Manawatu rugby league team

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"Central Falcons" redirects here. For central zone rugby league team, see Central Vipers.
Manawatu rugby league team
Club information
Nickname(s) The Mustangs
Founded 1957
Current details
Coach(s) David Lomax

The Manawatu rugby league team are a rugby league team that represents the Manawatu Rugby League in New Zealand Rugby League competitions. They have previously been nicknamed the Mustangs and between 2002 and 2007 competed in the Bartercard Cup as the Central Falcons.

Manawatu has a strong domestic scene and clubs compete in the "Western Alliance" region alongside Taranaki clubs.


Rugby league in the region was first recorded in 1957. However it was not until 1971 that Manawatu had its first ever registered win, against Bay of Plenty 24 - 19. The season remains the team's most successful.[1]

Lion Red Cup[edit]

In 1996 a Manawatu team was entered into the Lion Red Cup, replacing the Auckland Warriors' Colts. They were called the Manawatu Mustangs. This team was coached by Peter Sixtus.

Season Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts Position (Teams) Finals
1996 22 5 0 17 404 732 -328 10 Eleventh (Twelve) N/A

Bartercard Cup[edit]

Central Falcons
Club information
Founded 2002
Departed 2008
Former details

The Central Falcons were a franchise in the now defunct Bartercard Cup rugby league competition. They represented the Central North Island of New Zealand, playing home games in Palmerston North and Levin and were run by the Manawatu Rugby League. They were coached by former Kiwis international David Lomax.

They entered the competition in 2002 alongside the Taranaki Wildcats. They had a close relationship with the New Zealand Army and its base at Waiouru. In 2006 two New Zealand Warriors were assigned to the club; Micheal Luck & Steve Price.

Notable players included: Jesse Royal, Ricky Thorby and Russell Packer.

The side never made the finals and in the final season collected the wooden spoon. The club's best result was in 2005 when it finished Ninth out of Twelve teams.

Season Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts Position (Teams) Finals
2002 16 3 1 12 330 586 -256 7 Eleventh (Twelve) N/A
2003 16 4 0 12 374 578 -204 8 Tenth (Twelve) N/A
2004 16 4 2 10 376 508 -132 10 Tenth (Twelve) N/A
2005 16 4 3 9 299 531 -232 11 Ninth (Twelve) N/A
2006 18 6 0 12 415 678 -263 12 Ninth (Ten) N/A
2007 18 1 1 16 384 868 -484 3 Tenth (10) Wooden Spoon


  1. ^ MRL History Manawatu Rugby League