O.B.)
J.H.Lindbom (Cobden)
A.A.McNabb (Hokitika Excelsior)
A.J.McEnaney (Blaketown)
F.W.Gugich (Hokitika Excelsior)
J.E.Gillan (Greymouth United)
C.W.Thorpe (Hokitika Excelsior)
A.J.Lindbom. (Greymouth Star)
A.G.Dawson (Blaketown)
E.G.Walker (Hokitika Excelsior)
N.K.Williams (Greymouth United)
A.W.Negri (Blaketown)
L.E.Stratford (Greymouth Star)
J.R.Steel (Blaketown)
Gordon Richardson (Blaketown)
J.A.Dawwon (Greymouth United)
G.S.Coleman (Hokitika Excelsior)
T.A.Bird (Blaketown)
T.I.Egerton (Cobden)
S.M.Richards (Greymouth Star)
R.N.Inkster {Blaketown)
K.C.Foster (Hokitika St.Mary’s O.B.)
G.W.Nelson (Greymouth Star)
Ralph Richardson (Greymouth Star)
G.M.Mooney (Greymouth M.B.O.B.)
G.A.Fyall (Greymouth Star)
Lawrence Burling (Hokitika St.Mary’s O.B.)
C.J.P.McPherson (Greymouth United)
G.T.Mathieison (Blaketown)
B.L.Ross (Hokitika Excelsior)
K.P.Henderson (Hokitika St.Mary’s O.B.)
A.J.Krakosky (Cobden)
L.B.De Goldi (Cobden)
G.O.Ferguson (Hokitika Excelsior)


Played 5; Lost, 5 ; Points: For 31 ; Against 75

June 6 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 0 to 17
Referee: Mr.A.V.O’Brien (West Coast)

June 18 v BULLER at Cass Square, Hokitika Lost 3 to 15
J.H.Lindbom, penalty goal

Referee: Mr.J.B.Hugh (Buller)

July 2 v BULLER at Westport Lost 6 to 9
C.Thorpe, try
J.H.Lindbom, penalty goal

July 23 v NELSON (Seddon Shield) at Nelson Lost 11 to 14
N.K.Williams, try
K.J.Brown and A.G.Dawson penalty goals
K.J.Brown, conversion

September 27 v CANTERBURY (Ranfurly Shield) Christchurch Lost 11 to 20
F.W.Gugich and R.N.Inkster tries
A.A.McNabb, penalty goal and conversion


Colours : RED & BLUE Hoops
Selectors: Messrs. B. Watkin (West Coast) and Robt.Dickson (Buller)

Partners on many occasions, these two Unions met the visiting Australians in difficult conditions. There was no scoring after halftime, the local pack dominating the play.


August 27, v. AUSTRALIA, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 3 to 13
T.A.Bird, try
Referee: Mr.E.W.T.Tindall (Wellington)

The side was:
D.Peter Mumm (Buller)
J.Ross Burrow (Buller)
J.R.McArthur (Buller)
A. J. Lindbom (West Coast)
N.K.Williams (West Coast)

Campbell Stewart(Buller)
Brinley Tyler (Buller)
T.A.Bird (West Coast)
K.C.Foster (West Coast)

J.E.Cockfield (Buller)
T.I.Egerton (West Coast)
G.Anderson (Buller)
J.B.Shaw (Buller)
J.H.Duncan (Buller)
W.J.Mumm (Buller)

Categories: West Coast RFU, Year by Year | Tags: , , , ,


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1937 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selectors: Messrs. J.E Joyce, D.R. Dowell, and T.P. Ryan

Commencing the season with victories over Canterbury (the third in succession), Buller (twice) and Marlborough (in a Seddon Shield challenge), it appeared that West Coast were in for a very good year. However, then came the narrow defeat by Buller and the loss of the newly-won Shield, and finally Canterbury gained a revenge. Still, the Union fared well when at full strength, with Mann, a tricky inside back and better there than on the wlng, R.R. King, the Captain, and M. Scandrett, forwards, and Roberts, a keen winger, as the best players

Of the previous season’s principal players, E. Collins, full back, L. Pedrotti and E. Pfahlert, wings, and J. Anderson, R. Birchfleld, J. Cox and M. Olsen, forwards, did .not appear, whilst R. Kear (to Canterbury) and J. Walker (to Otago) were two forwards who transferred away.

Twenty-seven players were called on, and ten played in at least five of the six matches. There were eleven new Representatives, the best of these being N. Collins, Garden and the hooker, Thorpe. T. Kiely, a Cobden Third-Grade half-back, was chosen as a reserve for the second match against Buller, but did not gain further selection.

Gilbert, R.R,. King and M.Scandrett played in the Trials, a further nomination, Davidson, not receiving a run.

1937 Squad
G.Stapleton (Hokitika Kiwis)
B.Agnew (Hokitika Pirates)
G.D.M.Gilbert (Greymouth United)
N.Collins (Greymouth Celtic)
D.Caldwell (Greymouth United)
W.Mann (Greymouth Star)
J.Noonan (Greymouth Star)
R.Logie (Greymouth Star)
R.Roberts (Hokitika Kiwis)
S.Hendry (Greymouth United)
J.Costello (Greymouth United)
W.H.Vincent (Greymouth United)
M.Davidson (Hokitlka. Excelsior)
P.Pascoe (Blaketown)
A.Tainui (Hokitika. Excelsior)
M.Scandrett (Blaketown)
A.Scandrett (Blaketown)
R.R.King (Hokitika Excelsior)
A King (Cobden)
P.Garden (Hokitika Kiwis)
G.Flowers (Hokitika Excelsior)
R.Kirkwood (Cobden)
R.Gardiner (Ross)
D.Thorpe (Hokitika, Pirates)
B.Stewart (Greymouth Star)
R.Weiblitz (Hokitika Kiwis)
C,Daly (Blaketown)


Played, 6; Won, 4; Lost, 2. For, 87; Against, 53

June 9, v. CANTERBURY, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 23 to 14
G. D. M. Gilbert, B. Agnew, R. R. King and M. Davidson, tries;
S. Hendry, dropped goal; G. D. M. Gilbert, penalty goal and 2 conversions.
Referee; Mr. N. Eggleton (West Coast).

June 26, v. BULLER (Rundle Cup), at Westport Won 18 to 0
A. King, G. D. M. Gilbert, R. Roberts, D. Thorpe and W. Mann, tries;
G. D. M. Gilbert, penalty goal

July 3, v. BULLER, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Won 9 to 5.
R. Kirkwood, try;
G. D. M. Gilbert, 2 penalty goals.
Referee: Mr C.H.Hoskin (West Coast)

July 24, v. MARLBOROUGH (Seddon. Shield), at Blenheim Won 15 to 8
M. Davidson and R. Roberts, tries;
G. D. M. Gilbert, dropped goal, penalty goal and conversion

August 7, v. BULLER (Seddon Shield), at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 11 to 12
R. Roberts (2) and G. D. M. Gilbert, tries;
G. D. M. Gilbert, conversion
Referee: Mr. R. W. Blazey (Canterbury)

September 18, v. CANTERBURY, at Christchurch Lost 11 to 14
W. Mann, try, penalty goal and conversion; P. Pascoe, penalty goal


Selectors: Messrs. D. R. Mcllowell (West Coast) and H. Casey (Buller)
The West Coast and Buller Unions combined to play their fixture against the Springboks. This was their only match and 9th of their tour

Sth Africa vs West Coast-Buller Played at Rugby Park, Greymouth, August 25
Won by South Africa 31 to 6

West Coast-Buller:

R.R.King (Capt.) (West Coast-Buller 1937)

A.Dunn(Buller) , R.Roberts (West Coast) , A.D.Strachan (Buller) , J.Hill(Buller)
W.Mann (West Coast) , S Stewart (Buller) , H.Finlayson (West Coast) , P.Garden (West Coast)
G.D.Mason (Buller) , G.B.Wilson (Buller) , R.R.King (Capt.) (West Coast)
A.King (West Coast) , J.D.Lake (Buller) , G.A.Orman (Buller) , R.Kirkwood (West Coast)

South Africa
H.J.Martin , J.W.Lutz , S.C.Louw , L.C.Strachan , P.J.Nel ,W.F.Bergh , H.H.Watt
M.M.Louw , Villiers , D.F.van de Vyver , J.A.Broodryk J.White , G.P.Lochner
D.O.Williams , F.G.Turner

For South Africa.: Williams (2), Lochner (2), White (2) and
Broodryk, tries; Turner, 5 conversions.

For West Coast-Buller: Dunn and Stewart, penalty goals.
Referee: Mr. A. B. Rowlands (South Canterbury)

Three West Coast players, G. D. M. Gilbert, M. Davidson and
M. Scandrett, were in the original selection, but injuries prevented
them playing. The substitutes were Dunn, Flnlayson and A. King.


Played 1; Lost 1. For 6 ; Against 31
August 25, v. SOUTH AFRICA, at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 6 to 31
S. Stewart and A. Dunn, penalty goals.
Referee: Mr. A. B. Rowlands (South Canterbury)

Categories: West Coast RFU, Year by Year | Tags: , ,

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