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Player of the week: Peter Beech

Peter Beech at work at Kuranui College. PHOTO/JADE CVETKOV

Marist captain Peter Beech had a barnstorming game in a tough win over Pioneer. CHRIS COGDALE spoke to the Kuranui College Year 10 dean.

Peter Beech taught in Auckland, Taranaki, London, and Taranaki again before he decided to return home and take up a role as Year 10 dean at Kuranui College.

Educated at St Patrick’s School, Masterton Intermediate School, and Wairarapa College, Beech then studied at Massey University.

His first teaching job was at Manurewa Intermediate, South Auckland, followed by a brief spell at New Plymouth Boy’s High School before he taught in London for 3½ years.

On returning to New Zealand, he worked at Inglewood High School for a year before taking on the Kuranui role.

Beech, 32, now teaches mathematics and physical education and runs the police studies course.

“It’s a programme run by police which allows students to get unit standards if they’re looking to get into the police force,” he said.

From his early days in the game, his size meant Beech was in the middle row and he has “never been allowed to leave lock”.

He played for Wairarapa-Bush Under-16 and Under-18 representative sides and the Manawatu Under-18s.

He later played in Auckland, Taranaki, and London, where he played with Jeremy Anderson [the son of former Wai-Bush halfback Bunter Anderson] for London Irish Amateurs.

“Jeremy was captain, and they loved us over there because we were New Zealanders, but it was a good experience.

“We were there at the right time and were picked to go on a tour to New York where we played New York Athletic, the best rugby team there, in front of a flash country club.”

Back in Masterton, Beech was named captain of Marist in their 75th jubilee year.

The rest is history as the green and whites won their first premier title in 18 years, overcoming a 22-point deficit early in the second half of the final against Greytown, with a last-gasp penalty.

“It was a dream come true to come back and win for your junior club. I got to play with my brother Joe as well, which was a good experience.”

His never-say-die attitude earned him Wai-Bush selection for the truncated 2020 Heartland season.

As for 2021, Beech said the team wants to go back-to-back.

“That’s what we set out at the start of the year to win the Lane Penn Cup and the Moose Kapene Cup.”

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