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The Bay of Plenty region has a proud rugby tradition and heritage. Over the years the Bay of Plenty Steamers has produced many New Zealand representatives in the All Blacks, Maori All Blacks, NZ 7’s and of course the Gallagher Chiefs.


Their first game was on June 3, 1912, with a 40-3 loss to Wellington, it took the fledgling union seven long years to be able to chalk up their first win. An impressive 25-16 win over Auckland at Eden Park.

The Bay were the inaugural winners of the NPC in 1976 and the provincial union has experienced equal measures of agony and ecstasy throughout its rich history. Some memorable victories over international oppositions include Fiji and the Wallabies twice.

Most Bay supporters can recall a number of heart-stopping games where the Bay were unlucky or ‘robbed’ of the chance of victory. However, August 15, 2004 saw this change with the Bay successfully lifting the Log o’ Wood’ from Auckland. Glen Jackson who played 60 games for the Gallagher Chiefs was a standout for the Steamers. His match haul of 23 points proved decisive in the 33-28 victory. Wayne Ormond who also played for the Gallagher Chiefs became the first Bay of Plenty captain to lift the shield in victory.

The Bay defended the shield against Waikato in front of a huge crowd at Mount Maunganui before a Canterbury side stacked full of current and ex-All Blacks finally wrestled the Shield away in an epic battle two weeks later.

Over the years there have been some great players both past and present who have achieved the great trifecta of a Steamers, Chiefs and All Blacks jersey; players like Mike Delany, Tanerau Latimer, Lelia Masanga, Nathan Harris and Sam Cane.

Visit Bay of Plenty Rugby Union Site

Gallagher Chiefs Co-captain Sam Cane
Gallagher Chiefs Co-captain Sam Cane plays for the Bay of Plenty Steamers.