September 12 2009
West Coast and Buller – Old Rivals
West Coast beat Buller 26 – 20 in a Heartland Championship match on September 12 2009. Nothing too surprising about that, the two unions have been playing each other since 1896. In terms of number of matches played West Coast v Buller is second only to Otago v Southland amongst New Zealand provincial unions.
Below is Ron King, one of West Coast’s leading All Blacks in the 1930s.
The West Coast RFU was formed in 1890, with clubs in the northern part of the union seeking independence and establishing Buller RFU in 1894. The two unions first met in 1895 and (as at 31/12/2014) have played each other in some 213 matches. The rivalry has been close, West Coast having a slight edge with 101 wins compared to Buller’s 97. There have been 15 draws.
The large number of matches between the two unions is no doubt a reflection of their geographical position, and reflects the difficulties faced by smaller and/or isolated unions.
West Coast and Buller compete for the Rundle Cup, presented in 1911 by Greymouth businessman William Rundle. Sadly he did not live to see many contests for his trophy, he was killed serving in France in World War I. The West Coast won the Cup on 29 August 2015.
Scorers Sept. 12 2009.
West Coast 26: J W Ward 2 tries, J Merrett 2 con., 4 pen.
Buller 20: M Kaloudigibeci, try, N J Thompson 5 pen.
Each union has produced seven All Blacks:
Buller: S Bligh, T Fisher, E C Holder, C McLean, W J Mumm, K S Svenson, R G Tunnicliff.
West Coast. H Atkinson, H Butland, J Corbett, D F E Freitas, G D M Gilbert, R R King, J Steel.
Below is Bill Mumm – Buller’s most recent All Black (1949).