East Coast Rugby Union Season – 1934

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Nepia’s Lapse –  Newspaper Articles relating to the rift between East Coast Rugby and George Nepia in 1934 , that eventually resulted amicably – Click Here 

Affiliated, 1921
Colours: Sky Blue

This little recognized Union experienced a very difficult season. The loss of three good forwards in E. Jackson, W. Collins, and T. Reid to Hawke‘s Bay, sadly depleted a line pack in the making. Trouble over selection, in which the famous All Black, George Nepia, received hard criticism, and later an apology from the Union, did not tend to create the harmony so essential to a scattered band of enthusiasts.

A lack of interest in Rep. games was noticeable, only three being played – one with Hawke`s Bay at Napier , and two with Poverty Bay (home and home) – and all lost.

More attention was paid to sub-Union matches than was necessary. There are too many cups and trophies to be played for on the Coast, and it is considered that it would be to the Union‘s advantage to scrap some of them and concentrate on a real progressive policy.

Here the New Zealand Union should lend a hand. The East Coast leads all the rest of the country in its Maori players, and there are many who have been neglected because of the lack of interest by those who should put a shoulder to the wheel.

Of the players who made the Rep. team, George Pepere (Ruatoria) was the outstanding back, and George Ferris (Tokomaru Bay), led in the forward division. The Maori All Black, H.”Rangi” Harrison, who has repped since 1923, was as good as ever.

Those who saw him in action on the Maoris’ Southern tour will recognize his ability.

Of the five-eighths, P. Atkins was the best. Supporting Ferris was K. McClutchie, a good type, but the others of the pack were far below those of earlier seasons. The loss of Nepia from the big games meant much.

The All Black, however, played regularly for his sub – Union – Waiapu.

A. Crawford, another of the 1926-27 Maori tourists, played a couple of times; While C.D.Chesley, the ex-Canterbury and ex-Poverty Bay representative, was honoured with a blue jersey in one match. This season should see many changes for the good of the game in the Union, and hopes are entertained for the future.


July 12 v. Hawke‘s Bay, at Napier
Lost, 11 – 22
East Coast Scorers : G. Pepere and K. McClutchie, tries
H. Harrison, 1 penalty and converted 1 try.

September 1 v. Poverty Bay, at Gisborne Oval
Lost, 00 – 31

September 15 v. Poverty Bay, at Tikitiki
Lost, 21—25
East Coast Scorers : G. Fervis (2), E. Jackson, G. Pepere, Kouka, tries
G. Pepere converted 4 tries
Referee: J.Lockwood.

We hope you enjoy this look back as we look forward to many more years of recording the history of Ngati Porou East Coast Rugby Union. We acknowledge all the information from the NZ “Rugby Almanack” Series from the season’s 1934 through to 2013 and appreciate their hard and dedicated work in providing this detailed history. Web Admin

Information Sourced from the NZ Rugby Almanack 1935