2000 NRL season
|2000 National Rugby League|
|Duration||February 5 – August 27, 2000|
|Premiers||Brisbane (4th title)|
|Minor premiers||Brisbane (3rd title)|
|Top points scorer(s)||Joel Caine (224)|
|Player of the year||Trent Barrett (Dally M Medal)|
|Top try-scorer(s)||Nathan Blacklock (25)|
The 2000 NRL season was the 93rd season of professional rugby league football in Australia and the third to be run by the National Rugby League. Fourteen teams competed from February till August for the NRL Premiership, culminating in the 2000 NRL Grand final between the Brisbane Broncos and the Sydney Roosters.
The season began in early February to accommodate the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games which were to be held during September and required the use of Stadium Australia, the grand final venue. The grand final was scheduled for late August, the first grand final in that month since 1963. The capacity of Stadium Australia for the grand final was limited due to preparations for the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games, which would take place just nineteen days later.
Throughout the month of February, mandatory breaks in play at the 20th and 60th minute of the game were implemented to allow players to rehydrate themselves. Due to concerns over the summer heat, the Brisbane and North Queensland clubs played their first four games away from home.
The Cowboys were stripped of two competition points after it was later revealed that they unwittingly used a fourteenth player for three minutes in their 26-18 win against the Parramatta Eels, due to an error in interchanging players.
Melbourne Storm players Stephen Kearney and Marcus Bai ended the career of Wests Tigers captain Jarrod McCracken with a spear tackle. Kearney was suspended for 8 matches and Bai for 2 matches. The two men were also sued by McCraken, who won a six-figure damages bill.
The Canberra Raiders and the Wests Tigers became the first teams to play a premiership game in the snow. It occurred at Bruce Stadium on 18 May and it is the only premiership game played in these conditions.
The season saw the debut of the Wests Tigers (formed by the merging of the Balmain Tigers and Western Suburbs Magpies) and Northern Eagles (formed by the merging of the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and North Sydney Bears) in the National Rugby League. In addition, the South Sydney Rabbitohs were excluded from the competition, thereby completing the NRL's rationalisation process from 20 teams in 1998 to 14 in 2000.
For the 2000 season, the Canterbury Bulldogs changed their name again, this time to the geographically indistinct "Bulldogs" and the Auckland Warriors were re-branded the New Zealand Warriors at the end of the season.
For the first time since farewelling Tina Turner in 1995 the NRL used a major recording star in its promotional campaign and accessed a media budget that saw the launch ad shown regularly throughout the season. Sydney advertising agency VCD in the last of their four-year tenure on the NRL account shot an ad with Tom Jones performing on stage alongside hi-kicking female dancers, the 1993 Salt-N-Pepa hit Whatta Man with lyrics re-worked as "What A Game".
Records and statistics
- Martin Lang ran 4,571 metres with the ball in 2000, more than any other player in the competition.
- Melbourne Storm club record for their biggest ever win and most points in a game : 70-10 over St. George Illawarra Dragons in round 5.
- Melbourne Storm club record for their biggest ever loss : 50-4 loss to St. George Illawarra Dragons in round 18.
- St. George Illawarra Dragons club record for their biggest ever win : 50-4 over Melbourne Storm in round 18.
- North Queensland Cowboys scored their first ever 50 points in a game: 50-10 over Northern Eagles in round 8.
|1||Brisbane Broncos (P)||26||18||2||6||696||388||+308||38|
|9||St George Illawarra Dragons||26||12||0||14||576||656||-80||24|
|14||North Queensland Cowboys||26||7||0||19||436||612||-176||12|
- North Queensland were stripped of 2 competition points due to a breach of the interchange rule in one game.
- 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
|9||St. George Illawarra||0||2||2||2||2||2||4||6||8||10||10||12||12||14||14||14||14||16||18||18||20||22||22||22||24||24|
The biggest upset of the 2000 Finals series was in the 3rd Qualifying Final when 7th placed Parramatta Eels beat 2nd placed Sydney Roosters 32-8 at the SFS. It was nearly a similar story for Minor Premiers' the Brisbane Broncos when they came from 20-6 down at halftime to win 34-20 against 8th placed Cronulla Sharks in the 4th Qualifying Final at QSAC. Sydney also made a famous comeback when they came from 16-2 down at halftime to win 26-20 against the Newcastle Knights in the 1st Preliminary Final at the SFS to earn a spot in the Grand Final against Brisbane.
|Date and Time||Venue||Referee||Crowd|
|Canberra Raiders||34–16||Penrith Panthers||4 August 2000||Bruce Stadium||Steve Clark||18,479|
|Newcastle Knights||30–16||Melbourne Storm||5 August 2000||Marathon Stadium||Tim Mander||20,597|
|Sydney Roosters||8–32||Parramatta Eels||5 August 2000||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||21,377|
|Brisbane Broncos||34–20||Cronulla Sharks||6 August 2000||ANZ Stadium||Paul Simpkins||25,831|
|Parramatta Eels||28–10||Penrith Panthers||12 August 2000||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||25,746|
|Canberra Raiders||10–38||Sydney Roosters||13 August 2000||Sydney Football Stadium||Tim Mander||16,441|
|Newcastle Knights||20–26||Sydney Roosters||19 August 2000||Sydney Football Stadium||Bill Harrigan||33,727|
|Brisbane Broncos||16–10||Parramatta Eels||20 August 2000||Stadium Australia||Tim Mander||31,087|
Sunday, 27 August
|Brisbane Broncos||14 -6||Sydney Roosters|
Michael De Vere (3/5)
Luke Phillips (1/1)
- Hadfield, Dave (30 November 1999). "Moffett insists conversion is no miracle". The Independent. UK: Independent News and Media Limited. Retrieved 24 December 2009.
- Mealey, Rachel (29 January 2000). "Tom Jones the new voice of NRL". abc.net.au. Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Retrieved 3 July 2009.
- Proszenko, Adrian (6 May 2012). "Gallen set to smash record". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 May 2012.
- D'Souza, Miguel. "Grand Final History". wwos.ninemsn.com.au. AAP. Archived from the original on 19 August 2014. Retrieved 8 September 2013.