West Coast rugby league team

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West Coast rugby league team
Club information
Nickname(s) Chargers
Founded 1915
Current details
Competition New Zealand Rugby League
Rugby League Cup 1947, 1955, 1960, 1962-63, 1968

The West Coast rugby league team are New Zealand rugby league team that represents the West Coast Rugby League. They have been nicknamed the Chargers.


The West Coast side played its first match against Canterbury, losing 30-16 on 3 June 1915 at Victoria Park, Greymouth. That night the West Coast Rugby League was formed. Canterbury then played Blackball the next day, winning 23-10 before defeating Hokitika 33-8 on 5 June.[1]

The team for the West Coast was; H. Lawrence, L. Smith, L. Hunter, A. Hobson, W. Kirk, Hay, R. Watts, J. Rear, S.Bligh, A. Kells, D. McCann, T. Todd, J. Stenhouse.[1]

They next played in 1919 when they lost to Canterbury 5-3.[1]

The West Coast recorded their first win in 1923 when they defeated Wellington 12-6. They first defeated Canterbury in 1931, winning 37-19, before following it up the following year with a 53-26 win.[1]

Since then rugby league has traditionally been the most successful team sport in the West Coast.[2] However, since the 1990s the West Coast has usually participated in Second Division or South Island competitions and in particular the West Coast missed out on having a team in either the Lion Red Cup or Bartercard Cup, the two main New Zealand Rugby League competitions of the 1990s and 2000s.

Despite this, the West Coast has had some success in recent years. In the 1995 season the West Coast won the South Island division of the National Provincial competition and advanced to the final, losing to Wellington. The NPC was that year an invitational competition due to the Lion Red Cup.

However, in 1997 the West Coast Chargers advanced to the semi finals of a full national competition, losing to Canterbury 24-40 in an away semi final.[3]

In 2000 the West Coast competed in the Mainland Super 10, a competition involving three South Island districts and seven Canterbury Rugby League clubs. The West Coast Chargers performed below expectations and finished eighth.[4] The West Coast declined to take part in the 2001 edition of the competition after it was moved to the first half of the season.[5]

In 2004 the West Coast played the touring Russian national team.[6]

The West Coast is currently represented by the South Island team in the National Zonal Competition.

Notable players[edit]

The West Coast has produced many New Zealand Kiwis including Jock Butterfield, George Menzies, Whetu Taewa and Kiwis coach Cecil Mountford.


  1. ^ a b c d Coffey, John. Canterbury XIII, Christchurch, 1987
  2. ^ Smith, Tony (27 November 2010). "Sport can help West Coasters heal the pain". The Press. Retrieved 2 December 2011. 
  3. ^ John Coffey Coasters give Reds a shock The Press, 15 September 1997
  4. ^ West Coast Chargers rugbyleague.co.nz
  5. ^ West Coast league team pulls out The Press, 9 March 2001
  6. ^ Russian league team heads for South Island The Press, 5 July 2003