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WEST COAST RUGBY FOOTBALL UNION – 1997

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1997 Season

 

.
1997 Status:
Third Division
....Founded 1890..Affiliated 1893
President:
G.H.Monk
Chairman:
R.J.Thomas
Chief.Executive.Officer:
M.Connors
Selector:
M.J.O’Donovan
.Main.ground:
.Rugby Park, Greymouth
Capacity:
.8,000
Colours:
.Red and white hoops. red shorts. red socks with white tops

Inconsistencies plagued West Coast’s season. There were good efforts in beating neighbours and traditional rivals Buller in all three contests, including the first victory at Westport since 1978, but in the national championship only one victory was recorded as West Coast slipped back to the foot of the table for the first time since 1993.

The home Ranfurly Shield challenge held much of the spotlight and scoring 20 points against the might of Auckland was the pinnacle of West Coast`s season. The same urgency could not be repeated in the following games.

Flanker Craig De Goldi is West Coast’s outstanding prospect as his selection in the 40 strong national sevens training squad showed. Linwood loose forward Aaron Smith also impressed with a series of wholehearted efforts and, until injured mid-season, lock Brad Sutton had shown some fine form. West Coast was, however, generally poorly served in the tight forward play where players were simply not fit enough.

Tony Hourston was easily the best of the backline, his incisive running troubling all defences whether he was playing at fullback, wing or centre. Teenage wings Luke Tamakaha and Josh Wynyard had express pace but lacked opportunities and Tamakahu had transferred out of the district before year’s end.

West Coast will continue to struggle and amalgamation with Buller for National championships now seems inevitable. Unless a benefactor is forthcoming to essentially buy a team, as has happened elsewhere in the third division, a small union such as West Coast cannot become fully competitive.

1997 Squad

G.C.S.Aitken (Kiwi)
J.D.Aitken (Kiwi)
G.Atkin (Marist)
B.Caldwell (Marist)
T.Charteris (Marist)
C.J.Clark (Blaketown)
C.D.De Goldi (Marist)
M.A.De Goldi (Marist)
M.Dixon (Blaketown)
M.A.Foster (South Westland)
P.O.Gibson (Blaketown)
J.Hauraki (South Westland)
A.l.Hourston (Blaketown)
H.F.Loe (Canterbury)
B.Manera (South Westland)
E.Martheze (Blaketown)
A.G.Mirfin (Marist)
J.C.Mounce (Marist)
D.P.O`Donovan (Canterbury)
K.G. Parker (Kiwi)
B.G.Pearson (Wests)
A.Smith (Canterbury)
S.Speakman (Blaketown)
J.Sutherland (Canterbury)
B.Sutton (Marist)
L.Tamakaha (Kiwi)
K.B.Thomson (Marist)
C.J.van der Geest (Marist)
J.W.Walton (Blaketown)
M.A.Williams (South Westland)
J.Wynyard (Canterbury)

WEST COAST TEAM RECORD 1997

Played 11 Won 3 , Lost 8 , Points for 186 , Points against 431
* National Championship

THIRD DIVISION
P
W
D
L
Pts
North Otago
7
6
1
28
Poverty Bay
7
5
2
27
Marlborough
7
5
2
26
Horowhenua-Kapiti
7
3
1
3
19
Mid-Canterbury
7
4
3
17
East Coast
7
2
1
4
12
Buller
7
1
6
6
West Coast
7
1
6
4

May 31 v Nelson Bays , Westport Lost 0 – 50
Referee : Mr.P.O`Keefe (Marlborough)

June 2 v Buller (Seddon Shield) , Westport Won 35 – 23
Tamakaha, J. Aitken, Pearson, Williams , tries
Foster , conversions (3) ,and penalty goals (3)
Referee : Mr.K.M.McKenzie (Marlborough)

August 17 v Buller , Greymouth Won 16 – 7
Hourston , try
Foster , conversion , and penalty goals (3)
Referee : Mr.D.Foster (West Coast)

* August 23 vv Marlborough , Blenheim Lost 21 – 62
Loe, Dixon, Smith , tries
Foster , conversions (3)
Referee : Mr.S.A.Hannam (Wairarapa Bush)

* August 30 v Poverty Bay , Whataroa Lost 20 – 32
O`Donovan, Hourston , tries
Foster , conversion (2) ,and penalty goals (2)
Referee : Mr.B.McDonald (Taranaki)

* September 6 v Buller , Westport Won 21 – 13
Loe, Caldwell , tries
Foster , conversion , and penalty goals (3)
Referee : Mr.B.McLaughlin (Nelson Bays)

* September 13 v Horowhenua , Greymouth Lost 17 – 49
C.De Goldi, Smith , tries
Foster , conversions (2), and penalty goal
Referee : Mr.K.M.McKenzie (Marlborough)

September 23 v Auckland (Ranfurly Shield) ,Greymouth Lost 20 – 93
Pearson, C. De Goldi , tries
Foster , conversions (2) , and penalty goals (2)
Referee : Mr.K.Deaker (Canterbury)

* September 28 v North Otago , Oamaru Lost 7 – 47
Hourston , try
Foster , conversion
Referee : Mr.S. Wood (Otago)

* October 4 v East Coast ,Greymouth Lost 19 – 33
Hourston, Dixon , tries
Foster , penalty goals (3)
Referee : Mr.B.O.Fisher (Waikato)

* October 11 v Mid-Canterbury , Greymouth Lost 10 – 22
Hauraki , try
Foster , conversion and penalty goal
Referee : Mr.A.Greene (Waikato)

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