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 2018 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

Back to Year by Year Index click here

2018 Status:
Founded 1888 – Affiliated 1892
D.R.(David) Crowe
J.M.(Jeff) Phillips
B.S. (Bridget) Belsham
J.M. (Jason) Caskey
Assistant Coach:
J.P.(Jason) Hamlin
Main ground:
Cooks Gardens , Wanganui
Royal Blue, Black and White

A surprise 7 -17 defeat to Thames Valley in their home semi-final of the Meads Cup brought Wanganui’s season to an abrupt end. It was the shock result of the 2018 Heartland Championship.

Until then Wanganui had won all eight championship matches, including a deserved 21-10 win over expected closest challenger South Canterbury. The defensive qualities of the team were a feature of their play, remarkably conceding only one bonus point in the entire round robin. And although beaten by Taranaki in their Ranfurly Shield challenge, they had produced a very creditable performance where the second half score was 5-5.

From first game to last, the two standouts in the backline again were halfback Lindsay Horrocks and utility Craig Clare. As well as serving the backline well, Horrocks had an accurate kicking game and was a good defender around the ruck. He was surely unlucky not to have made the New Zealand Heartland team. Whether at fullback or first five-eighth Clare was in sublime form and an excellent goalkicker.

Injury in the Ranfurly Shield challenge meant Cameron Crowley made a slow start to the Championship, and he retired at the conclusion of the two matches played by the New Zealand Heartland team. On the other wing, 19-year-old Harry Symes had a very promising debut season, exhibiting really good pace until dislocating his shoulder against King Country.

Another newcomer who held his spot was fullback Tyler Rogers-Holden. It was his emergence that prompted the coach Jason Caskey to shift Craig Clare into first five-eighth in place of Dane Whale. Former Buller rep Penijamini Nabainivalu arrived from Wellington and with Kaveni Dabenaise formed a good partnership in midfield with their pace and ability to breach the opposition line.

Hooker and captain Roman Tutauha made a delayed entry due to a broken arm suffered in the club final and blindside flanker Campbell Hart captained the team in Tutauha’s absence. With the extra responsibility, Hart played some outstanding games and his New Zealand Heartland selection was well deserved. The locking pair of 2.02m Welshman Henri Williams and Sam Madams were both hard working and a tower of strength in the lineouts.

Last year’s number eight Bryn Hudson had an injury-plagued season and Michael Tafili was brought in on loan from Counties Manukau. He made a big impression, providing strong ball carrying ability and aggressive defence. His having to leave the field injured after 50 minutes of the semi-final was a blow. With two good openside flankers in Angus Middleton and Jamie Hughes, the coach had the luxury of rotating them.

The depth in the front row was well utilized with the experienced Viki Tofa and Kamipeli Latu, second season Gabriel Hakaraia and debutant Wiremu Cottrell all getting good game time with no noticeable loss of effect. Hooker Jack Yarrall had played one game in 2016 and with Tutauha’s injury showed himself an able replacement for his captain.

Higher honours went to:
New Zealand Heartland: C .D. Clare, C.J. Crowley, C.J. Hart, P.B.Nabainivalu

2018 Results

20 Oct, 2:30 pm H Thames Valley Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup 07 - 17
13 Oct, 2:30 pm H Horo-Kapiti Heartland Championship 57 - 27
06 Oct, 2:30 pm A East Coast Heartland Championship 10 - 56
29 Sep, 2:30 pm H Buller Heartland Championship 45 - 14
22 Sep, 2:30 pm A King Country Heartland Championship 19 - 36
15 Sep, 2:30 pm H Mid Canterbury Heartland Championship 30 - 12
08 Sep, 2:30 pm A Poverty Bay Heartland Championship 00 - 53
01 Sep, 2:00 pm A West Coast Heartland Championship 21 - 33
25 Aug, 2:30 pm H Sth Canterbury Heartland Championship 21 - 10
18 Aug, 2:15 pm N Hawkes Bay Saracens Pre-Season (non-first class) 19 - 34
11 Aug, 2:30 pm A Wairarapa-Bush Pre-Season (non-first class) 14 - 61
04 Aug, 2:35 pm A Taranaki Ranfurly Shield 33 - 10

APPEARANCES For Wanganui RFU (2018)

2018 Players

  Name   Position PL
Placeholder Angus Middleton Loose Forward 10
Bryn Hudson Loose Forward 2
Cameron Crowley Outside Back 6
Campbell Hart Loose Forward, Lock 9
Craig Clare Centre, Five Eighth 9
Dane Whale Five Eighth 8
Placeholder Dylan Gallien Hooker 6
Placeholder Ethan Robinson Centre 7
Placeholder Gabriel Hakaraia Prop 9
Placeholder Harry Symes Wing 6
Placeholder Henri Williams Lock 10
Placeholder Jack Hodges Lock 1
Placeholder Jack Yarrall Hooker 10
Placeholder Jackson Campbell Lock 1
Placeholder Jamie Hughes Loose Forward 10
Placeholder Joshua Fifita Five Eighth, Halfback 4
Placeholder Kameli Kuruyabaki Midfield Back 8
Placeholder Kamipeli T. Latu Prop 7
Placeholder Kaveni Dabenaise Midfield Back 8
Placeholder Lindsay Horrocks Halfback 10
Placeholder Michael Tafili No. 8 5
Placeholder Penijamini Nabainivalu Centre 9
Placeholder Peter-Travis Hay-Horton Lock 3
Placeholder Roman Tutauha Hooker 4
Placeholder Sam Madams Lock 10
Placeholder Shandon Scott Fullback 6
Placeholder Simon Dibben Wing 6
Placeholder Tom Symes Wing 2
Placeholder Tremaine Gilbert Loose Forward, No. 8 9
Placeholder Tyler Rogers-Holden Midfield Back, Wing 8
Placeholder Viki Tofa Prop 7
Placeholder Wiremu Cottrell Prop 9