Colts team crucial to Bush's future

PETER LAMPP
Last updated 09:00 12/04/2014

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The Pahiatua-based Bush Rugby Club hasn't given up on fielding a senior team in the future.

They had to flag it this year when 12 players either retired or shifted out of the area.

As president Mike Burmeister said, it proved a real challenge for Bush to front up again in senior A in Wairarapa-Bush when there were only eight or nine senior players and a few others of senior reserve calibre.

The club's colts side plays in Manawatu, with good numbers, and a senior reserve team, which trains once a week, is in Wairarapa-Bush. Four of last year's senior team were eligible for colts rugby and are playing there.

"The plan is to have a good crack at getting a team up and running next year," Burmeister said.

"We've got to keep it alive for the next generation."

Bush hope when their colts eventually come through, senior rugby might return. The club's senior team played in the Manawatu competition until the end of the 2009 season.

Bush won the Manawatu senior second competition in 2011, applied to the Manawatu Rugby Union to be promoted but the club rugby council didn't feel Bush had the strength to sustain a top side, nor did it have a backup team, so the application was turned down.

After that the players made the call to join Wairarapa-Bush.

It has all become a numbers game in the Tararua district. The Puketoi club at Pongaroa has gone into recess and Eketahuna is the sole club with a senior team in what was once the Bush sub-union.

"Times are changing a little bit," Burmeister said.

"We struggle with the population over here.

"We're in the same situation we were in four years ago when it all fell to pieces in Manawatu."

Tararua College now has a roll of only 330 and, in rugby terms, that feeds Bush and Eketahuna while many leave school and head to places such as Massey University. Eketahuna's colts team also plays in Manawatu.

Pahiatua's Bush Multisport Complex, where rugby is but one of the sports, is a magnificent facility for a country town.

That also gives players many sports to choose from. There's also an increasing number of youngster who don't want to play sport.

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- Manawatu Standard

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