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1959 Season

(Founded, 1890; Affiliated, 1893)
Selector: Mr.B.Watkin

With but ten of the previous season’s players again available, eight being forwards, and with the Selector having to conduct an extensive search for fresh blood, it is hardly to he wondered at that only once was the Union successful-in the first meeting with Buller and that five games were lost; matches with Buller and Golden Bay-Motueka were drawn. A.A.McNabb had departed to Mid-Canterbury, N.K.Williams and J.M.Patrick to Canterbury, and K.M.Mettriek to Wellington. Hendry, Bergman and B.Williams, 1957 representatives, were recalled, and a new arrival was McAra, previous season’s Hawke’s Bay player. Ackland was a Railway rep. This then was the nucleus of experience around which Mr. Watkin had to build a XV, Lindbom, after a game at centre, found a home in the forwards. Ross (at No. 8), Fyall (lock), Surgenor (on the side), Gardiner (flanker), and the captain, prop forward McPherson, were a fine group of sound forwards, excellent material in any sphere.

Kelcher was an experienced hooker, and Richardson was the other prop. The only well-tried backs to gain regular selection were Hendry and Colville. From the thirteen players making a first appearance came Alexander from Lincoln College; Eathorne, a likely looking five-eighth; Bellis, Hibbs and Cant, other backs, and Rogers, a lock, all these playing fairly regularly. West Coast contributed seven players to the Combined West Coast Buller side to meet British Isles, viz., McPherson (as captain), Gardiner, Surgenor, Fyall, Rogers, Eathorne and Alexander. Those to take part in the regional Trial were Alexander, Eathorne, Flavell, Ross, Fyall, Surgenor, Gardiner and McPherson. Only Surgenor went on to the South Island Trial, and he then also appeared in the final New Zealand Trial. Flavell, a loose, fast forward, played in the Maori Trials at Rotorua. Surgenor has been named for the 1960 early season Trials.

1959 Squad

D.P.Hendry (Greymouth United)
A.G.King (Cobden)
J.F.Ackland (Cobden)
R.D.Alexander (Hokitika Kiwi)
R.G.Cant (Hokitika Excelsior)
T.N.McAra (Greymouth Marist)
A.J.Lindbom (Cobden)
Barry Williams (Cobden)
C.A.Hibbs (Greymouth Star)
J.M.Eathorne (Greymouth Marist)
M.G.Bellis (Blaketown)
G.E.Ryan (Cobden)
L.E.Colville (Cobden)
William Flavell (Cobden)
B.L.Ross (Hokitika Excelsior)
G.A.Fyall (Blaketown)
M.J.Surgenor (Hokitika Excelsior)
R.R.Gardiner (Greymouth Marist)
C.J.P.McPherson (Greymouth United)
Ralph Richardson (Greymouth Star)
M.J.Kelcher (Reefton)
Thos.Barrett (Cobden)
P.J.Punch (Hokitika St.Mary’s O.B.)
T.E.Rogers (Hokitika Kiwi)
D.W.Bergman (Hokitika S.M.0.B.)
V.J.De Goldi (Cobden)
C.J.Nightingale (Hokitika Excelsior)
B.J.Vieceli (Blaketown)


Played 8 ; Won 1 ; Drew 2 ; Lost 5 ; Points: For 63 ; Against 140

May 16 v BULLER at Cass Square, Hokitika Won 25 to 6
M.J.Surgenor (2), J.M.Eathorne, C.J.P.McPherson, R.D.Alexander, J.F.Ackland and William Flavell, tries
R.D.Alexander, 2 conversions.
Referee: Mr.E.T.O’Connor (Buller).

June 1 v CANTERBURY at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 6 to 40
William Flavell, try
D.P.Hendry, penalty goal
Referee: Mr.N.T.Smith (West Coast)

July 4 v BULLER at Westport Drew 8 to 8
R.G.Cant and M.G.Bellis, tries
R.D.Alexander, conversion

August 8 v NELSON (Seddon Shield) at Nelson Lost 10 to 15
M.G.Bellis and T.E.Rogers, tries
R.D.Alexander, 2 conversions

August 22 v MARLBOROUGH at Blenheim Lost 3 to 15
M.J.Surgenor, try

September 5 v GOLDEN BAY-MOTUEKA at Rugby Park, Greymouth Drew 8 to 8
J.M.Eathorne, 2 tries
R.D.Alexander, conversion
Referee: Mr.D.W.McKendry (West Coast)

September 19 v CANTERBURY at Christchurch Lost 3 to 27
R.D.Alexander, penalty goal

September 29 v. AUCKLAND at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 0 to 21
Referee: Mr.D.W.McKendry (West Coast)

West Coast – Buller XV

Selectors: Messrs. B.Watkin (West Coast) and J.Hill (Buller)

Once again these two Westland Unions combined to meet a touring side, but out-paced and conceding much weight this time could offer only a semblance of opposition, finishing with the unenviable record of having had more tries scored against them than any other side during the British Isles tour. The loss of Gardiner, too, after 26 minutes of play, was an additional handicap.


July 22 v BRITISH ISLES at Rugby Park, Greymouth Lost 3 to 58
R.D.Alexander, penalty goal
Referee: Mr.R.L.Hines (Thames Valley)

The side was:
Keith Clayworth (Buller)
R.D.Alexander (West Coast)
M.C.White (Buller)
G.S.Allan (Buller)
W.N.Forsyth (Buller)
J.M.Eathorne (West Coast)
R.J.Vaile (Buller)
R.R.Gardiner (West Coast)
G.A.Fyall (West Coast)
T.E.Rogers (West Coast)

J.E.Cockfield (Buller)
M.J.Surgenor (West Coast)
C.J.P.McPherson (Capt.)
(West Coast)
C.R.Pratt (Buller)
J.B.Shaw (Buller)