Winter of ’69
Fifty years on, the Bay of Islands championship-winning 1969 Kaikohe rugby team is set to hold a reunion this Saturday, prior to the current senior team’s first home game of the North Zone campaign against Panguru.
The ’69 side won the first round, losing only one game and went on to be unbeaten in the championship round. Trophies won that year included the Homestead Cup, the Pioneer Shield and the Tane Clarke/ Les Smith Memorial Trophy.
The side had an outstanding backline which, with the exception of winger Jim Nicholls, will be intact for Saturday’s reunion and includes vice captain Pat Marshall (who played second-five and also made the New Zealand Ma¯ori side), who will be travelling from Taupo¯ accompanied by wife, Marlene, the three Wihongi brothers, Taako (first-five), Andrew (halfback) and Mathew (winger), along with Pat Butler (fullback) and John Herbert (centre).
It was noted the forward pack, well led by captain Frank Colthurst, had secured sufficient ball for the backs to score and finish the season with a points differential of 242 for/ 110 against. T
he side was coached by the late Pat Whiu, managed by the late Enoch Poa, with Ted Bagshaw club captain and the late Colin McKenzie, then owner of the Kaikohe Hotel, as president.