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Rugby round-robin

Wairarapa-Bush’s premier club teams will play an eight-team round-robin before splitting into a top six and yet-to-be-decided “second division”.

Two-time defending champions Carterton will be joined by Greytown, Martinborough, Marist, Pioneer, East Coast, Eketāhuna, and Masterton Red Star, the latter returning to the top level for the first time in four years.

Wai Bush Council of Clubs chair Tavita Isaac confirmed that the teams will play a full round-robin, with the leaders after the seven games winning the Lane Penn Cup. The points will then be scrapped, and the top six will contest the Chris ‘Moose’ Kapene Memorial Cup, comprising a round-robin of five games followed by semifinals and the grand final in mid-July.

The bottom two will drop down to a “second division” along with two or three teams coming up from the Senior Reserve grade, although Isaac said the exact configuration is still to be decided and could depend on the relative strengths of the Senior Reserve sides.

The Lane Penn Cup will kick off on Saturday, April 6, with Martinborough hosting champions Carterton in a blockbuster clash, Marist at home to Pioneer in the traditional Masterton derby, Eketāhuna playing East Coast, and Masterton Red Star tackling Greytown.


Wairarapa Bush are to face last season’s top five teams in a brutal draw for the 2024 Heartlands Rugby Championship.

The “Green and Reds”, Lochore Cup semifinalists, will kick off their campaign with a home game against third-placed Thames Valley, followed by a trip to three-time defending Meads Cup champions South Canterbury and a home fixture against North Otago. They will also play Poverty Bay [away], Horowhenua-Kapiti [home], Whanganui [away], Lochore Cup champions West Coast [home] and finish off with East Coast in Ruatoria.

Chris Cogdale
Chris Cogdale
Chris “Coggie” Cogdale has extensive knowledge of sport in Wairarapa having covered it for more than 30 years, including radio for 28 years. He has been the sports guru at the Wairarapa Times-Age since 2019.

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