We hope you enjoy this look back as we look forward to many more years of recording the history of Wanganui Rugby Union. We acknowledge all the information from the NZ “Rugby Almanack” Series from the season’s 1934 through to 2015 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

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2008

110119145818QZPDIEMMSeason

2008 Status:
Heartland.Championship
Founded 1888 – Affiliated 1892
President:
J.S.Heron
Chairman:
D.R.Hoskin
Chief.Executive.Officer:
H.A.R.Elgar (until Aug)
D.S.Cobb (from Oct)
Coach:
G.R.J.Lennox
Assistant Coach:
J.M.Caskey
Main ground:
Cooks Gardens , Wanganui
Capacity:
15,000
Colours:
Royal Blue, Black and White

After being bridesmaid for the previous two years Wanganui were in commanding form throughout 2008 and completed the season unbeaten, the first since 1947, and took away the Meads Cup. They were clearly the most efficient side in the Heartland competition and set several new union and Heartland records. The coaches, Guy Lennox and Jason Caskey, adopted a style best suited to the players, one of running rugby and the successes quickly attracted large audiences of fans. Three quality players were recruited from Taranaki with leading club point scorer Mark Davis scoring 118 points and smashing the record for conversions in a season, previously held by coach Lennox, with 44 goals.

The threequarters benefited with the quality ball with Johnny Mow, Faapulou So’olefai and 18-year-old newcomer Cameron Crowley scoring 32 tries among them. Crowley, a third generation of Wanganui reps, scored four tries in his club debut then four in his rep debut. Fullback Asaeli Tikoirotuma joined in on the try-scoring feast. The inside pairing of Denning Tyrell and Leon Mason was an experienced combination. Josh Edwards, Caleb Maraku and Aaron Paranihi were regular substitutes.

There was plenty of experience in the pack with a superb set of loose forwards in the captain David Gower, Peter Rowe and Ron Katonivere. Mike Fitzgerald was outstanding at lock, an excellent lineout jumper, and the top forward try scorer. Hooker Cole Baldwin was involved in a lot of broken play and formed a strong scrum with props Matthew Gilbert, Sheldon O’Hagan and Shaun McDonough. Justin Lock, Jon Smyth, Todd Wise and Scott Sargison also appeared in most games.

The 2008 season will be remembered in Wanganui’s rugby history as one of its finest years, a team which exhibited all the treasured qualities of amateur provincial rugby. Waverley farmer Guy Lennox, a former star player for the union, has emerged as an astute coach with the ability to bring attractive rugby to the Heartland competition. Provincial rugby pride is alive and well in this region. Lennox was assistant coach of the Heartland team and toured USA along with five members of his champion team.

Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland XV: Crowley, Fitzgerald, Gilbert, Mason, Tikoirotuma

2008_team

Match.Record: Played 10 ; Won 10
Points : For 420 ; Against 108
1. August 23 vs East Coast at Wanganui
Won 71 – 06
Wanganui Scorers : Crowley (4), Mow (3),Tyrell,Katonivere, Davis, Edwards tries
Davis (8 Conversions)
Referee: S.W.McDermott
2. August 30 vs Thames Valley, at Paeroa
Won 43 – 00
Wanganui Scorers : Crowley (2), Fitzgerald, Baldwin,Mason, Mow, Carmichael tries
Davis (4 Conversions)
Referee: S.W.McDermott
3. September 6 vs Poverty Bay, at Wanganui
Won 36– 16
Wanganui Scorers : Mow (2), Crowley, Fitzgerald, Sargison tries
Davis (4 Conversions , 1 Penalty Goal)
Referee: K.R.McBride
4. September 13 vs King Country, at Te Kuiti
Won 47 – 19
Wanganui Scorers : So’olefai, Crowley, Mason,Tikoirotuma, Mow, Davis tries
Davis (5 Conversions) , Mason (1 Conversion)
Referee: G.R.Newman
5. September 20 vs Mid Canterbury, at Wanganui
Won 43 – 12
Wanganui Scorers : Fitzgerald (2),Tikoirotuma (2) ,So’olefai, Katonivere, Mow tries
Davis (4 Conversions)
Referee: T.A.Pullar
6. September 27 vs Buller, at Wanganui
Won 42 – 10
Wanganui Scorers : Tyrell (2), Davis, Katonivere, So’olefai, Mow tries
Davis (3 Conversions , 2 Penalty Goals)
Referee: T.A.Pullar
7. October 4 vs West Coast, at Greymouth
Won 52 – 07
Wanganui Scorers : So’olefai (2),Tyrell, Rowe, Crowley,Tikoirotuma, O’Hagan, Hammond tries
Davis (6 Conversions)
Referee: M.I.Fraser
8. October 11 vs North Otago, at Wanganui
Won 19 – 08
Wanganui Scorers : Crowley, Fitzgerald, Mow tries
Davis (2 Conversions)
Referee: G.R.Newman
9. October 17 vs West Coast, at Wanganui (Meads Cup Semi Final )
Won 40 – 18
Wanganui Scorers : Mow (2), Gower, Katonivere, Crowley, So’olefai tries
Davis (5 Conversions)
Referee: M.I.Fraser
10. October 24 vs Mid Canterbury, at Wanganui( Meads Cup Final )
Won 27 – 12
Wanganui Scorers : Crowley, Mow, Fitzgerald tries
Davis (3 Conversions , 1 Penalty Goal)
Referee: K.R.McBride
APPEARANCES For Wanganui RFU (2008 – Career)
C.Baldwin Pirates 9 – 29
C.D.K.Carmichael Ruapehu 6 – 6
C.J.Crowley Marist 10 – 10
M.Davis Coastal* 10 – 10
J.R.Edwards Ratana 10 – 30
J.Farrington Kaierau 1 – 1
M.J.Fitzgerald Marist 10 – 22
M.B.Gilbert Utiku OB 10 – 31
D.B.Gower Ruapehu 9 – 18
F.Hammond Ruapehu 4 – 14
R.Katonivere Marist 9 – 16
J.D.Lock Marist 10 – 20
S.M.McDonough Ruapehu 8 – 8
C.H.Maraku Ratana 9 – 9
L.H.T.K.Mason Ratana 6 – 51
J.P.Mow Coastal * 10 – 14
D.Munro Kaierau 4 – 4
S.P.R.O’Hagan Ruapehu 10 – 35
A.H.Paranihi Ratana 7 – 7
C.J.Rayner Marton 2 – 2
P.G.Rowe Ruapehu 9 – 48
S.Sargison Taihape 9 – 9
J.Smyth Pirates 10 – 20
F.So’olefai Inglewood * 9 – 9
A.T.Tikoirotuma Marist 10 – 27
D.I.Tyrell Kaierau 10 – 58
T.Wise Ruapehu 7 – 7
 * = Taranaki RU