Acknowledgments to the NZ Rugby Almanack Franchise:
West Coast rugby went through the season with thoughts very much on the loss of relatives, team-mates and friends among the 29 miners who died in the Pike River coalmine explosion the previous November. The region had lost loved ones in similar mining tragedies over the previous century and more and it is typical Coast character that rugby carries on. Particularly affected were assistant coach Winston Monk and his son Alan, the team captain, who lost a son and brother, Michael, a member of the 2010 rep team.
The team produced similar results as 2010 but improved its ranking a couple of positions. The best effort was at Te Kuiti when West Coast scored 31 second half points, after trailing 18-5 at halftime, to win 36-18. The drawn game against Thames Valley would have been a win had West Coast converted more than just one of its eight goal kicks. Injuries and members being unavailable for some games affected team selection and only two players, wing Jason Wright and flanker Alan Monk, started in every game. At Timaru the 39 year old coach, Anthony Lawry, acted as a reserve.
The regular players include fullback Luke Hughes, wings Maleli Tora, Shaun McLure and Origin player Wright. James Ward and Oscar Pamment were in midfield and Shannon Donald at first five-eighth. Donald has the distinction of being the first to score points in a first class fixture at the new covered stadium at Dunedin when he kicked a penalty goal in the eighth minute against North Otago. Gareth Little and Sam King shared the halfback berth.
Christian Tupuola, Gordon Iafeta and Blair Mirfin were the props with Rowan O’Gorman or Troy Tauwhare at hooker. There was no regular pairing at lock or a settled trio of loose forwards, the most familiar of captain Monk’s companions being Scott McAuley, Brad Houston, Nathan Iafeta and Robert Gabriel.
WEST COAST TEAM RECORD 2011
|23 Jul, 2:30 pm||A||Marlborough||Seddon Shield||34 - 10|
|07 Aug, 2:30 pm||A||North Otago||Heartland Championship||29 - 19|
|13 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||East Coast||Heartland Championship||15 - 20|
|20 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||Horowhenua-Kapiti||Heartland Championship||22 - 03|
|27 Aug, 2:30 pm||H||Thames Valley||Heartland Championship||17 - 17|
|03 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||South Canterbury||Heartland Championship||39 - 08|
|10 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||King Country||Heartland Championship||18 - 36|
|17 Sep, 2:30 pm||H||Wanganui||Heartland Championship||12 - 69|
|24 Sep, 2:30 pm||A||Buller||Heartland Championship / Rundle Cup||21 - 15|
WEST COAST REPRESENTATIVES 2011
|Mitchell Brown||Scrum Half||2|
|Shannon Donald||First Five||5|
|Scott Kelly||Lock, No. 8||1|
|R.I.J. (Oscar) Pamment||Centre, Fullback||7|
|Phillip Leon 'Phil' Thomson||First Five||2|
|Naploe Pone Pate Langi||Flanker||5|
|Gareth.D.Little||Scrum Half, Winger||6|
|Rob Thomson||Fullback, No. 8, Winger||5|