Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union
|Full name||Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union|
|Colours||Red and White|
The Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union is the governing body for rugby union within the Gisborne district, in the area surrounding Poverty Bay on the east coast of the North Island of New Zealand. The men's representative team play from Rugby Park, Gisborne, and currently compete in the Heartland Championship.
The Poverty Bay Rugby Football Union was established in 1890 by four clubs in the Gisborne area - Gisborne, Turanganui, Poverty Bay and Warerenga-a-Hika, with the union's inaugural first-class match being held against Hawke's Bay the same year. Since then, the union has played against every other existent union in New Zealand as well as an array of overseas touring sides, including but not limited to Australia, England, South Africa and Japan, against whom Poverty Bay drew in 1974. In 1981, Rugby Park was the scene of clashes between pro-tour supporters and anti-tour protesters prior to a match against the touring South African side. Poverty Bay ultimately lost the game by 6 - 24.
Poverty Bay won the Third Division of the National Provincial Championship (NPC), in 1987 and 2005, and finished as runners-up in the same division in 1994, 1995 and 1999. Since 2006, Poverty Bay have competed in the Heartland Championship, a competition organised by the New Zealand Rugby Union for New Zealand's amateur unions. Since the introduction of the format in 2006, the team have had great success, winning the Lochore Cup on four occasions - 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2011.
Heartland Championship placings
Poverty Bay's placings in the Heartland Championship are listed below:
|Heartland Championship results|
|2006||8||5||0||3||243||194||+49||4||24||7th||Lochore Cup||Won 36–10 against Buller||Won 46–34 against King Country|
|2007||8||5||0||3||193||162||+31||4||24||7th||Lochore Cup||Won 65–3 against Thames Valley||Won 38–35 against South Canterbury|
|2008||8||5||0||3||196||131||+65||3||23||7th||Lochore Cup||Won 43–30 against South Canterbury||Won 26–5 against Horowhenua-Kapiti|
|2009||8||6||0||2||154||181||−27||2||26||3rd||Meads Cup||Lost 13–48 to Wanganui||—|
|2010||8||6||0||2||282||164||+118||4||28||3rd||Meads Cup||Lost 24–31 to Wanganui||—|
|2011||8||3||1||4||184||226||+40||5||19||8th||Lochore Cup||Won 32–30 against Buller||Won 49–22 against South Canterbury|
|2012||8||3||0||5||212||247||−35||5||17||8th||Lochore Cup||Lost 22–42 to Buller||—|
|2014||8||5||1||2||231||168||+63||6||28||2nd||Meads Cup||Lost 22–29 to Mid Canterbury||—|
Poverty Bay have never held the Ranfurly Shield, although they have challenged for the Shield on 16 occasions. In 1980, Poverty Bay came close to defeating Auckland, losing a hard fought encounter 12 - 19.
Poverty Bay in Super Rugby
Poverty Bay along with Wellington, Wairarapa Bush, Wanganui, East Coast, Hawke's Bay, Manawatu and Horowhenua-Kapiti fall within the Hurricanes catchment. Hosea Gear is the most notable player from the Poverty Bay region to have played for the side.
There have been six players selected for the All Blacks whilst playing for Poverty Bay. Most notable amongst these players are Ian Kirkpatrick and Richard "Tiny" White. Other players include John Collins, Brian Fitzpatrick, Lawrie Knight and Mike Parkinson. There have also been players such as Rico Gear, Hosea Gear and Charlie Ngatai who became All Blacks having started their careers with Poverty Bay.
- "Standings (2006–present)". Heartland Championship. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Fixtures and Results (2006–present)". Heartland Championship. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "Finalists found in Lochore and Meads Cups". Newshub. 23 October 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2016.
- "2010 Lochore and Mead Cups finals wrap". Heartland Championship. 31 October 2010. Retrieved 13 April 2016.