2003 New Zealand rugby league season
The 2003 New Zealand rugby league season was the 96th season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand. The main feature of the year was the fourth season of the Bartercard Cup competition that was run by the New Zealand Rugby League. The Canterbury Bulls won the Cup by defeating the Marist Richmond Brothers 32-28 in the Grand Final.
- 1 International competitions
- 2 National competitions
- 3 Australian competitions
- 4 Club competitions
- 5 References
The New Zealand Kiwis played Australia home and away, losing in Australia before defeating them 30-16 at North Harbour Stadium. Coached by Daniel Anderson, New Zealand incldued; David Vaealiki, Matt Utai, Nigel Vagana, Clinton Toopi, Francis Meli, Willie Talau, Stacey Jones, Paul Rauhihi, Richard Swain, captain Ruben Wiki, Stephen Kearney, Logan Swann, Awen Guttenbeil, Monty Betham, Jerry Seuseu, Tony Puletua, Joe Galuvao, Vinnie Anderson, Sione Faumuina, Motu Tony, Nathan and Jason Cayless, Thomas Leuluai, Ali Lauiti'iti and Henry Fa'afili.
A New Zealand 'A' side toured Great Britain. The team played in five matches with their best result being a draw. They drew with Cumbria 24-all and lost to National League Two 27-8, Warrington 28-26, National League One 40-28 and the full Great Britain side 52-18. The team was coached by Gerard Stokes and included Shane Beyers, Paul Fisiiahi, Steve Buckingham, Aoterangi Herangi, Tyrone Pau, George Tuakura, Lusi Sione, Jesse Royal, Tame Tupou, Wayne McDade, Epalahame Lauaki and Ben Lythe.
The New Zealand Māori team toured France. The team included Phillip Shead whose brother, Artie, played against him for France. Former New Zealander Vincent Wulf also played for France. Coached by Bernie Perenara, the Māori side also included Herewini Rangi, Jeremy Smith and Aaron Heremaia, who captained the side.
Rugby League Cup
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The 2003 Bartercard Cup was the fourth season of the Bartercard Cup competition run by the New Zealand Rugby League. There were no major team changes however the North Harbour Tigers replaced the Northcote Tigers as they now represented all of the North Shore clubs. The Canterbury Bulls finished as minor premiers and were the only non-Auckland team to make the finals.
- Hibiscus Coast were coached by Tony Benson and included Odell Manuel, Tyrone Pau and Aaron Heremaia.
- The North Harbour side included Mark Robinson.
- Glenora included Epalahame Lauaki.
- Marist Richmond were coached by Bernie Perenara and included Ricky Henry, Karl Guttenbeil, Tangi Ropati, Evarn Tuimavave, Tevita Latu, Jerome Ropati, Marcus Perenara, Steve Matai and Motu Tony.
- Mt Albert included Steve Buckingham, Wayne McDade and Meti Noovao. John Ackland finished the season as coach after originally leaving the club to coach the Villeneuve Leopards.
- Otahuhu included Boycie Nelson and George Tuakura.
- The Eastern Tornadoes included Paul Fisi'iahi, Herewini Rangi, Zebastian Lucky Luisi and Tame Tupou.
- Manurewa were coached by Kelly Shelford.
- Taranaki were coached by Alan Jackson.
- Central were coached by Peter Sixtus and included Jesse Royal and Sonny Whakarau.
- Wellington were coached by Gerard Stokes and included John Tamanika.
- Canterbury were coached by Phil Prescott and included Kane Ferris, Richard Villasanti, Charlie Herekotukutuku, Lusi Sione, Vince Whare, Shane Beyers and Corey Lawrie.
|Mt Albert Lions||16||13||0||3||530||328||202||26|
|Marist Richmond Brothers||16||12||1||3||627||406||221||25|
|Hibiscus Coast Raiders||16||12||0||4||573||319||254||24|
|North Harbour Tigers||16||6||2||8||496||403||93||14|
*Wellington were docked three points for registration infringements.
|Qualifying Finals||Semi Finals||Preliminary Final||Grand Final|
|Marist Richmond||18||Canterbury Bulls||32|
|2||Mt Albert Lions||30||Marist Richmond||36||Marist Richmond||28|
|3||Marist Richmond||33||Mt Albert Lions||26|
|Mt Albert Lions||42|
|4||Hibiscus Coast||8||Eastern Tornadoes||20|
|Elimination Play-off||Eastern Tornadoes||10||Hibiscus Coast Raiders||8|
|Preliminary Semifinal||Marist Richmond Brothers||32||Mt Albert Lions||30|
|Elimination Semifinal||Mt Albert Lions||42||Eastern Tornadoes||20|
|Qualification Semifinal||Canterbury Bulls||40||Marist Richmond Brothers||18|
|Preliminary Final||Marist Richmond Brothers||36||Mt Albert Lions||26|
|Marist Richmond Brothers||12||28|
- Player of the Year: Shane Beyers
- Coach of the Year: Phil Prescott
- Personality of the Year: Gary Endacott
North Island Championship Provincial Competition
The New Zealand Warriors competed in the National Rugby League competition. They finished 6th out of 15 teams and won two games before losing the Preliminary Final to eventual premiers the Penrith Panthers.
The Mangere East Hawks won both the Fox Memorial trophy and the Rukutai Shield (minor premiership). They defeated the Hibiscus Coast Raiders 30-29 in the Grand Final. The Raiders had earlier won the preseason Roope Rooster trophy.
Halswell won the Canterbury Rugby League title.
Turangawaewae defeated Taniwharau in the Waicoa Bay championship.
- Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.p.339-341.
- Hilton could miss Warrington finale The Independent, 16 September 2003
- Durbin has last try honour The Guardian, 30 October 2003
- John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. p. 326. ISBN 978-1-86969-331-2.
- Wiki named NZ player of the year AAP, 21 November 2003
- [Marsh shakes off injury, tipped to play ] Waikato Times, 29 April 2003
- Bulls one win from glory The Press, 11 September 2003
- Bartercard Cup Grand Final Preivew (Season Stats) rleague.com, 11 September 2003
- Must-win game again for Bulls The Press, 14 June 2003
- Marist Richmond Brothers thrown to Lions in playoff cauldron Sunday Star-Times, 24 August 2003
- Ackland back in the fold after French farce Sunday Star-Times, 29 February 2004
- Rugby League New Zealand Herald, 18 May 2003
- Wildcats upbeat about losing tag of easybeats Taranaki Daily News, 26 July 2003
- Falcons gain Bartercard Cup extension The Evening Standard, 27 November 2003
- Sixtus confident despite injuries The Evening Standard, 2 May 2003
- Bergman off to capital as cup coach The Nelson Mail, 22 October 2003
- Team Wellington Launched rleague.com, 12 April 2003
- Character counters size The Press, 16 September 2005
- Teenagers charge into Bulls for Marist-Richmond clash The Press, 24 May 2003
- Bulls recall three to tackle Tigers The Press, 7 August 2003
- Villasanti facing bigger workload The Press, 25 April 2003
- Bulls Scoop Awards The Press, 22 November 2003
- Coastline Mariners sink Northland rleague.com, 8 July 2003
- Wellington Grand Final Programme 2003 rleague.com, 12 September 2003
- Riccarton defends shield The Press, 31 May 2003
- Taranaki Grand Final Countdown rleague.com, 11 July 2003
2002 Bartercard Cup
2004 Bartercard Cup