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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2015

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2015 Status:
Heartland.Championship
Founded 1888 – Affiliated 1892
President:
N.T.(Norman) Crowe
Chairman:
J.M.(Jeff) Phillips
Chief.Executive.Officer:
J.B.(John) Phillips (Nov 2014-Feb 2015 interim)
B.S. (Bridget) Belsham (from March 2015)
Coach:
J.M. (Jason) Caskey
Assistant Coach:
J.P.(Jason) Hamlin
Main ground:
Cooks Gardens , Wanganui
Capacity:
15,000
Colours:
Royal Blue, Black and White

Wanganui were deserving winners of the Meads Cup for the fourth time.

Their only loss of the season Was to Mid Canterbury in the second round, when conceding a last minute converted try, which was amply revenged in the semi-final. Wanganui won all six away matches during the season, including both playoff matches. And in the years to come, whenever the final is mentioned, the first topic talked about will be that try scored by Samu Kubunavanua which was launched from behind their own goal-line.

The experienced Asalemo Malo was fullback after missing the start while returning from injury. The flying Fijians Michael Nabuliwaqe and Samu Kubunavanua were the wings. Fast and elusive, they scored 14 tries between them. In the midfield were Trinity Spooner-Neera (on loan from Hawke’s Bay) and another Fijian Poasa Waqanibau. Originally at second five-eighth and centre respectively, they were swapped after the King Country match with Waqanibau the direct hard runner and tackler and Spooner-Neera with more flair. Spooner-Neera was top points scorer in the Heartland Championship. The 18-year-old schoolboy first five-eighth Stephen Perofeta had a notable debut season. His three tries against Poverty Bay were all classy efforts. He missed selection in the New Zealand Schoolboys team, but the New Zealand Heartland selectors took a different view. Taranaki have signed him for 2016. Lindsay Horrocks had his best season at halfback, varying his play well with a good break.

The forward pack was one of the lightest in the Heartland Championship, but with a lot of experience. Captain Peter Rowe became the union’s 12th centurion in the opening match, having made his his debut in 2003. Daniel FitzGerald was unlucky to suffer injury in the opening match after scoring two tries, and this allowed Bryn Hudson to start. Whether at blindside flanker or number eight, Hudson played so well he made the New Zealand Heartland team. Fraser Hammond also was a standout; whether at lock or blindside flanker he was always in the thick of things. Jon Smyth was not originally in the squad but drafted in with the injury to Fitzgerald and became the main lineout winner. Linchpin loosehead prop Kamipeli Latu would have been unlucky to miss the New Zealand Heartland team. At hooker Cole Baldwin remains consistent from year to year. Baldwin, Hammond and Smyth have appeared in all of Wanganui’s four Meads Cup winning finals.

A total of 29 players wore the jersey with 10 being debutants. Thirteen players appeared last year and there were recalls for Brett Turner (2006), Daniel FitzGerald, Steelie Koro (both 2011), Fraser Hammond and Jon Smyth (both 2012). Local regulars missing from last year were Tevita Taufui (Waikato), Dane Whale (Manawatu), Lasa Ulukuta (injured), John Laurie (overseas), and Sonny Woodmass (Horowhenua Kapiti).

Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland: C. Baldwin, F.C. Hammond, L.D. Horrocks, B.D. Hudson, S.Perofeta, P.G. Rowe

2015_team

2015 Results

24 Oct, 5:00 pm A Sth Canterbury Heartland Championship - Meads Cup Final 11 - 28
17 Oct, 5:00 pm A Mid Canterbury Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup 11 - 26
10 Oct, 5:00 pm A Wairarapa-Bush Heartland Championship 35 - 57
03 Oct, 5:00 pm H Poverty Bay Heartland Championship 55 - 23
26 Sep, 5:00 pm A Thames Valley Heartland Championship 27 - 47
19 Sep, 5:00 pm H King Country Heartland Championship 17 - 17
12 Sep, 5:00 pm H Buller Heartland Championship 35 - 09
05 Sep, 5:00 pm A North Otago Heartland Championship 10 - 40
29 Aug, 5:00 pm H Mid Canterbury Heartland Championship 28 - 30
22 Aug, 5:00 pm A Horo-Kapiti Heartland Championship 34 - 39

Match.Record: Played 10 ; Won 8 ; Drew 1 ; Lost 1
Points : For 372 ; Against 207
APPEARANCES For Wanganui RFU (2015)

2015 Players

  Name   Position PL
Placeholder Areta Lama Centre, Five Eighth, Fullback 0
Placeholder Asalemo 'Ace' Malo Fullback, Winger 0
Bryn Hudson Loose Forward 0
Placeholder Cole Baldwin Hooker 0
Placeholder Daniel FitzGerald 0
Placeholder Fraser Hammond Lock 0
Placeholder Kamipeli.T.Latu Prop 0
Placeholder Kane Tamou Halfback 0
Placeholder Kieran.P.Hussey Loose Forward 0
Placeholder Lindsay Horrocks Halfback 0
Placeholder Malakai Volou No. 8 0
Placeholder Michael Nabuliwaqe Winger 0
Placeholder Peter Rowe Flanker 0
Placeholder Poasa Waqanibau Centre 0
Placeholder Renato Tikoilosomone Loose Forward 0
Placeholder Roman Tutauha Hooker 0
Placeholder Sam Madams Lock 0
Placeholder Samu Kubunavanua Winger 0
Placeholder Simon Dibben Wing 0
Placeholder Steelie Koro Five Eighth 0
Placeholder Tawhio Gupwell Prop 0
Placeholder Trinity.A.Spooner-Neera Midfield Back, Fullback 0
Placeholder Troy Brown Centre, Midfield Back 0
Placeholder Viki Tofa Prop 0
Placeholder Zyon.H.Henare Five Eighth, Winger 0
x = Peter Rowe was captain in 9 of the 10 matches the only match missed was vs WaiBush , which saw Cole Baldwin captain the side.