Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 48, September 2004

By Gordon Mathieson

For most of the past sixty-five years, the ultimate trophy to attain for the secondary schools' rugby in the Thames Valley, has been the Coulter Cup.

ABOUT THE DONOR

The origins of this well-known rugby cup began with Mr Robert Coulter, Mayor of Te Aroha from 1921 until 1941, and Member of Parliament for Piako. Mr Coulter presented the cup to the Te Aroha rugby sub-union which, in turn, donated it to the Thames Valley Secondary Schools' Rugby competitions.

His name is perpetuated in Te Aroha (Coulter Bridge) over the Waihou River, and is also immortalised in stone at the present Te Aroha Public Library - once the Te Aroha Borough Council Chambers. Two stones were laid - firstly the foundation stone to the left of the front steps which reads as follows:

THIS STONE WAS LAID

BY

THE HON. WALTER NASH

MINISTER OF FINANCE

FEB. 8TH, 1938

ROBERT COULTER, M.P., MAYOR

FRED W. WILD W.G.BARCLAY

TOWN CLERK BUILDER

and to the right of the steps is the plaque commemorating the building's completion and official opening:

THIS BUILDING WAS OPENED

BY

HIS WORSHIP THE MAYOR

ROBERT COULTER, M.P.

ON AUGUST 27TH, 1938

COUNCILLORS

G.HEDGE - DEP. MAYOR V.C.HAMILTON

W.E.SMITH W.C.KENNEDY

W.T.DALE F.T.HALLIGAN

W.A.CLARK J.L. OTTER

F.W.WILD TOWN CLERK

THE COMPETITIONS

The first Coulter Cup match was played in 1938 with a win for Te Aroha District High School. During the early years of the Cup, seven High Schools competed, these being Thames High School, Paeroa, Waihi, Ngatea, Te Aroha, Matamata and Morrinsville District High Schools. The last two listed, withdrew and joined the Waikato competitions in the 1950s, leaving the first five to compete. During World War II the competitions went into recess but resumed for the 1944 season.

The most successful school has been Hauraki Plains College (formerly Ngatea District High School) with twenty-four wins to date.

The following table shows the Coulter Cup wins from 1944 until 2002:

SCHOOL

OUTRIGHT

JOINT

 
 

WINS

WINS

 

Hauraki Plains (Ngatea)

24

4

= 28

Thames

8

3

= 11

Te Aroha

5

5

= 10

Paeroa

6

3

= 9

Waihi

3

3

= 6

Morrinsville} until 1959

4

   

Matamata }

1

   

THE INSCRIPTION

The Coulter Cup is inscribed thus:

TE AROHA RUGBY UNION

1938

COULTER CUP

PRESENTED BY

ROBT. COULTER, ESQ.

M.P.

and is followed by the winner's names.

PAEROA'S COULTER CUP SUCCESSES

1. 1952: Paeroa District High School's first win - the team ably coached by Mr Wattie Fleming - a teacher there from 1948 until 1956. In the final, Paeroa defeated Waihi to win by 19 points to 8. Mr Fleming, now aged 83, lives at Howick and he and his wife, Enid, are keen supporters of the Paeroa Old Pupil's Association.

Captain: Eddie Te Moananui.

2. 1957: A fitting finale to mark the end of the District High years, this team went undefeated through the finals, with wins against Ngatea 12-6, Thames 5-3, Te Aroha 6-3 and Waihi 6-3. Coached by the late Mr Stan Nield (Teacher 1955-58). Captain: Allan Beattie.

3. 1960: Paeroa's first win in the College era, the late Mr Terry Loney being the coach. Paeroa's wins were against Waihi 13-6, Ngatea 11-3, Te Aroha 9-0 and Thames 6-5. Captain: Frank Te Wani.

4. 1966: Paeroa's longest serving teacher, Mr John Pullan coached this team to victory, captained by Doug Brown.

Round 1 - Paeroa won all four matches: Hauraki Plains 25-6, Te Aroha 11 -3, Waihi 14-5 and Thames 5-0.

Round 2 - Two draws, one win and one loss still secured Paeroa the Coulter Cup - won against Hauraki Plains 6-3, drew 6-all with Te Aroha, lost 6-9 against Waihi and drew 8-all with Thames.

5.1967: Paeroa's first example of a consecutive victory, but its first joint-victory. Mr Pullan was coach again (he was on the Paeroa staff 1964 - 1998).

Round 1 - Lost 12-16 to Thames, defeated Hauraki Plains 29-3, Te Aroha 17-3 and Waihi 8-3.

Round 2 - Defeated Hauraki Plains 14-6, Te Aroha 8-3, Waihi defeated Paeroa 3-16 and Paeroa defeated Thames 9-5.

Coulter Cup for 1967 was shared by Paeroa and Waihi. Captain: Grey Thorne-George.

6. 1982: Paeroa's first win in fifteen years. In the finals, Paeroa defeated Ngatea 6-4, Te Aroha 19-9 and Thames 38-0. No team from Waihi. Coaches Gary Morris and Gary Hazelwood. Captain: Robert Dix.

7. 1983: Second case of a consecutive victory - albeit a joint one. First round, Paeroa defeated Waihi 39-0, Hauraki Plains 10-3, Te Aroha 14-10 and Thames 10-6, and in the finals, defeated Hauraki Plains 10-0 but lost to Te Aroha 0-22, making Paeroa joint winners with Te Aroha. Coached by Gary Morris and Gary Hazelwood. Captain: Robert Dickson.

8. 1984: Second consecutive joint victory for Paeroa, round one Paeroa defeated Thames 13-0, lost to Hauraki Plains 3-16 and drew with Te Aroha 3-3. Round two defeated Thames 18-0, Hauraki Plains 11-3 and drew again with Te Aroha 3-3. Paeroa joint winners with Hauraki Plains. The coach was Cliff Pett and Assistant coach, Wayne Stringer. Captain: Chris Piahana.

9. 1985: Easily Paeroa's best rugby season - won all twenty games of the season. In the finals, Paeroa defeated Hauraki Plains 17-6, Thames 12-0 and Te Aroha 22-19. Two coaches shared coaching duties, Tama Morehu and Cliff Pett. David Donnelly was team manager. Captain: Andrew French. This was Paeroa's last win.

MORE COULTER CUP STATISTICS:

Most consecutive wins: twelve by Hauraki Plains (1986-1997)

Longest gaps between wins: twenty-two years by Thames (1976-1998)

Most joint winners in one year: three in 1969 (Hauraki Plains, Thames and Te Aroha)

Longest period since last win: thirty-six years by Waihi (1967 - joint with Paeroa) and forty-seven years (1956) since outright win.

Most consecutive joint wins: two to Paeroa - 1983 with Te Aroha and 1984 with Hauraki Plains.

Last school to have first win: Thames 1958 joint with Waihi.

Latest joint win: 2002 (Hauraki Plains and Te Aroha).

Paeroa District High School 1st XV 1952

PAEROA DISTRICT HIGH SCHOOL 1st XV 1952

Back (left to right): Ron Tubman, Ropata Te Moananui, Oho Nicholls, Watene Tukukino, Graeme Lee, Peter Axcell, Maurice Bain, Colin Jenkinson, Mr W H Fleming.

Centre: Terry Shaw, Morris Mead, Gary Marshall, Bruce Millar, Eddie Te Moananui, Max Bosselmann, Graeme Wheeler, Bill Ollington

Front Row: William "Butch" Baxter, David McGregor

The Coulter Cup
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 48, September 2004
Paeroa District High School 1st XV 1952
Paeroa College 1st XV 1960

PAEROA COLLEGE 1st XV 1960

Back (left to right): Mr T J Loney, Ronald Burgess, David Graham, Geoff Mold, Scott Flatt, Brian Graham, Trevor Davies, Richard Turner, Mr R A Walls

Centre row: Michael Moloney, Michael Burgess, Graheme Williams, Frank Te Wani, Leonard McRae, Bruce Brown

Front row: Max Plummer, John Vercoe, Roger Clist, Roy Hopping, Dan Moloney, Wayne Selwyn

The Coulter Cup
Ohinemuri Regional History Journal 48, September 2004
Paeroa College 1st XV 1960