On the 3rd of June 2017 (Queens Birthday Weekend) Poverty Bay host East Coast Rugby Union in their annual pre-season clash, during this weekend a celebration of combined Poverty Bay & East Coast teams from 1955 through to 2000 is taking place.
As I was making my first ever trip to Gisborne to experience this occasion I thought only it right to look into the rich history these two unions have had over these years.
Especially this year, as on the day of the annual clash in Gisborne between Poverty Bay and East Coast, the 2017 British & Irish Lions open their much awaited tour of New Zealand in Whangarei against the NZ Provincial Barbarians.
Since 1930 the combined team had played the “Lions” on several occasions with the 1966 clash the stand out as the combined side almost accomplished the pinnacle of a Lions scalp to only fall short with a score line of 6 – 9 in favour of the tourists.
So with the help of many books and other research materials I have compiled the following details of the combined teams with full squad, team and scoring details in depth from 1955. We also cover briefly the games played pre 1955 in which several were with a mixture of teams combined with the inclusion of players from Hawkes Bay and Bay of Plenty.
My hope here is to have a record that will spark debate and interest to those who may have forgotten the rich history that these two unions share
Kevin Hare – RugbyHeartland.co.nz