You are here
Home > Heartland Championship > Heartland Preview – King Country v Wairarapa Bush – Head 2 Head

Heartland Preview – King Country v Wairarapa Bush – Head 2 Head


23 August 2014

King Country v Wairarapa Bush

@ Taupo 2:00 PM BET NOW

Eketahuna FM will have live commentary from Owen Delany Park, Taupo

Trust House Wairarapa Bush vs  King Country

on Or 106.5 FM from 2pm

this Saturday 23rd August2014

We round off our Head 2 Head Previews with King Country v Wairarapa Bush.


KINGCOUNTRY2013 finish: 9th

The Rams improved two placings on the previous two seasons and coach Kurt McQuilkin, also the NZ Heartland coach, is aiming for more consistency this year.

King Country started 2013 well with three wins from the first four games, including the scalps of both 2012 Meads Cup finalists East Coast and Wanganui, but then dropped the last four matches.

Skipper and prop Brian Mansfield (41 caps) is back again but missing from the front row will be 135 kg former Waikato and Bay of Plenty loan prop Ted Tauroa.

Also gone are 53-game flanker Sam Mason who has retired, experienced utility back Kurt Strachan (in Ireland), fullback James Hemara who was the Player of Origin last season, and mid fielder Pehi Te Whare (ex North Otago and Southland).

First five Whakataki Cunningham, a loan first five from Rotoiti in 2013 who was the team’s top points scorers, is one of three Bay of Plenty players in King Country club rugby this year.

Elusive winger Dean Church and halfback Roy Simpson, both with 30-plus games under their belt, are again available.

The pack includes solid lock Gene Waller and No 8 Anthony Wise (ex Fiji and Waikato who scored four tries last campaign), two of the tallest forwards in the squad at 1.94m.

King Country Heartland Squad 2014

kingctrysquad2014WAIRARAPA-BUSH –

WAIRARAPABUSH2013 finish: 3rd

The loss of four key loose forwards and accurate goal-kicker Glen Walters are gaps for coach Mark Rutene and assistant Paddy Gough to overcome this season.

The union, original holders of the Meads Cup in 2006, have finished third for the past two season after a four-year slump in form although winning the Lochore Cup in 2010 was a consolation.

Walters, a Hutt OB Marist first five who was a Player of Origin in 2012 and set a Wairarapa record of 166 pts, scored 278 pts in his 21 games in two seasons.

The Stags, however, may have a very suitable replacement in Sam Monaghan, the former Canterbury ITM Cup rep.

Loosies missing from last year are skipper Johan Van Vliet (No 8), back in Holland, injured blindside flanker James Goodger, fellow side rower John McFadzean (overseas) and back rower Nathan Iro (in Wellington).

The tight forward department has been strengthened by the return of 52-match prop Kurt Simmonds and lock Andrew McLean (45 caps) who helped Wairarapa frighten Wanganui 20-23 in a tense 2012 semi-final.

The team’s top try scorer last season, winger Paul Tikomainavalu, has been in sharp club form.

The Stags have started 2014 by beating Horowhenua-Kapiti 55-14 in a warm-up game in Featherston and a very convincing 71-0 win over Poverty Bay

Wairarapa-Bush Heartland Squad 2014


Saturday 23 August, 2.00pm at Owen Delany Park, Taupo
Played: 5, 2007-2013 | King Country wins: 1 | Wairarapa Bush wins: 4
Last match: Wairarapa Bush 34 King Country 13, 21.09.13 in Masterton (HC)
Last King Country win: King Country 43 Wai-Bush 22, 16.10.10 in Masterton (LC)
Biggest Wairarapa Bush score: 25 (25-15), 29.09.12 in Taupo (HC)
Biggest King Country score: 43 (43-22) 16.10.10 in Masterton (LC)
Biggest winning margin: King Country by 21 (43-22) 16.10.10 in Masterton (LC) and Wairarapa Bush by 21 (34-13), 21.09.13 in Masterton (HC)
Head-to-head matches: KING COUNTRY – WAIRARAPA
21.09.13 Wairarapa King Country 34 : 13
29.09.12 King Country Wairarapa 15 : 25
23.10.10 King Country Wairarapa 17 : 21
16.10.10 Wairarapa King Country 22 : 43
Last matches: KING COUNTRY
12.10.13 King Country Poverty Bay 18 : 19
05.10.13 South Cant King Country 56 : 29
28.09.13 King Country Mid Cant 17 : 32
21.09.13 Wairarapa King Country 34 : 13
14.09.13 King Country Thames Valley 27 : 22
07.09.13 Horowhenua King Country 19 : 18
31.08.13 King Country East Coast 24 : 13
24.08.13 Wanganui King Country 16 : 17
13.10.12 King Country Wanganui 19 : 22
06.10.12 East Coast King Country 56 : 24
Last matches: WAIRARAPA-BUSH
19.10.13 North Otago Wairarapa 48 : 34
12.10.13 Thames Valley Wairarapa 23 : 15
05.10.13 Wairarapa East Coast 44 : 31
28.09.13 Buller Wairarapa 03 : 13
21.09.13 Wairarapa King Country 34 : 13
14.09.13 Wairarapa Horowhenua 22 : 15
07.09.13 Mid Cant Wairarapa 29 : 23
31.08.13 Wairarapa West Coast 32 : 12
24.08.13 North Otago Wairarapa 18 : 20
20.10.12 Wanganui Wairarapa 23 : 20



Similar Articles