Unfortunately records only date back to 1931, but it is known that a ‘Hinuera rugby club’ did exist prior to then and the original meeting was held in Harry Hopkin’s shed in 1911, the year that the Cotter family settled in Hinuera, coming, as did so many others, from the Coromandel and Waihi goldfields. World War I soon saw the club fall into recession until in 1924 Harry Kennedy called a meeting to reform the club which had been in recess for a number of years.
The Secretary-Treasurer position from 1924 to 1930 was shared by W Oates and W Hammond. Phil Cotter was elected President, a position he held for 25 years. Phil was nicknamed ‘The Grand Old Man of Rugby’, such was his service to the sport and the club.
Games were originally played on the Brown and White family property behind the railway station, also at in the Calder’s paddock, a paddock on the Cotter Estate, then later at the Nola Estate at Taihoa.
In 1962 the club purchased the Germann homestead near the Hinuera School, from the Hinuera Co-op Dairy Co Ltd at the price of 1800 pounds and transformed it into clubrooms. It was financed by donations and debentures. These clubrooms still stand, albeit altered and added to over the years.
In 1986 more development was carried out, with the purchase of land from Mr Germann to construct the club’s own playing field, the indoor cricket and netball centre was built, and two changing rooms, showers and toilets added to the clubrooms. Over the next few years, further alterations to the bar and kitchen area were carried out, while in 1998 the development of a second field was undertaken, along with extra changing sheds. Recent years has seen a revamp of the kitchen and women’s toilets.
Gold and black have been the traditional colours of the club, first starting with a playing strip of gold and black hoops, black shorts and hooped socks.
The origins of the logo – two sparring bulls over a rugby ball – was created by Jim Cotter in 1974 to mark the 50th jubilee. This logo still proudly adorns the playing jerseys today.
The HRFC Cotter Memorial Trophy (now a competition fondly known as the Cotter Cup), was played for annually by school rugby teams in the district: Hinuera, Taihoa, Te Poi, Rangipai and Piarere. These days, the Cotter Cup encompasses many schools from all over the district, with kids playing rugby, soccer, netball and hockey.
1932 Subscriptions: senior 3/6, junior 2/6, thirds 1/6
1934 Gate charges: men 6d, Ladies 5d
First year winning the Matamata Rugby Sub-union Championship
W Warender and R Settle become the first club members to be selected to Waikato Reps
1936 Hinuera defeats a Kereone team, full of Waikato players, 11-8 to win the prestigious Binnie Cup
1937 Club asked union for floodlights and coat hooks in shed facilities
1939 Club’s first ball, charges: 3/6, 3/-
1939-45 53 members leaving for World War II are farewelled from the club
1947 Benefit match for Pike Johnstone, 43 pounds raised
1949 Corinthians first match against Hinuera
1949-50 First field day held in conjunction with 25th Jubilee
1954 Benefit match for Bill Cleaver who suffered a total loss in a house fire
1956 Refreshments ordered for a social: 1/5 gal keg, 1/9 gal keg. Leftover beer was bottled and sold at 2/6 per bottle
1962 Present clubrooms purchased and refurbished. Officially opened in June by Patron of the time, Pike Johnston
1965 Jersey design changed from gold and black hoops to plain gold
1971 Hinuera Seniors v Ohaupo: highest score in Waikato competition, a record 87-3
1974 Hinuera Rugby Football Club logo with bulls created by Jim Cotter
1986 Development of first playing field
Indoor cricket and netball centre built along with two changing sheds, showers and toilets
1998 Development of second playing field
1999 75th Jubilee
021 368 116
4870 State Highway 29, Hinuera; PO Box 381 Matamata 3440