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Buller rugby team, 1949


The 1949 Buller rugby team.

Back row: R.L. Pratt (selector), Richard Beveridge, A.S. Neighbours, T.M. Hansby, F.G.E. Bennett. Wm. Dickson, H.G. Hendrickson, Robert Dickson, W.M. Cunniffe, J. O’Neill (trainer).

Second row: J.A. Harris (Buller RFU), J.B. Hughes, D.S. Neigbhours, P.R. Powley, M.J. Ryan, W.A.G. Craddock (manager), George Anderson, W.J. Mumm, J.G. Stuart, G.V. Goodall (selector) .

Front row: A. Cummings, R.P. Hawes, W.J. Spence, George Smallholme, F.J. Neighbours, Oliver Smallholme (captain), W. Duncan (mascot).

The 1949 side was involved in Buller’s greatest moment in provincial rugby when it drew 6-6 with the powerful Otago union in the first Ranfurly Shield challenge of the season. Otago was without 11 players who were on tour with the All Blacks in South Africa, but there was little to suggest that Buller would pose a serious challenge. Buller’s miners and loggers had other ideas. Bolstered by hundreds of visiting supporters they gave the holders an almighty fright. The boggy conditions at Carisbrook suited the visitors, who from the first whistle got stuck into the defenders. Led by soon-to-be All Black prop Bill Mumm and loose forward George Anderson, Buller stretched the Otago defence, scoring two tries. At half-time the score was 6-all. Despite hammering away at the Otago line in the second spell, Buller could not score and Otago hung on to the shield.

Related images

Newspaper article Players from the team


New Zealand Rugby Museum
References: 2006/127/1 (main image); 92/668/1 (newspaper); 2006/122/3 (group image)
Permission of the New Zealand Rugby Museum must be obtained before any re-use of this image.

How to cite this page

Buller rugby team, 1949, URL:, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated