2001 NRL season

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2001 National Rugby League
Teams 14
Premiers Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle (2nd title)
Minor premiers Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta (4th title)
Matches played 191
Points scored 9333 (total)
48.864 (per match)
Attendance 2,682,210 (total)
14,043 (per match)
Top point scorer(s) Newcastle colours.svg Andrew Johns (279)
Northern Eagles colours.svg Ben Walker (279)
Top try scorer(s) St. George colours.svg Nathan Blacklock (27)

The 2001 NRL season was the 94th season of professional rugby league football in Australia and the fourth run by the National Rugby League. Also called the 2001 Telstra Premiership (due to sponsorship from Telstra Corporation) it was contested by thirteen Australian-based clubs plus one New Zealand-based club. The Newcastle Knights claimed their second premiership in five seasons, defeating minor premiers Parramatta Eels in the NRL's first ever night-time grand final.

Season summary[edit]

Early in the season NRL matches involving the Bulldogs were marred by off-field violence from the club's supporters.[1]

The Parramatta Eels looked set to break their fifteen-year premiership drought as they compiled one of the most dominant season records in rugby league history, losing just four of their 26 regular season games with the League's best attack and defensive record. In 2001 they established the standing record for most points by a club in a season with 943, blitzing the Brisbane Broncos' previous record tally of 871 set in 1998. The Eels tally was significantly contributed to by Jason Taylor, who that year surpassed Daryl Halligan's mark of 2,034 to become the greatest point-scorer in the history of club competition in Australia.[2]

The Warriors made the finals for the first time in their seven-year history under rookie coach Daniel Anderson, but were hammered 56-12 by the aforementioned minor premiers.

After Warren Ryan retired in 2000, the Newcastle Knights appointed former player Michael Hagan to the coaching position. Hagan proceeded to become the first coach since Phil Gould in 1988 to win a premiership in his first season as coach. Ricky Stuart would follow suit with the Roosters the following season. Tim Sheens was sacked as the coach of the North Queensland Cowboys during the season and was replaced by Murray Hurst. Mal Meninga resigned as Canberra coach following the club's disappointing season and in turn was replaced by Matthew Elliott.

Preston Campbell was a deserved winner of the Dally M medal after being an instrumental player in the Sharks' rise to fourth position on the table. Newcastle's Andrew Johns would have been clear winner but was not in contention due to missing two matches through suspension. Brian Smith was recognised as Coach of the Year whilst Braith Anasta won Rookie of the Year.

It was during the 2001 finals series that the new NRL Telstra Premiership logo was used, first seen on the field in the first qualifying final between the Sharks and the Broncos. That logo was to be used until the end of the 2006 season. Coincidentally, the Brisbane Broncos were also involved in the last match to use that logo, albeit in a modified finals version seen on the ground in the 2006 NRL Grand Final.

At the end of the season a squad of players from the NRL premiership went on the 2001 Kangaroo tour.

Every team except Penrith played at least one drawn match during the course of the season. The Bulldogs had three drawn matches, the most of any team during the season.

Teams[edit]

Auckland were renamed the New Zealand Warriors for the 2001 season.

Brisbane Broncos
14th season
Ground: Suncorp Stadium
Coach: Wayne Bennett
Captain: Gorden Tallis
Bulldogs RLFC
Canterbury Bulldogs home jersey 1997.svg
67th season
Ground: Sydney Showground
Coach: Steve Folkes
Captain: Darren Britt
Canberra Raiders
20th season
Ground: Canberra Stadium
Coach: Mal Meninga
Captain: Simon Woolford
Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
37th season
Ground: Shark Park
Coach: John Lang
Captain: Jason Stevens
Melbourne Storm
4th season
Ground Docklands Stadium
Coach: Chris AndersonMark Murray
Captain: Robbie Kearns & Rodney Howe
New Zealand Warriors
New Zealand home jersey 2000.svg
9th season
Ground: Ericsson Stadium
Coach: Daniel Anderson
Captain: Stacey Jones & Kevin Campion
Newcastle Knights
Newcastle Knights home jersey 2001.svg
14th season
Ground: EnergyAustralia Stadium
Coach: Michael Hagan
Captain: Andrew Johns
North Queensland Cowboys
7th season
Ground: Dairy Farmers Stadium
Coach: Tim SheensMurray Hurst
Captain: Paul Bowman
Northern Eagles
Northern Eagles home jersey 2000.svg
2nd season
Ground: Brookvale Oval & Grahame Park
Coach: Peter Sharp
Captain: Geoff Toovey
Parramatta Eels
55th season
Ground: Parramatta Stadium
Coach: Brian Smith
Captain: Nathan Cayless
Penrith Panthers
Penrith Panthers Primary jersey 2001.svg
35th season
Ground: CUA Stadium
Coach: Royce Simmons
Captain: Craig Gower
Sydney Roosters
94th season
Ground: Sydney Football Stadium
Coach: Graham Murray
Captain: Brad Fittler
St. George Illawarra Dragons
St. George Illawarra Dragons home jersey 1999.svg
3rd season
Ground: Kogarah Oval & WIN Stadium
Coach: Andrew Farrar
Captain: Craig Smith
Wests Tigers
2nd season
Ground: Campbelltown Stadium & Leichhardt Oval
Coach: Terry Lamb
Captain: Darren Senter

Advertising[edit]

With a new CEO in David Moffat from 2000 the NRL late that year moved their account to a new advertising agency in Saatchi & Saatchi Sydney.

There was no umbrella campaign in 2001, no season launch gala ad. NRL Marketing Director, Mark Wallace insisted that the League's marketing budget remained the same as in prior years but that the focus was to be on promoting individual games and complementing the clubs' own marketing activities.[3]

An ad was produced to promote certain key games. The scene is a deserted, eerie CBD street. The sound of a squeaky wheel gets louder until a clown rides into the middle of shot on a tricycle and turns to camera pouting and frowning. The voice over comes up: "This Easter long weekend the Dragons v Roosters at Sydney Football Stadium. You'd be a clown to miss it".

Regular season[edit]

Records and statistics[edit]

  • Parramatta Eels scored the most points in a season by any club in history scoring 943 points in total.
  • Wendell Sailor ran 4,452 metres with the ball in 2001, more than any other player in the competition.[4]
  • On July 5, the Melbourne Storm beat the Wests Tigers 64-0, which is the Storm's biggest ever win and Tigers biggest ever loss. The very next day the Newcastle Knights beat the Brisbane Broncos 44-0, which was set at the time, the Broncos biggest ever loss at the time.
  • In round 23, Wests Tigers recorded their biggest comeback when they came from a 24-0 down after 30 minutes of play to win 36-32 against the Newcastle Knights which is the Knights worst collapse. Also equalled the second biggest ever comeback.

Ladder[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 26 20 2 4 839 406 +433 42
2 Canterbury colours.svg Bulldogs 26 17 3 6 617 538 +79 37
3 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 26 16 1 9 782 639 +143 33
4 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 26 15 2 9 594 513 +81 32
5 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 26 14 1 11 696 511 +185 29
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney 26 13 1 12 647 589 +58 27
7 St. George colours.svg St. George Illawarra 26 12 2 12 661 573 +88 26
8 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand 26 12 2 12 638 629 +9 26
9 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne 26 11 1 14 704 725 -21 23
10 Northern Eagles colours.svg Northern Eagles 26 11 1 14 603 750 -149 23
11 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 26 9 1 16 600 623 -23 19
12 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers 26 9 1 16 474 746 -272 19
13 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland 26 6 2 18 514 771 -257 14
14 Penrith colours.svg Penrith 26 7 0 19 521 847 -326 14

Ladder progression[edit]

  • Numbers highlighted in green indicate that the team finished the round inside the top 8.
  • Numbers highlighted in blue indicates the team finished first on the ladder in that round.
  • Numbers highlighted in red indicates the team finished in last place on the ladder in that round
Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26
1 Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta 2 2 4 4 6 6 8 9 11 12 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 26 28 30 32 34 36 38 40 42
2 Canterbury colours.svg Bulldogs 2 4 5 7 9 9 9 10 12 13 15 17 17 19 18 21 23 25 27 29 29 31 31 33 35 37
3 Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle 0 2 3 5 5 7 9 11 13 15 17 19 21 21 21 21 21 23 25 27 29 29 29 29 31 33
4 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland 0 2 4 4 6 8 10 10 10 12 12 12 13 14 14 16 18 20 22 24 26 28 28 30 30 32
5 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane 2 4 4 6 8 8 10 12 12 14 16 17 19 21 23 23 25 25 27 27 27 27 27 27 27 29
6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 2 2 4 6 6 8 8 10 12 14 14 15 15 17 19 21 21 21 21 21 21 23 25 25 27 27
7 St. George colours.svg St. George Illawarra 2 2 2 2 2 4 6 8 8 8 8 9 11 12 14 14 16 18 20 20 22 22 24 26 26 26
8 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand 0 2 2 4 4 6 6 7 9 9 11 11 11 13 15 15 15 17 17 17 19 21 23 25 26 26
9 Melbourne colours.svg Melbourne 0 0 2 4 4 4 4 4 6 6 8 10 12 12 14 16 16 18 18 18 20 20 20 22 23 23
10 Northern Eagles colours.svg Northern Eagles 2 2 4 4 6 6 6 8 8 10 12 12 12 14 14 16 16 18 18 18 18 20 21 23 23 23
11 Canberra colours.svg Canberra 2 2 2 2 4 6 6 6 8 8 8 9 9 9 11 11 13 13 13 13 13 15 15 15 17 19
12 Wests Tigers colours.svg Wests Tigers 0 2 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 9 9 9 11 11 11 13 15 17 17 19 19 19 19
13 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland 0 2 2 2 2 4 4 5 5 5 5 5 7 7 7 7 9 9 9 11 11 11 12 12 12 14
14 Panthers colours.svg Penrith 0 0 0 2 2 2 4 4 4 6 6 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 8 10 10 10 12 12 14 14


Finals series[edit]

To decide the grand finalists from the top eight finishing teams, the NRL adopts the McIntyre Final Eight System.

  Qualifying Finals Semi Finals Preliminary Finals Grand Final
                                     
1  Parramatta Eels 56
8  NZ Warriors 12
  1W  Parramatta Eels 24  
2  Canterbury Bulldogs 22   4W  St. George Illawarra 28      Brisbane Broncos 16    
7  St. George Illawarra 23   2L  Brisbane Broncos 44          Parramatta Eels 24
       Newcastle Knights 30
3  Newcastle Knights 40         2W  Newcastle Knights 18    
6  Sydney Roosters 6   3W  Cronulla Sharks 52      Cronulla Sharks 10  
  1L  Canterbury Bulldogs 10  
4  Cronulla Sharks 22
5  Brisbane Broncos 6
Home Score Away Match Information
Date and Time Venue Referee Crowd
Qualifying Finals
Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks 22 – 6 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 7 September 2001 Shark Park Steve Clark 15,508
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 40 – 6 Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Sydney Roosters 8 September 2001 Marathon Stadium Bill Harrigan 22,061
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 22 – 23 St. George colours.svg St. George Illawarra Dragons 8 September 2001 Sydney Showground Paul Simpkins 17,975
Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 56 – 12 New Zealand colours.svg New Zealand Warriors 9 September 2001 Parramatta Stadium Tim Mander 17,336
Semi Finals
Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 44 – 28 St. George colours.svg St. George Illawarra Dragons 15 September 2001 Sydney Football Stadium Paul Simpkins 19,259
Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs 10 – 52 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks 16 September 2001 Sydney Football Stadium Bill Harrigan 21,507
Preliminary Final
Newcastle colours.svg Newcastle Knights 18 – 10 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks 22 September 2001 Sydney Football Stadium Paul Simpkins 31,438
Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels 24 – 16 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos 23 September 2001 Stadium Australia Bill Harrigan 34,184

Grand final[edit]

Main article: 2001 NRL grand final
Sunday, 30 September
20:10
Newcastle Knights 30 - 24 Parramatta Eels
Tries:
Bill Peden (2)
Ben Kennedy
Steve Simpson
Timana Tahu
Goals:
Andrew Johns (5/7)
Report Tries:
Brett Hodgson (2)
Jamie Lyon (2)


Goals:
Luke Burt (4/4)
Telstra Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 90,414
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan
Man of the Match: Andrew Johns[5]

External links[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ Mercer, Phil (2001-04-25). "Australia's game of shame". BBC News (UK: BBC). Retrieved 2010-01-01. 
  2. ^ Aubrey, Jane (10 October 2001). "2001: Bennett's Coup - 'Operation Alfie'". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. Retrieved 7 March 2014. 
  3. ^ Wallace interview B&T Magazine March2001
  4. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (6 May 2012). "Gallen set to smash record". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2012. 
  5. ^ D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Retrieved 8 September 2013.