West Coast rugby team, 1999

West Coast rugby team, 1999

Members of the 1999 West Coast rugby team.

Back row: B.T.F. Manera, D.J. Tauwhare.

Third row: A.J. Oliver, G. Breach, R.C. Coleman, S.J. Loe, J.B. Connors, A.E. Jones, J.D. Aitken.

Second row: D. Standen (physiotherapist), H.F. Loe, G.T.C. Williams, J.N.M. McLean, D.A. Thorn, M.J. Skinner, D. Sail (manager).

Front row: W. Haley (assistant coach), M.A. Hunter, B.G. Tauwhare, M.A. Foster (captain), R. Johnson, G.E. Ford, C.F. Neame, P.H. Reuben (coach).

One of the minnows of New Zealand rugby, West Coast suffered in the closing decades of the 20th century as many players were forced to move away to find work after mines and other industries closed. In 1994 West Coast ended a run of 33 consecutive defeats by beating North Otago. Rugby writer Paul Neazor rated the 1999 side as one of the union's finest – after years of struggling at the bottom of the NPC, West Coast made it to the third division semi-finals, in which they lost to Poverty Bay.


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