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Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa club made the trip south to play a golden oldies game on Good Friday at Rawhiti Domain, the first of five games scheduled over the holiday weekend.
The centenary game was played on Saturday afternoon when the premier grade team faced Linwood. The jerseys worn by the home side were auctioned off post-match.
A centenary dinner was held at Addington Raceway on Sunday night, where multiple world and Olympic champion Eric Murray, who was recently named decade champion alongside rowing partner Hamish Bond at the Halberg Awards, was the guest speaker.
New Brighton’s team of the century was also named at the function.
“We’re delighted to have about 60 people from Whakarewarewa down for the weekend,” said centenary committee chairman Wayne Turner.
“The club had a very strong relationship with Whakarewarewa through the 1970s and 1980s and we’re keen to rekindle that relationship.”
The loose forward, who was never selected for a test, died in 2013, aged 82.
Hamilton-born prop Kerry Tanner played for New Brighton after transferring to Canterbury from Auckland, where a switch from loose forward to the front row led to him playing seven tests between 1974-76.
Lock Isaac Ross was capped nine times in 2009 while midfield back Ryan Crotty is the club’s most prolific All Black, playing 48 tests between 2013-19.
Plenty of local ‘heroes’ were in attendance at the weekend with former Canterbury captain Ian Penrose, the current club patron, and Wayne Burleigh - a member of the 1982-85 Ranfurly Shield era squad - leading the way.
Former Crusaders Tyson Keats and Kieran Fonotia represent a more recent vintage which also includes current Crusaders prop Oliver Jager and hooker Nathan Vella.
Fullback: Dave Bowick (1974-1983)
Wings: Ross Gibson (1974-1985), Alisi Tupuailei (1999-2018)
Centre: Kieron Fonotia (2007-2015)
Second five-eighth: Ryan Crotty (2009-2012)
First five-eighth: Wayne Burleigh (1976-1988)
Halfback: Tyson Keats (2002-2016)
No.8: Ian Penrose (1962-1972)
Flankers: Billy Harmon (2014 -), Jeff Wilkins (1967-1978)
Locks: Issac Ross (2004-2011), Eric Leask (1962-1974)
Props: Kerry Tanner (1966-1978), Paul Bell (1975-1993)
Hooker: Gary Bacon (1967-1969)
Reserves: Marcel Cummings-Toone (2003-2018), Ben May (2003-2005), Ian Boyce (1984-1988), Hugh Burry (1957-1960 and 1962), Graeme Ellis (1976-1982), Phil Burleigh (2005-2018), Steve Blackler (1981-1989).
Head coach: Ceddy Smith
Assistant coach: Craig Philpott