Team Naming: Thames Valley Swampfoxes vs Buller
A very special welcome to the Buller rugby team and your officials to Te Aroha for Thames Valley’s first home game of the 2021 Bunnings Warehouse Heartland Championship. History shows that we are very evenly matched in this competition and we look forward to another exciting encounter today. A warm welcome is also extended to Jackson Henshaw today’s referee from Timaru.
Having now played 10 games for Thames Valley over two seasons, Christian Kelleher, Te Huia Kutia and Fred Kei Fotofili have earned their blazers – well done lads.
Buller’s last visit to the Valley in 2017 is remembered for what could be the longest first-class game played in modern times. The match kicked off at 1:30pm and did not end until 4:30pm because of a serious injury to the Thames Valley prop, Hayden Anderson. Hayden overcame life threatening complications and he is pictured on the mend (at right) with yours truly in Waikato hospital.
Congratulations to Richard Judd who in turning out for Wellington has now represented four provinces starting with Thames Valley and including Counties-Manukau and Bay of Plenty. He has also played for the Hurricanes and represented the NZ Provincial Barbarians against the 2017 Lions. Richard has had overseas experience with Suntory Sungoliath in Japan. Other Valley players who have represented 4 provinces are David Bason, Watisoni Lotawa, Harry Rowley, Glenn Stanton, Ryan Wheeler and Bill Wordley.
Condolences from Thames Valley go to the family of the late Waka Nathan – one of New Zealand’s favourite All Blacks from the 1960s. The flying flanker’s second first class game was against Thames Valley when he came on as a reserve for Auckland at Eden Park in 1959. Auckland won the match 16-3. Waka presented the late John Hodge (Thames Valley Centurion No.1) with one of his All Black jerseys. It is now on display at the home of John’s son, Mac in the USA.
Well done Thames Rugby and Sports. It was great to be part of your celebrations, marking 150 years of rugby in Thames. It is to your credit that so many prominent rugby personalities were present to help you celebrate, and defeating the Barbarians put the icing on the cake. Thanks to Vaughan, Jen, Megan, Carol and Windows for all your hard work.
TVRFU President and Historian
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1. Head to head result.
2. Points differential.
3. Tries scored.
4. Points scored.
5. Coin toss.