1995 New Zealand rugby league season
The 1995 New Zealand rugby league season was the 88th season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand. The main feature of the year was the second season of the Lion Red Cup competition that was run by the New Zealand Rugby League. The North Harbour Sea Eagles won the Cup by defeating the Auckland Warriors Colts 28-21 in the Grand Final.
- 1 International competitions
- 2 National competitions
- 3 Australian competitions
- 4 Club competitions
- 5 References
The New Zealand national rugby league team played a two test series against France with tests being played at Ericsson Stadium in Auckland and FMG Stadium in Palmerston North. New Zealand won the first match 22-6 before drawing the second 16-all. The Kiwis then played a three match series in Australia, losing all three matches; 8-26, 10-20 and 10-46 respectively. New Zealand was coached by Frank Endacott and included; Richard Blackmore, Logan Edwards, Syd Eru, Gary Freeman, Daryl Halligan, Sean Hoppe, Tony Iro, Stephen Kearney, John Lomax, Jason Lowrie, Jarrod McCracken, Gene Ngamu, Henry Paul, Quentin Pongia, Matthew Ridge, Brent Stuart, Tony Tatupu, John Timu, Tony Tuimavave, Brendon Tuuta, Ruben Wiki and Jason Williams.
New Zealand then headed to England for the World Cup. They finished first in their pool, defeating Tonga and Papua New Guinea, before losing a Semifinal against Australia 30-20 after extra time. Coached by Frank Endacott, the World Cup squad included; Richie Barnett, Richie Blackmore, Syd Eru, Gary Freeman, Daryl Halligan, Sean Hoppe, Mark Horo, Kevin Iro, Tony Iro, Stacey Jones, Stephen Kearney, Tony Kemp, John Lomax, Jason Lowrie, Gene Ngamu, Hitro Okesene, Henry Paul, Quentin Pongia, captainMatthew Ridge, Brent Stuart, John Timu, Brendon Tuuta, Ruben Wiki and Jason Williams.
The Lion Red Cup XIII played twice, against the Kiwis and against Tongan Residents side. The squad against Tonga was: Glen Coughlan, Walter Wilson, Aaron Whittaker, Richard Broughton, Blair Harding, Brett Rodger, Anthony Swann, Nigel Vagana, Willie Swann, Aaron Lester, Julian O'Neill, Logan Swann, Paul Johnson, Darryn Avery, Jason Palmada, Matthew Sturm and Mark Faumuina. Gary Kemble was the coach.
For the game against New Zealand Gerard Stokes took over as coach after Kemble was appointed as one of the Kiwis assistant coaches. Newcomers to the Residents squad for the match included Willie McLean, Dean Clark, Phil Bergman, Patrick Kiely, Aaron Tucker, Heston Patea and Mark Woods.
The New Zealand Sevens team competed in the World Sevens. The squad was: Vinnie Weir (c), Peter Edwards, Solomon Kiri, Mike Doreen, Aaron Lester, Gus Malietoa-Brown, Martin Moana, Willie Swann, Hitro Okesene and Tecofe Kaufa. Despite the Auckland Warriors having first pick of players, New Zealand defeated the Warriors 26-10 during pool play.
The New Zealand Māori side made a three match internal tour in May–June, winning all three which included a 12-0 defeat of Auckland and a 20-8 defeat of Waikato. The squad was coached by Cameron Bell and included Darryl Beazley, Dean Clark, Blair Harding, Bryan Henare, Matthew Sturm, Frank Watene and Mark Woods.
The Junior Kangaroos toured New Zealand playing, and defeating, New Zealand Secondary Schools and the Junior Kiwis. The Junior Kiwis were coached by Stan Martin and included David Kidwell, Willie Talau and Steve Buckingham.
The New Zealand under 18's Academy Team was coached by Lex Clarke and included Frank Watene, Monty Betham and Odell Manuel. They won the first test 52-10 and the second match 44-0 against the touring British Amateur Rugby League Association youth side.
The under 17 team featured Monty Betham and Artie Shead while the Secondary Schools team featured Phillip Leuluai, Lesley Vainikolo and David Solomona. Henry Perenara and Wairangi Koopu both featured in the Under 15 national tournament with Koopu being named the player of the tournament.
The New Zealand Women's Rugby League Federation was registered in February 1995 and the first tour of Australia commenced in June. The Team played seven matches, winning all of them including defeating Australia 18-14 and 14-6.
Rugby League Cup
Auckland then won the Rugby League Cup, defeating Canterbury 21-18. This was Canterbury's first loss at home since 1989. Auckland were coached by Dominic Clark and included Leroy Joe, Mark Faumuina, Matthew Sturm and Jerry Seuseu. Canterbury included David Kidwell, Blair Harding and Glen Coughlan.
Lion Red Cup
- The North Harbour Sea Eagles successfully defended their title despite losing 21 players from the 1994 season. Again coached by Graeme Norton, North Harbour also defeated the touring French side 40-10 in a mid-week match. The squad included Latham Tawhai, captain Don Stewart, Jason Palmada, Mike Setefano and Paki Tuimavave.
- The Waitakere City Raiders again finished last of the four Auckland based sides in the competition. However they were competitive for most of the season before losing their last five games and missing the playoffs. They were again coached by Ron O'Regan and the squad included Ben Lythe, Willie McLean, Cliff Beverley, Brian Jellick and Fred Robards.
- The Auckland Warriors Colts replaced the Auckland City Vulcans in the 1995 competition. This led to a reshuffle of the other Auckland franchises boundaries. The Warrior Colts used the facilities of the professional team at Ericsson Stadium. Coached by John Ackland the Colts won the minor premiership before slipping up in the Grand Final. Colts players included Phil Bergman, Steve Buckingham, David Fatialofa, Bryan Henare, Solomon Kiri, Aaron Lester, Des Maea, Brady Malam, Doc Murray, Boycie Nelson, Meti Noovao, Julian O'Neill, Paul Rauhihi, Paul Staladi, Anthony Swann, Logan Swann, Willie Swann, Nigel Vagana and Frank Watene.
- The Counties Manukau Heroes were coached by Stan Martin. They again finished in the top three, despite having only six players return from the 1994 squad. Players included Dean Clark, Mark Faumuina, Leroy Joe, Esau Mann, Matthew Sturm, Vinnie Weir and Jerry Seuseu.
- The Waikato Cougars were again coached by Joe Gwynne and again finished fourth. The team also played France, losing 2-24. The squad included Tukere Barlow, Darryl Beazley, Tama Hohaia, Butch Tua, captain Aaron Tucker, Tony Waikato and former Kiwi Mark Woods.
- The Bay of Plenty Stags again finished bottom of the table. Coach Neil Joyce resigned halfway through the season and he was replaced by former Kiwi coach Tony Gordon and Lawrence Brydon.
- The Taranaki Rockets concentrated on local talent, a tactic which did not play off as the team finished a disappointing 11th. Coach Allan Marshall retired at the end of the season. The squad included Blair Nickson and Willie Talau.
- the Hawkes Bay Unicorns were coached by Gary Kemble, who also coached the New Zealand Residents and was a New Zealand Kiwis assistant coach. The squad included Richard Broughton, Nathan Picchi and captain Alan Mason.
- The Hutt Valley Hawks were coached by Tyrone Paikea, Kara Puketapu and Mike Edmonds throughout the season. The team included Zane Clark, Denvour Johnston, Arnold Lomax and Yogi Rogers.
- The Wellington City Dukes were coached by Ken Laban and based largely around his 1994 champion Marist Northern club side. The team included Earl Va'a, who won the Best and Fairest award, and captain George Fa'alogo.
- The Christchurch City Shiners were coached by Lex Clarke and included former Kiwi Blair Harding, Shane Endacott and Paul Bergman. The team was greatly improved from the 1994 season and only just missed out on the finals.
- The Canterbury Country Cardinals were again coached by Ged Stokes but could not repeat their 1994 result of finishing third after injuries and player transfers altered the squad. The squad included Glen Coughlan, Marty Crequer, Paul Johnson, David Kidwell and Aaron Whittaker.
|Bay of Plenty||22||2||1||19||304||752||-448||5|
|Qualifying finals||Semi finals||Preliminary final||Grand Final|
|Counties Manukau||14||Auckland Colts||21|
|2||Counties Manukau||30||Counties Manukau||19||North Harbour||28|
|3||North Harbour||16||North Harbour||28|
|Elimination Play-off||Waikato Cougars||28||Hutt Valley Unicorns||14|
|Preliminary Semifinal||Counties Manukau Heroes||30||North Harbour Sea Eagles||16|
|Elimination Semifinal||North Harbour Sea Eagles||32||Waikato Cougars||16|
|Qualification Semifinal||Auckland Warriors Colts||15||Counties Manukau Heroes||14|
|Preliminary Final||North Harbour Sea Eagles||28||Counties Manukau Heroes||19|
|North Harbour||Position||Auckland Colts|
|Quinten Dane||FB||Nigel Vagana|
|Auvae Tapuai||WG||Paul Staladi|
|Paki Tuimavave||CE||Stuart Lester|
|Jason Kaulima||CE||Anthony Swann|
|Steve Barry||WG||Tacofe Kalauta|
|Aleki Maea||FE||Meti Noovao (C)|
|Latham Tawhai||HB||Willie Swann|
|Donald Stewart (C)||PR||Dallas Mead|
|Sean Wilson||HK||Aaron Lester|
|Darren Kohlhase||PR||David Fatialofa|
|Mike Setefano||SR||Bryan Henare|
|Keniti Asiata||SR||Frank Watene|
|Jason Palmada||LK||Logan Swann|
|Frank Fuimaono||Bench||Charlie Kennedy|
|Cory Jamieson||Bench||Des Maea|
|Lafaelle Filipo||Bench||Druce Nilsen|
|Brent Snooks||Bench||Steve Buckingham|
|Graeme Norton||Coach||John Ackland|
After trailing 15-2 at halftime the North Harbour Sea Eagles came from behind to defeat the Warrior Colts 28-21 in the second Lion Red Cup Grand Final. The match included an eight-point try scored by Paki Tuimavave in the 48th minute. Tuimavave was tackled high by Aaron Lester while he was grounding the ball. Lester was then sin-binned for back chatting the referee after the incident.
|North Harbour Sea Eagles||2||28|
|Auckland Warriors Colts||15||21|
|Tries (North Harbour)||1: F. Fuimaono, S. Wilson, P. Tuimavave, J. Palmada|
|Tries (Auckland Colts)||1: N.Vagana, B.Henare, M.Noovao, W.Swann|
|Goals (North Harbour)||6: Q.Dane|
|Goals (Auckland Colts)||1: S.Buckingham, M.Noovao|
|Field Goals Goals (Auckland Colts)||1: M.Noovao|
- Best and Fairest: Earl Va'a (Wellington City)
- Coach of the Year: Graeme Norton (North Harbour)
- Captain of the Year: Don Stewart (North Harbour)
- Referee of the Year: Dennis Hale
Top Try Scorers
Top Point Scorers
National Provincial Championship
The NPC was conducted on an invitational basis, with all districts being invited to participate. Because Wellington and Canterbury also had teams in the Lion Red Cup, these sides were selected from only playing in their local club competitions.
This was the first time Coastline had competed as an independent district and they recorded their first ever win when they defeated Gisborne-East Coast 41-32. Gisborne-East Coast also defeated Northland for the first time ever.
This was the first time Nelson-Marlborough had competed as an independent district. Otago recorded their first win over Canterbury in 35 years.
The Grand Final was played in Christchurch with Wellington winning 32-20 after being down 10-14 at halftime.
National Secondary Schools Tournament
Eighty Two schools competed in the National tournament with St. Paul's College, De La Salle College, New Plymouth Boys High School and Hillmorton High School all making the semi-finals. St Paul's won the trophy for the second year in a row, defeating New Plymouth 38-6 in the final.
The Auckland Warriors competed in the Australian Rugby League competition for the first time. The team finished tenth, missing the finals by only two points. The Reserve Grade team made the finals but lost in the quarterfinals.
Otahuhu were coached by Trevor McLeod while Marist were coached by Del Hughes. Richmond included Greg Wolfgram, Ben Lythe and Boycie Nelson played for Mt Albert and Steve Buckingham and Lee Tamatoa played for Glenora.
The Halswell Hornets won the Canterbury Rugby League's Pat Smith Challenge Trophy grand final 20-19 over Linwood. Halswell were coached by Phil Prescott and included Glen Coughlan. The two teams had earlier shared the minor premiership.
The West Coast Waro-rakau Hornets won the Thacker Shield by defeating Canterbury's Haswell Hornets 48-16.
The Moerewa Tigers won the Bay of Islands competition, by defeating the Kaikohe Lions 16-12.
The East Coast Rebels won the to win the Far North Districts title by defeating the Te Paatu United Warriors 32-28.
The Waitara Bears won the Taranaki Rugby League competition 16-14 over the defending champions, the Western Suburbs Tigers. The Bears featured Blair Nickson while the Tigers included Willie Talau. Kia Ora, coached by Peter Sixtus, defeated Otaki 14-4 in the Manawatu Rugby League grand final.
The Motueka Tigers won the Nelson-Marlborough grand final, defeating the Blenheim Knights 42-24. Cobden-Kohinoor won the West Coast Rugby League grand final, defeating minor premiers Waro-rakau 12-10. The Waitati Warriors won the Otago grand final 14-10 over the South Pacific Raiders while Bluff defeated He Tauaa 20-14 in the Southland championship match.
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- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.166
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.4
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- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.106
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.89
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.p.90-92
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.95
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.98
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.104-105
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.100
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.110
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.180
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.167
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.187
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.188
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.185
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.200
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.218
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.210
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.182
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.190
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.191
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.196
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.198
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.192
- Lion Red Rugby League Annual 1995, New Zealand Rugby Football League, 1995. p.207