1997 World Club Championship

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1997 tournament trophy

The 1997 World Club Championship was an expansion of the World Club Challenge concept by Super League. The competition was restructured to include all 22 clubs from the Australasian and European Super League championships and was known as the Visa World Club Championship due to sponsorship. As it was contested over 6 rounds in 2 hemispheres, with A$1,000,000 prize money (GBP 640,000), the competition was prohibitively expensive to stage, and it reportedly lost over $5,000,000. This, coupled with the poor ratings and attendances that were achieved both in Australia and Europe, led to the competition being postponed for a number of years. No British teams progressed further than the quarter finals. Two Australian teams reached the final (played at the Ericsson Stadium in Auckland, New Zealand): the dominant Brisbane Broncos club and the ill-fated Hunter Mariners.[1]

1997 tournament tables[edit]

The Australasian and European teams were each divided into two pools for the 1997 World Club Challenge. Each pool had six teams, with the exception of Australasia B, which had the two lowest placed Super League-aligned teams and the two newly formed teams: the Hunter Mariners and the Adelaide Rams. The finals series was contested between the top three teams in Australasia Pool A and Europe Pool A, and the top team from Australasia Pool B and Europe Pool B.

Australasia Pool A[edit]

Club Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Diff. Points
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 6 6 0 0 270 52 218 12
Auckland colours.svg Auckland Warriors 6 6 0 0 268 82 186 12
Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks 6 6 0 0 230 54 176 12
Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 6 6 0 0 256 120 136 12
Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 6 5 1 0 302 108 194 10
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 6 4 2 0 218 121 97 8

Australasia Pool B[edit]

Club Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Diff. Points
Hunter colours.svg Hunter Mariners 6 6 0 0 226 50 176 12
North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland Cowboys 6 5 1 0 228 92 136 10
Adelaide colours.svg Adelaide Rams 6 4 2 0 170 68 102 8
Western Reds colours.svg Perth Reds 6 4 2 0 148 104 44 8

Europe Pool A[edit]

Club Played Won Lost Drawn For Against Diff. Points
Wigancolours.svg Wigan Warriors 6 2 4 0 89 212 -123 4
Quinscolours.png London Broncos 6 1 5 0 136 238 -102 2
Bullscolours.svg Bradford Bulls 6 0 6 0 82 228 -146 0
Saintscolours.svg St Helens RLFC 6 0 6 0 96 270 -174 0
Wolvescolours.svg Warrington Wolves 6 0 6 0 78 256 -178 0
Faxcolours.svg Halifax Blue Sox 6 0 6 0 56 340 -284 0

Europe Pool B[edit]

Club Played Won Lost Drawn Bye For Against Diff. Points
Paris Saint-Germain 4 1 3 0 2 48 90 -42 2
Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos 4 1 3 0 2 64 138 -74 2
Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Bears 4 1 3 0 2 52 130 -78 2
Redscolours.svg Salford City Reds 4 1 3 0 2 44 130 -86 2
Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles 4 1 3 0 2 54 168 -114 2
Cascolours.png Castleford Tigers 4 0 4 0 2 52 116 -64 0

1997 tournament matches[edit]

Round 1[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
6 June 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. London Broncos 42-22 ANZ Stadium Brisbane 18,193
6 June 1997 Auckland Warriors def. St Helens 42-12 Knowsley Road St Helens 8,911
7 June 1997 North Queensland Cowboys def. Leeds Rhinos 42-20 Stockland Stadium Townsville 14,561
8 June 1997 Adelaide Rams def. Salford Reds 50-8 Adelaide Oval Adelaide 11,346
8 June 1997 Canberra Raiders def. Halifax Blue Sox 70-6 Bruce Stadium Canberra 7,780
8 June 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Paris-St Germain 28-12 Charlety Stadium Paris 3,500
8 June 1997 Perth Reds def. Castleford Tigers 24-16 Wilderspool Stadium Warrington 3,378
9 June 1997 Wigan Warriors def. Canterbury Bulldogs 22-18 Belmore Sports Ground Sydney 10,680
9 June 1997 Penrith Panthers def. Bradford Bulls 20-16 Odsal Stadium Bradford 14,378

Round 2[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
13 June 1997 Adelaide Rams def. Leeds Rhinos 34-8 Adelaide Oval Adelaide 14,630
13 June 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Castleford Tigers 42-12 Wheldon Road Castleford 3,087
14 June 1997 North Queensland Cowboys def. Oldham Bears 54-16 Stockland Stadium Townsville 12,631
14 June 1997 Auckland Warriors def. Bradford Bulls 20-16 Odsal Stadium Bradford 13,133
15 June 1997 Canterbury Bulldogs def. Halifax Blue Sox 58-6 Belmore Sports Ground Sydney 5,034
15 June 1997 Canberra Raiders def. London Broncos 66-20 Bruce Stadium Canberra 6,471
15 June 1997 Sheffield Eagles def. Perth Reds 26-22 Don Valley Stadium Sheffield 3,000
15 June 1997 Penrith Panthers def. Warrington Wolves 52-22 Wilderspool Stadium Warrington 3,850
16 June 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. Wigan Warriors 34-0 ANZ Stadium Brisbane 14,833

Round 3[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
20 June 1997 Adelaide Rams def. Oldham Bears 42-14 Adelaide Oval Adelaide 13,852
20 June 1997 Cronulla Sharks def. Bradford Bulls 30-10 Odsal Stadium Bradford 10,756
21 June 1997 North Queensland Cowboys def. Salford Reds 44-8 Stockland Stadium Townsville 15,508
21 June 1997 Paris-St Germain def. Perth Reds 24-0 Charlety Stadium Paris 2,500
22 June 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. Halifax Blue Sox 76-0 ANZ Stadium Brisbane 11,358
22 June 1997 Canberra Raiders def. Wigan Warriors 42-6 Bruce Stadium Canberra 9,098
23 June 1997 Canterbury Bulldogs def. London Broncos 34-18 Belmore Sports Ground Sydney 4,000
23 June 1997 Auckland Warriors def. Warrington Wolves 56-28 Wilderspool Stadium Warrington 4,428
20 June 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Sheffield Eagles 40-4 Don Valley Stadium Sheffield 2,500

Round 4[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
18 July 1997 Penrith Panthers def. Warrington Wolves 48-12 Penrith Football Stadium Penrith 5,642
18 July 1997 Leeds Rhinos def. Adelaide Rams 22-14 Headlingley Leeds 11,269
18 July 1997 Oldham Bears def. North Queensland Cowboys 20-16 Boundary Park Oldham 2,961
19 July 1997 Perth Reds def. Sheffield Eagles 48-12 WACA Ground Perth 7,429
20 July 1997 Auckland Warriors def. Bradford Bulls 64-14 Ericsson Stadium Auckland 13,000
20 July 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Castleford Tigers 26-8 Topper Stadium Newcastle 3,379
20 July 1997 Canterbury Bulldogs def. Halifax Blue Sox 40-22 Thrum Hall Halifax 3,500
20 July 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. Wigan Warriors 30-4 Central Park Wigan 12,816
21 July 1997 Cronulla Sharks def. St Helens 28-12 Shark Park Sydney 7,751
21 July 1997 London Broncos def. Canberra Raiders 38-18 The Stoop London 7,819

Round 5[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
25 July 1997 Auckland Warriors def. St Helens 70-6 Ericsson Stadium Auckland 8,500
25 July 1997 Adelaide Rams def. Oldham Bears 18-2 Boundary Park Oldham 3,315
26 July 1997 Cronulla Sharks def. Warrington Wolves 44-0 Shark Park Sydney 6,112
27 July 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Paris-St Germain 32-0 Topper Stadium Newcastle 2,210
27 July 1997 Perth Reds def. Castleford Tigers 24-14 WACA Ground Perth 6,114
27 July 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. London Broncos 34-16 The Stoop London 9,846
27 July 1997 North Queensland Cowboys def. Salford Reds 24-14 The Willows Salford 7,448
27 July 1997 Canberra Raiders def. Halifax Blue Sox 42-12 Thrum Hall Halifax 3,620
28 July 1997 Penrith Panthers def. Bradford Bulls 54-14 Penrith Football Stadium Penrith 5,332
28 July 1997 Wigan Warriors def. Canterbury Bulldogs 31-24 Central Park Wigan 10,280

Round 6[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
1 August 1997 Perth Reds def. Paris-St Germain 18-8 WACA Ground Perth 5,160
1 August 1997 Canterbury Bulldogs def. London Broncos 44-22 The Stoop London 6,923
2 August 1997 Cronulla Sharks def. Bradford Bulls 40-12 Shark Park Sydney 8,272
3 August 1997 Auckland Warriors def. Warrington Wolves 16-4 Lancaster Park Christchurch 6,500
3 August 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Sheffield Eagles 58-12 Topper Stadium Newcastle 1,965
3 August 1997 North Queensland Cowboys def. Leeds Rhinos 48-14 Headlingley Leeds 12,224
3 August 1997 Salford Reds def. Adelaide Rams 14-12 The Willows Salford 6,995
3 August 1997 Canberra Raiders def. Wigan Warriors 50-10 Central Park Wigan 12,504
4 August 1997 Penrith Panthers def. St Helens 32-26 Penrith Football Stadium Penrith 5,000
4 August 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. Halifax Blue Sox 54-10 Thrum Hall Halifax 3,255

Playoff[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
20 August 1997 St Helens def. Paris-St Germain 42-4 Knowsley Road St Helens -

Quarter-finals[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
3 October 1997 Auckland Warriors def. Bradford Bulls 62-14 Ericsson Stadium Auckland 9,553
3 October 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Wigan Warriors 22-18 Central Park Wigan 9,553
4 October 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. St Helens 66-12 ANZ Stadium Brisbane 6,438
6 October 1997 Cronulla Sharks def. London Broncos 40-16 The Stoop London 6,239

Semi-finals[edit]

Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
10 October 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. Auckland Warriors 22-16 ANZ Stadium Brisbane 9,686
11 October 1997 Hunter Mariners def. Cronulla Sharks 22-18 Shark Park Sydney 5,214

Final[edit]

1997 (1997) World Club Championship Final  ()
1 2 Total
BRI Brisbane colours.svg 26 10 36
HUN Hunter colours.svg 4 8 12
Date 18 October 1997
Stadium Ericsson Stadium
Location Auckland, New Zealand
Referee Stuart Cummings
Attendance 12,000
Broadcast partners
Broadcasters Australia Fox Sports
United Kingdom Sky Sports
Commentators Eddie Hemmings, Mike Stephenson
 < 1994
2000
Date Result Score Stadium City Crowd
18 October 1997 Brisbane Broncos def. Hunter Mariners 36-12 Ericsson Stadium Auckland 12,000

Aftermath[edit]

The dominance of the Australasian sides in the competition led to the Rugby Football League appointing Joe Lydon to head a commission to provide an explanation.[2]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hadfield, Dave (1997-10-16). "The short but amazing life of Hunter Mariners". The Independent. independent.co.uk. Retrieved 2009-10-06. 
  2. ^ Robinson, John (1997). Super League Official Annual 1998. World International. p. 42. ISBN 0-7498-3389-0. 

External links[edit]