1997 North Queensland Cowboys season

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1997 North Queensland Cowboys season
Super League Rank 10th
Play-off result Missed finals
1997 record Wins: 5; Draws: 2; Losses: 11
Points scored For: 328; Against: 452
Team information
Coach Tim Sheens
Captain
Stadium Stockland Stadium
Avg. Attend. 17,539
High. Attend. 30,122 (vs. Brisbane Broncos, Rd 6)
Top scorers
Tries Luke Phillips (8)
Goals Luke Phillips (45)
Points Luke Phillips (122)
1996 1998 >

The 1997 North Queensland Cowboys season was the 3rd in the club's history. Coached by Tim Sheens and captained by Ian Roberts, they competed in the breakaway News Limited-run competition, the Telstra Cup.

Season summary[edit]

After an improved 1996 season, the club pulled off a major coup in signing three-time premiership winning coach Tim Sheens from the Canberra Raiders, who brought five players with him from his old club, including Australia and Queensland representative hooker Steve Walters. Former Australia and New South Wales prop Ian Roberts was brought in as captain as part of a major off-season rebuild in which 20 players were let go, including a number of foundation players.

The club, who were competing in News Limited's breakaway Super League competition, got off to a promising start after defeating the newly formed Adelaide Rams in the opening round of the season. The good times under Sheens and his new signings were short lived, as a four game losing streak followed. A win over the Auckland Warriors in Round 9 was followed by two consecutive draws, which included a 20-all draw against arch-rivals Brisbane, their best ever result against them at the time.

Back-to-back wins in Round 14 and 15 had the Cowboys sitting just four points outside the Top 5, but a three-game losing streak to end the season left the club languishing in last place. The Cowboys recorded their second wooden spoon in three seasons, with just five wins from 18 games. Despite the disappointing year, Tim Sheens signed a five-year contract renewal with the club. Owen Cunningham, an off-season recruit from Manly, was named the club's Player of the Year.

Towards the end of the season, the club took part in the World Club Championship. The tournament featured all 22 clubs from the Australasian and European Super League competitions and was contested over six rounds in two hemispheres. The Cowboys played home and away games against three English Super League clubs (Leeds, Oldham and Salford), winning all but once (a 16-20 loss to Oldham at Boundary Park). Despite the great results, the Cowboys missed out on the finals, while clubs in other pools got through without even winning a game. It would be the last time the club would face a Super League side or play a game in England until the 2016 World Club Challenge.

Milestones[edit]

Squad list[edit]

In Super League, players were able to choose their own jersey number (regardless of their starting position), which they wore for the entire season.

North Queensland Cowboys Super League Squad 1997
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach


Legend:
  • (c) Captain(s)
  • (vc) Vice captain(s)


Squad movement[edit]

1997 Gains[edit]

Player Signed From
Dion Cope Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks
Owen Cunningham Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Sea Eagles
Jason Ferris Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
John Lomax Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
Scott Mahon Parramatta colours.svg Parramatta Eels
Ray Mercy Eastern Suburbs colours.svg Atherton Roosters
Luke Phillips Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
Ian Roberts Manly Sea Eagles colours.svg Manly Sea Eagles
Jason Ryan South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
Tyran Smith South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
Bert Tabuai Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders
Shane Vincent South Sydney colours.svg South Sydney Rabbitohs
Steve Walters Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders

1997 Losses[edit]

Player Signed To
David Bouveng Faxcolours.svg Halifax Blue Sox
Steve Edmed Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles
Damian Gibson Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
Shane Howarth New South Wales colours.svg Auckland Blues
Jason Martin France colours.svg Paris Saint-Germain
Jamie Mathiou Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos
Willie Morganson Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles
Willie Poching Hunter colours.svg Hunter Mariners
Dean Schifilliti Adelaide colours.svg Adelaide Rams
Wayne Sing France colours.svg Paris Saint-Germain
Tyran Smith Hunter colours.svg Hunter Mariners (mid-season)
Whetu Taewa Sheffeagles colours.svg Sheffield Eagles
Adrian Vowles Castleford colours.svg Castleford Tigers

Ladder[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
1 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos (P) 18 14 1 3 481 283 +198 29
2 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks 18 12 0 6 403 230 +173 24
3 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders 18 11 0 7 436 337 +99 22
4 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs 18 10 0 8 453 447 +6 20
5 Penrith colours.svg Penrith Panthers 18 9 0 9 431 462 -31 18
6 Hunter colours.svg Hunter Mariners 18 7 0 11 350 363 -13 14
7 Auckland colours.svg Auckland Warriors 18 7 0 11 332 406 -74 14
8 Western Reds colours.svg Perth Reds 18 7 0 11 321 456 -135 14
9 Adelaide colours.svg Adelaide Rams 18 6 1 11 303 402 -99 13
10 North Queensland colours.svg North Queensland Cowboys 18 5 2 11 328 452 -124 12

Fixtures[edit]

Regular season[edit]

Date Round Opponent Venue Score Tries Goals Attendance
1 March Round 1 Adelaide colours.svg Adelaide Rams Stockland Stadium 24 – 16 Walters (2), Phillips, Smith Phillips (4/5) 17,738
7 March Round 2 Western Reds colours.svg Perth Reds Stockland Stadium 20 – 22 Ahmat, Ferris, Roberts Phillips (4/5) 15,745
15 March Round 3 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers Stockland Stadium 12 – 19 Phillips, Warren Phillips (2/3) 18,003
22 March Round 4 Hunter colours.svg Hunter Mariners Topper Stadium 10 – 38 Phillips, Warren Phillips (1/3) 6,090
31 March Round 5 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs Belmore Oval 16 – 14 Bowman, Mahon, Shipway Phillips (2/3) 9,830
5 April Round 6 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos Stockland Stadium 16 – 42 Death (2), Cressbrook Doyle (2/2), Phillips (0/1) 30,122
12 April Round 7 Western Reds colours.svg Perth Reds WACA 4 – 6 Doyle (2/2) 9,701
20 April Round 8 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders Bruce Stadium 16 – 40 Phillips, Walters, Warren Phillips (2/3) 10,071
27 April Round 9 Auckland colours.svg Auckland Warriors Stockland Stadium 30 – 22 Cressbrook, Jones, Phillips, Scott, Walters Phillips (5/6) 12,464
2 May Round 10 Adelaide colours.svg Adelaide Rams Adelaide Oval 14 – 14 Cressbrook, I. Dunemann, Shipway Phillips (1/4) 15,970
25 May Round 11 Brisbane colours.svg Brisbane Broncos ANZ Stadium 20 – 20 A. Dunemann, I. Dunemann, Shipway Phillips (4/5) 14,167
31 May Round 12 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks Stockland Stadium 10 – 24 Mahon (2) Phillips (1/3) 16,095
28 June Round 13 Canterbury colours.svg Canterbury Bulldogs Stockland Stadium 22 – 29 Roberts, Tassell, Warren, Warwick Phillips (3/6) 14,176
4 July Round 14 Penrith Panthers square flag icon with 2017 colours.svg Penrith Panthers Penrith Stadium 33 – 26 Mercy (3), Phillips (2), Loomans Phillips (4/7), A. Dunemann (1 FG) 5,335
13 July Round 15 Hunter colours.svg Hunter Mariners Stockland Stadium 33 – 14 A. Dunemann (2), Mercy (2), Loomans, Murphy Phillips (4/7), A. Dunemann (1 FG) 11,480
9 August Round 16 Canberra colours.svg Canberra Raiders Stockland Stadium 14 – 22 Bowman, Lomax Phillips (3/3) 22,026
16 August Round 17 Cronulla colours.svg Cronulla Sharks Shark Park 12 – 34 Phillips, Scott Phillips (2/3) 11,640
24 August Round 18 Auckland colours.svg Auckland Warriors Ericsson Stadium 22 – 50 Mercy, Scott, Skardon, Warren Phillips (3/4) 12,000
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw   Bye

World Club Championship[edit]

The World Club Championship was a mid-season tournament featuring all 22 clubs from the Australasian and European Super League competitions. It was contested over six rounds in two hemispheres from 6 June to 11 October.

Pool Play[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
Date Round Opponent Venue Score Tries Goals Attendance
7 June Round 1 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos Stockland Stadium 42 – 20 Murphy (2), Cressbrook, Jones, Phillips, Shipway, Tabuai, Warwick Phillips (5/8) 14,561
14 June Round 2 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Bears Stockland Stadium 54 – 16 Cressbrook (2), Vincent (2), Walters (2), A. Dunemann, Murphy, Phillips, Shipway Phillips (7/10) 12,600
21 June Round 3 Redscolours.svg Salford Reds Stockland Stadium 44 – 8 Warwick (2), Bowman, Cressbrook, Cunningham, I. Dunemann, Shipway, Tabuai Phillips (6/8) 15,508
18 July Round 4 Oldhamcolours.svg Oldham Bears Boundary Park 20 – 16 Bowman, Mercy, Phillips Phillips (2/3) 2,691
27 July Round 5 Redscolours.svg Salford Reds The Willows 24 – 14 Cunningham, Murphy, Phillips, Skardon Phillips (4/4) 7,448
3 August Round 6 Rhinoscolours.svg Leeds Rhinos Headingley Stadium 48 – 14 A. Dunemann (2), Phillips (2), Cressbrook, Mercy, Murphy, Shipway Phillips (8/8) 12,224
Legend:   Win   Loss   Draw   Bye

Statistics[edit]

Name App T G FG Pts
Ahmat, JimmyJimmy Ahmat 2 1 - - 4
Bowman, PaulPaul Bowman 10 2 - - 8
Buttigieg, JohnJohn Buttigieg 5 - - - -
Cope, DionDion Cope 7 - - - -
Cressbrook, ReggieReggie Cressbrook 11 3 - - 12
Cunningham, OwenOwen Cunningham 18 - - - -
Death, JasonJason Death 20 3 - - 12
Doyle, JohnJohn Doyle 12 - 4 - 8
Dunemann, AndrewAndrew Dunemann 14 3 - 2 14
Dunemann, IanIan Dunemann 6 2 - - 8
Ferris, JasonJason Ferris 7 1 - - 4
Galea, PaulPaul Galea 1 - - - -
Jones, PeterPeter Jones 15 1 - - 4
Ketchell, AaronAaron Ketchell 3 - - - -
Locke, MartinMartin Locke 11 - - - -
Lomax, JohnJohn Lomax 15 1 - - 4
Loomans, JustinJustin Loomans 7 2 - - 8
Mahon, ScottScott Mahon 14 3 - - 12
Mercy, RayRay Mercy 6 6 - - 24
Miller, MarshallMarshall Miller 1 - - - -
Murphy, GlenGlen Murphy 11 1 - - 4
Phillips, LukeLuke Phillips 17 8 45 - 122
Roberts, IanIan Roberts 17 2 - - 8
Ryan, JasonJason Ryan 1 - - - -
Scott, LukeLuke Scott 12 3 - - 12
Shipway, MarkMark Shipway 13 3 - - 12
Skardon, JohnJohn Skardon 3 1 - - 4
Smith, TyranTyran Smith 9 1 - - 4
Tabuai, BertBert Tabuai 5 - - - -
Tassell, KrisKris Tassell 3 1 - - 4
Vincent, ShaneShane Vincent 2 - - - -
Walters, SteveSteve Walters 15 4 - - 16
Warren, KyleKyle Warren 14 5 - - 20
Warwick, AdamAdam Warwick 6 1 - - 4
Totals 57 49 2 328

Source:[1]

Representatives[edit]

The following players played a representative match in 1997.

Anzac Test Super League Tri-series End of Year Test SL Test Series
Owen Cunningham
-
Queensland
-
-
John Lomax
-
-
New Zealand
-
Ian Roberts
-
New South Wales
-
-
Tyran Smith
New Zealand
New Zealand
-
-
Steve Walters
-
Queensland
-
Australia

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

References[edit]

Coordinates: 19°18′58″S 146°42′43″E / 19.31611°S 146.71194°E / -19.31611; 146.71194 (Willow Sports Complex)