Wanganui RFU – 2018

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

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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

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

APPEARANCES For Wanganui RFU (2018)

2018 Players

    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 7
Dylan Gallien Hooker 6
Ethan Robinson Centre 6
Gabriel Hakaraia Prop 9
Placeholder Harry Symes Wing 6
Placeholder Henri Williams Lock 10
Jack Hodges Lock 1
Jack Yarrall Hooker 9
Placeholder Jackson Campbell Lock 1
Jamie Hughes Loose Forward 9
Placeholder Joshua Fifita Five Eighth, Halfback 4
Placeholder Kameli Kuruyabaki Midfield Back 8
Kamipeli T. Latu Prop 7
Placeholder Kaveni Dabenaise Midfield Back 8
Lindsay Horrocks Halfback 10
Placeholder Michael Tafili No. 8 5
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 8
Tyler Rogers-Holden Midfield Back, Wing 8
Placeholder Viki Tofa Prop 7
Wiremu Cottrell Prop 8
zPenalty Try 1