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Monday, January 16, 2006


Other Unions / Teams: The Mauger-Bachop Vision.

Today, writing exclusively for Rugga World, Canterbury club Lyttelton's Junior Club Captain, Brian B. illustrates the dedication and passion required to ensure club rugby flourishes. Brian also explains the club's "Mauger-Bachop Vision" for the future plus details the links the club has had with South Africa over the years.

It is this kind of committed effort and community spirit that combines to keep grass-roots rugby alive, well and healthy in New Zealand. The Bachops are to be commended. Thank you, Brian, for sharing your club's history with us.

Lyttelton - Portrait of a Waterfront Rugby Club.

By Brian B Junior Club Captain.

Nestled beside the harbour, in amongst the tanks of the “Tank Farm”, is the “Port Recreation Ground”, the home ground of the Lyttleton Rugby & Combined Sports club as it is known today.

The club is small in terms of playing numbers. But it is a community-based club made up of the working people of the port. There are ‘watersiders’, maritime security officers, fishermen, truck drivers, shipping agents plus professional people like bankers, & IT people all making up the playing & coaching numbers.

The Rugby club as we know it today dates back to 1938, however rugby was played in the port as far back as the 1880s. For the most part the club always played in what was called the “Junior Grade”, which was to become the 2nd grade in recent years. Unfortunately few records of those days survive to refer to but it is known that there were several prominent All Blacks who played their rugby in the port as juniors before going off to Christchurch city & the High Schools & big city clubs.

Notable amongst those players from the early days were William “Bill” Dalley, the halfback in the 1924 “Invincibles” who was born in Lyttleton.

Mr Dalley was also remembered by several players in the 1970s & 1980s as the elderly gentleman who would show up to all the teams matches in the city, in all weathers, & support the “Boys From Port.”

The other notable Lyttelton junior player of the early years was former All Black captain Bob Duff (AB 1951 –56) who led the ABs against the Springboks in 1956. Mr Duff made his name in the city clubs after going through the hill to the city but he has always been a keen supporter of the club & has been seen on the sidelines on Saturday mornings watching the Juniors play.

In 1985 the club had it’s only player to be selected as an All Black, while playing for the club, when Victor Simpson became an All Black during his three years playing for the club. Victor toured South Africa in 1986 as a member of the Cavaliers while still playing in Lyttelton.

In more modern times, the name of Bachop has featured prominently in the club. The club’s late patron, Mrs Timi Bachop, was a well-respected member of the community & long time supporter of the club.

Mrs Bachop’s sons all played for the club. Her older sons, Brian & Tony were members of our first Senior squad (1983 –1987). While her other sons, Graeme & Stephen both went on to become All Blacks while playing for Linwood. However, Mrs Bachop made sure they never forgot their roots & both have regularly been seen at the clubrooms & on the sidelines over the years supporting the team. Her grandsons, Aaron Mauger & Nathan Mauger both became All Blacks as well. Both were junior players with the club & both Aaron & Nathan have given their time over the years to help coach & participate in fun days with the juniors.

In recent years the club has fielded one men’s open grade side & 4 junior sides.

Gone are the days of the 1980s when we played with the big boys in the Senior “A” division for 5 seasons & fielded 3 men’s teams & 8 junior teams.

The changing face of reform on the waterfront & related industries & juniors going off to the High Schools in Christchurch City ripped the heart out of the club. Slowly we have rebuilt over the past decade.

In 2005 the one & only men’s side won Division 3 of the Canterbury Rugby Football Union championship round to put the club back on the map, taking on the 2nd XV’s of most of the big city clubs & defeating them all on the way to glory.

In 2006 we see the implementation of the “Mauger-Bachop Vision”.

This plan sees Lyttelton once again going back to “The bigtime” of Canterbury Rugby.

The death late in 2004 of Mrs Bachop saw the implementation of the Mauger-Bachop Vision for the Lyttleton Rugby Club by Aaron Mauger & Graeme Bachop. Both made a commitment to their mother to return to finish their careers with Lyttelton.

The details of the vision were unveiled to the club in May 2005 by Aaron Mauger. The vision was to return Lyttelton to the top echelons of Canterbury Club rugby led by Aaron Mauger & Graeme Bachop.

First the club will play in Division 2 for 2006 with the intention of winning their way to division 1 for 2007. How is this to be achieved?

Aaron Mauger first sounded out several players playing in the city who had all played at junior level for Lyttelton on whether they would return to play with him & Graeme. Then he got a commitment from a couple of other prominent players who also agreed to move clubs & be part of the rebuilding of the club. It was also announced that a local business had been signed up as the major sponsor for the senior rugby section for three years for a significant amount of money.

The strip to is to return to the strip we all knew & loved from the 1970s & 1980s, the Royal Blue & gold hoop which was what Aaron & Graeme remembered as Lyttelton colours.

Graeme Bachop recruited two prominent club coaches from the city who had played with him & they put a coaching staff together. The Mauger/ Bachop Vision was nearly complete.

The last part of the vision was for the whole community to come together behind this venture. They wanted the whole community to “Live the Vision” along with all of us. Aaron also embraced the children of the port, encouraging them to return to the club, wanting a strong junior section behind the seniors. Interest is huge amongst the juniors as the kids all want to see Aaron back, being part of their club.

Other players expected to front for the Lyttelton Division 2 side this season are former All Black, Caleb Ralph, a close friend of Aaron Mauger, & new young Crusaders prop, Ben Franks, who played here as a junior.

The heady days of the 1980s are about to return. The epic matches at the port recreation ground when the big city clubs came to “Port” to take on the local boys in front of a crowd of 500. The convoys of cars through the tunnel to the city will be back as the locals turn up to Rugby Park, Linfield Park & Hoon Hay Park to support “The boys from Port”

A big factor in enabling this vision to proceed was the determination of the current “senior” team, the division 3 side which defeated all comers including several 2nd XVs from the big clubs & the top sides from some of the other smaller clubs to win CRFU Division 3 for 2005.

The ages in this side ranged from 17 through to 47 & as is usual with the port, many times a different side would have to take the field each week due to work commitments. However the side endured & once again we saw big crowds return to the Port recreation Ground as the boys marched onto the division 3 glory.

The 2006 season stands to be a season to be remember in the Old Port town & the whole community is abuzz with anticipation.
What an awesome article!!!

Thank you very much Bryan / Rasputin.

I must say, it is articles / contributions like this that make me extremely proud to be part of Rugga World.
I'm distributing this to all the Club Presidents in the SWD.  
Do you have a club with an interesting history you would like featured?

Please contact us and we'll see what we can do for the future.

We are passionate about rugby and dedicated to help spreading the game.

Obviously we would love to give any South African clubs a boost with information and publicity.
Great stuff, Kandas!  
Yip Ras - great work

Rebuilding the roots- that is the mission

and now please forgive


So the Eagles have bowled like Champs and the Eagles batsmen was complacent- and it was the Orangemen tail that wagged the titans-lowercase T intended.

Well done Eagles 4 trophys out of the available 5.

Johan vd Wath is 'n yster!!!

The Tswane takuza's must hate the colour of Oranje ;-)

hey Aldo- whatsup?
Now with that out of the way- lets return to the topic.

It seems that the catch here is community based-clubs

SA club rugby is dominated by the universities- and with the peregrine nature of the players it is inevitable that the community-based clubs will suffer.

The catch will be to rectify this situation.
I find it particularly frustrating that I can do an internet search on the Lyttleton rugby club and get back a number of results providing contact details, vision, a little on 'who's who' etc.

Right down to "Facilities
Two rugby fields, pavilion (showers and training equipment), gym (being developed), full bar facilities, kitchen and entertaining options."

Yet for almost every club in SA I'd struggle to find any information.

Our clubs need to get smarter, more ambitious. Even if they can't afford a website or page of their own, why not hook up with a local company and see if they wouldn't host a page for you etc.

This club is even mentioned on the local tourist website for the port. Plus, it has it's own page on the Canterbury Rugby Football Union's website.

We really need to all pull together in SA.
I couldn't agree more Ras. Unfortunately, being in the business myself, the reality of total ignorance of the general SA public towards the Internet doesn't contribute towards the solution.

For how long must we keep trying to educate them????

Marketing is always the last aspect to be discussed and usually when there is a crisis. It is also too easy to then say "Sorry, there is no money"
Contrast the Lyttleton approach to this excerpt from a prominent Cape Town club;

"We know that it is fact that Clubs throughout South Africa are battling to make ends meet. Our own experience is the same. Celtic Harriers a few years ago had a membership of some 1200 members; today they battle to reach 500. Our rugby club continues to lose members along the way and their membership has dropped considerably. Rugby players show little loyalty today and with the advent of ‘professionalism’ everybody wants to be paid and that includes coaches and administrators. Competing clubs very easily draw good players away from a smaller pool of players. One has to seriously question the future of Club rugby – violence and transformation have become major issues of concern. Promotion and relegation is a reality and the traditional clubs are battling to survive."
Spot on Kandas, it is reactive management instead of proactive.

That mindset has to change because they are killing the spirit of club rugby through ignorance more than a lack of will.

Instead of throwing their hands up in woe they should be out there battling for every last punter.

Not enough people around anymore who want to be involved simply for the love of the game?

The old time administrators?
Good point, OO

Club rugby in SA is dominated by Unis, especially in the city but it is heart wrenching to drive through the countryside and see so many rugby fields with waist high grass.

No doubt politics has played a large part in the demise of countryside rugby but often it is also due to a lack of originality or dynamism.
SARU have a lot to answer for as well.

They sat back for years whilst an ugly racial situation was allowed to develop in some areas leading to the death of club rugby in parts.

There is a spine of stupidity that runs deep through our rugby.

The question is, are there enough good people willing to work long hours, without expecting riches, in order to rectify the situation?
It shouldn't be overlooked that there ARE hundreds, if not thousands, of perfectly decent hard working people giving of their time for free as well.

It's not all doom and gloom.

Hopefully those kind of people will contact us and we can do a piece on their clubs to give them a lift.
great arti ras and thanks to brian, hope we get lots more in future from him and his club.  
This is the official link for the Lyttelton rugby Club. Ignore the CRFU website it is out of date.
I ahve yet to update the official oen as we are still awaiting the appointment of some office holders.

Link below.
Here is the rest of the link:

Sorry about that fellas....the link is bloody long!  
Thank you very much Brian!

And welcome. Great to have you here!
well, I thought it was very interesting.  
This article was absolutely fanrastic.

Brian thanks for taking the time out to speak to us.
In 2001 my brother went to New Zealand and visited a teacher friend in Canterbury. He lives in a small town about 30km outside Christchurch. Percy took him to a club match on a Saturday.

My brother was told that they had sold 3000 tickets for the match and he said the tiny stadium was packed to capacity.
Sounds a bit strange to me David S. We don't charge for club games in Canterbury & I don't know of any club ground that would have 3000 capacity. Perhaps it was a provincial team, like Mid Canterbury that was playing?

Brian B
Sounds a bit strange to me David S. We don't charge for club games in Canterbury & I don't know of any club ground that would have 3000 capacity. Perhaps it was a provincial team, like Mid Canterbury that was playing?  
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