Wanganui RFU – 2016

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 2016 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

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2016 Status:
Founded 1888 – Affiliated 1892
N.T.(Norman) 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

Steelform Wanganui was clearly the best team in the Heartland Championship, winning every match. They were only seriously challenged by South Canterbury and Buller in the final. In the Ranfurly Shield challenge against Waikato, the side went down 12-32 in a very spirited performance.

Thirty-two players took the field, 15 for the first time. Locals gone from 2015 were Poasa Waqanibau (Canterbury), Stephen Perofeta (Taranaki) and Kamipeli Latu (overseas), with Fraser Hammond unavailable. Wanganui gained the services of the experienced Craig Clare (Manawatu/ Otago/Bay of Plenty/Highlanders) and 2008-2010 rep Cameron Crowley. Crowley had actually returned from overseas in 2015 but a broken arm in his first club match back prevented any representative appearance last year. Wanganui also had the use of two former Ireland Under 20 reps in Steve Crosbie and Gavin Thornbury.

Following on from Stephen Perofeta last year, this year’s exciting find was Te Rangatira Waitokia who played mainly at wing. His 12 tries were the highest in the Heartland Championship, and he looks to have a bright future. An exciting runner, he did not shirk any defensive obligations. The other first-choice wing was Michael Nabuliwaqe who missed games through injury but still scored six tries in seven appearances. The veteran Asalemo Malo remains a safe and sound fullback. The season-ending injuries to Cameron Crowley and Kameli Kuruyabaki, with the mid-season departure of Steve Crosbie, saw Dane Whale reclaim the 10 jersey, Blake Hohaia come in on loan and Craig Clare show his versatility. Lindsay Horrocks again was an important cog at halfback with good variation.

As with the wing position, there were a number of capable loose forwards to choose from with Malakai Volau, Peter Rowe, Jamie Hughes, Bryn Hudson, Tremaine Gilbert and Renato Tikoilosomone all getting regular game time with two loose forwards usually being among the bench. The captain Peter Rowe announced his retirement at the end of the season having made 119 appearances for the Butcher Boys. The 2.04-m-tall lock Gavin Thornbury ruled the lineouts and displayed a very high work rate in the tight. Campbell Han was his regular partner and also covered blindside flanker. Viki Tofa was the premier prop, being an excellent scrummager. Newcomer 120-kg Tietie Tuimauga was a strong prop in the tight exchanges, while at hooker there was a changing of the guard with Roman Tutauha displaying excellent form to keep out Cole Baldwin.

Wanganui made two successful defences of the Bruce Steel Cup, defeating Wairarapa Bush 40-22 in a pre-Heartland match that was not first class, and Horowhenua Kapiti 20-12 in the Heartland fixture.

Higher honours went to:

New Zealand Heartland:  L.D. Horrocks, P.G. Rowe, V.M. Tofa

2016 Results

Sat 29 Oct 5:00 pm H Meads Cup Final Buller 20 - 18
Sat 22 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship (S/F) Meads Cup Wairarapa-Bush 58 - 26
Sat 15 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Horowhenua-Kapiti 20 - 12
Sat 08 Oct 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Buller 00 - 28
Sat 01 Oct 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship Thames Valley 60 - 14
Sat 24 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Poverty Bay 30 - 52
Sat 17 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship King Country 10 - 22
Sat 10 Sep 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship South Canterbury 32 - 30
Sat 03 Sep 5:00 pm A Heartland Championship Ngāti Porou East Coast 08 - 74
Sat 27 Aug 5:00 pm H Heartland Championship West Coast 74 - 06
Sat 20 Aug 2:30 pm H Bruce Steel Cup Wairarapa-Bush 40 - 22
Sat 13 Aug 2:30 pm H Pre-Season (non-first class) Hawkes Bay Saracens 41 - 19
Sat 06 Aug 2:30 pm A Ranfurly Shield Waikato 32 - 12
Sat 30 Jul 2:30 pm N Pre-Season (non-first class) Taranaki “Dev.” – “XV” – “B” 12 - 43
Wed 22 Jun 7:00 pm N Pre-Season (non-first class) Placeholder Manawatu Evergreens 34 - 15

APPEARANCES For Wanganui RFU (2016)

2016 Players

    Position PL
Placeholder Asalemo Malo Fullback, Winger 11
Placeholder Blake Hohaia Midfield Back 6
Bryn Hudson Loose Forward 8
Cameron Crowley Outside Back 6
Campbell Hart Loose Forward, Lock 10
Placeholder Cole Baldwin Flanker, Hooker 9
Craig Clare Centre, Five Eighth 8
Dane Whale Five Eighth 10
Gabriel Hakaraia Prop 1
Placeholder Gavin Thornbury Lock 10
Placeholder Hamish Mellow Prop 10
Jack Yarrall Hooker 1
Jamie Hughes Loose Forward 7
Placeholder Jason White Prop 1
Placeholder Kameli Kuruyabaki Midfield Back 9
Placeholder Kane Tamou Halfback 9
Placeholder Kaveni Dabenaise Midfield Back 1
Lindsay Horrocks Halfback 11
Placeholder Malakai Volou No. 8 10
Placeholder Michael Nabuliwaqe Winger 7
Placeholder Peter Rowe Flanker 11
Placeholder Renato Tikoilosomone Loose Forward 6
Placeholder Roman Tutauha Hooker 10
Placeholder Sam Madams Lock 6
Placeholder Samu Kubunavanua Flanker, Winger 6
Placeholder Simon Dibben Wing 4
Placeholder Steve Crosbie Five Eighth 4
Placeholder Te Rangatira Waitokia Winger 11
Placeholder Te Tua 'TK' Kemp Halfback 1
Placeholder Tietie Tuimauga Prop 10
Placeholder Tremaine Gilbert Loose Forward, No. 8 5
Placeholder Viki Tofa Prop 10
zPenalty Try 0
x =Wanganui made two successful defences of the Bruce Steel Cup, defeating Wairarapa Bush 40-22 in a pre-Heartland match that was not first class, and Horowhenua Kapiti 20-12 in the Heartland fixture.