2000 New Zealand rugby league season

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The 2000 New Zealand rugby league season was the 93rd season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand. The main feature of the year was the inaugural season of the Bartercard Cup competition that was run by the New Zealand Rugby League. The Canterbury Bulls won the Cup by defeating the Otahuhu Leopards 38-24 in the Grand Final.

International competitions[edit]

The New Zealand national rugby league team did not play any test matches in New Zealand in 2000, losing the ANZAC Test 0-52 in Sydney and then heading to Europe in October for the 2000 World Cup. They lost to Australia 12-40 in the final of the World Cup. Coached by Frank Endacott New Zealands World Cup squad included; captain Richie Barnett, Richie Blackmore, Tonie Carroll, Nathan Cayless, Brian Jellick, Stacey Jones, Stephen Kearney, Ali Lauitiiti, Tasesa Lavea, Henry and Robbie Paul, Quentin Pongia, Tony Puletua, Matt Rua, Richard Swain, Logan Swann, Willie Talau, David Vaealiki, Joe and Nigel Vagana, Lesley Vainikolo and Ruben Wiki. Craig Smith, Jason Lowrie, David Kidwell and Tyran Smith all played in the ANZAC Test but did not make the World Cup squad.

The New Zealand Māori side also participated in the World Cup, losing to Samoa and Ireland but defeating Scotland. Earlier in the year they had participated in a three match series against Fiji, defeating them 3-0. New Zealand Māori were coached by Cameron Bell and included Billy Weepu, Hare Te Rangi, Steve Berryman, Boycie Nelson, Solomon Kiri and Doc Murray.[1] The World Cup squad was captained by Tawera Nikau and included Alex Chan, Jamie Cookthcote, Luke Goodwin, Terry Hermansson, Sean Hoppe, David Kidwell, Toa Kohe-Love, Wairangi Koopu, Kylie Leuluai, Odell Manuel, Martin Moana, Jared Mills, Chris Nahi, Boycie Nelson, Gene Ngamu, Henry Perenara, Paul Rauhihi, Tahi Reihana, Jeremy Smith, Tyran Smith, Clinton Toopi, Paul Whatuira and Hare Te Rangi.

The New Zealand Residents toured Australia twice, conducting a three match tour in July and then returning to play Australia in October. The Residents defeated Victoria 64-0 and Dubbo Combined 82-10 before losing to Sydney Metropolitan 24-22.[2][page needed] The Residents were coached by Gerard Stokes and included players such as; Lusi Sione, Motu Tony, captain Esau Mann, Paul and David Fisiiahi, Boycie Nelson, George Tuakura, Hare Te Rangi, Phillip Leuluai, Ben Lythe, Peter Lewis, Solomon Kiri, Jonathan Smith, Anthony Seu Seu and Shane Beyers.[3][4] Aaron Whittaker was the team trainer.[5] The Residents teams were selected by Stokes, John Ackland and Dominic Clarke.[6]

The Residents then returned to play Australia in Gosford in October. The Residents had a weakened team, as World Cup sides such as Cook Islands, Western Samoa and Tonga had first call on players. In front of 16,200 fans Australia won 108-0.

Auckland played a home and away series with the Cook Islands in October. The series replaced a planned two-match tour of Fiji in June which was cancelled following the coup d'état.[2][page needed] Dominic Clark coached the Auckland team.

The Kiwi Ferns competed in the first Women's World Cup, winning the tournament by defeating Great Britain 26-4 in the final.

National competitions[edit]

Rugby League Cup[edit]

Taranaki defended the Rugby League Cup by defeating Northland 28-22 on 3 September.[7]

Bartercard Cup[edit]

The 2000 Bartercard Cup was the inaugural season of the Bartercard Cup competition run by the New Zealand Rugby League. The competition was the first large scale attempt to replace the Lion Red Cup and involved eight Auckland Rugby League clubs and four regional teams. Eventual winners Canterbury were the only full provincial side in the competition. Waikato were the surprise omission.[8]

The Teams[edit]

Season standings[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
Otahuhu Leopards 22 18 0 4 782 440 342 36
Canterbury Bulls 22 15 0 7 658 525 133 30
Eastern Tornadoes 22 15 0 7 584 516 68 30
Wainuiomata Lions 22 13 0 9 668 542 126 26
Glenora Bears 22 13 0 9 608 519 89 26
Mt Albert Lions 22 12 1 9 593 584 9 25
Manurewa Marlins 22 11 2 9 633 521 112 24
Hibiscus Coast Raiders 22 7 5 10 544 578 -34 19
Marist Richmond Brothers 22 9 0 13 558 707 -149 18
Northcote Tigers 22 7 1 14 490 654 -164 15
Ngongotaha Chiefs 22 4 0 18 424 685 -261 8
Porirua Pumas 22 3 1 18 506 777 -271 7

The Playoffs[edit]

This was the only year in the eight years of the competition that two sides from outside of Auckland made the playoffs. The two teams, the Cantebury Bulls and the Wainuiomata Lions, met in the Preliminary Final with Canterbury prevailing 36-6.

  Qualifying finals Semi finals Preliminary final Grand Final
1 Otahuhu Leopards 51  
    Canterbury Bulls 28         Otahuhu Leopards 24
2 Canterbury Bulls 38     Canterbury Bulls 36   Canterbury Bulls 38
3 Eastern Tornadoes 25       Wainuiomata Lions 6  
Eastern Tornadoes 20
4 Wainuiomata Lions 18   Wainuiomata Lions 25  
5 Glenora Bears 10
Match Winner Loser
Elimination Play-off Wainuiomata Lions 18 Glenora Bears 10
Preliminary Semifinal Canterbury Bulls 38 Eastern Tornadoes 25
Elimination Semifinal Wainuiomata Lions 25 Eastern Tornadoes 20
Qualification Semifinal Otahuhu Leopards 51 Canterbury Bulls 28
Preliminary Final Canterbury Bulls 36 Wainuiomata Lions 6

Grand Final[edit]

Otahuhu Position Canterbury
Corey Palmer FB Lusi Sione
George Carmont WG Scott Woodgate
Chris Magele CE Gafa Tuiloma
Scott Niwa CE Raymond Hubbard
Mark Elder WG Gareth Cook
Shane Edwards FE Scott Nixon
Hare Te Rangi HB Maurice Elmslie (C)
George Tuakura PR Kevin Te Hau
Esau Mann (C) HK Shane Beyers
Haemish Reid PR Craig Barrow
Herman Lemafa SR Shaun Norton
Tyson Majoribanks SR Graeme Emslie
Chris Peau LK Jonny Limmer
Lance Kouka Bench Clayton Harris
Solomon Kiri Bench Malafa Pua'avase
Eric Pele Bench Robert Henare
Tusa Lafaele Bench Enoka Mamoe
Dean Clark Coach Gerard Stokes

Canterbury won $50,000 prize money for winning, with Otahuhu receiving $30,000.[25] The curtain raiser was between New Zealand Students and Great Britain Students.

Team Halftime Total
Canterbury Bulls 20 38
Otahuhu Leopards 8 24


North Island Second Division[edit]

An Auckland side consisting of Fox Memorial players dominated the North Island Second Division competition, winning all six matches.[2][page needed] The team was coached by Del Hughes and included Tevita Latu. Auckland defeated Coastline, Wellington, Manawatu, Taranaki, Northland and Waikato.

Mainland Super 10[edit]

A Mainland Super 10 competition was held between Canterbury Rugby League clubs and the South Island provincial teams. The teams involved included the Tasman Orcas (featuring coach Paul Bergman and player Phil Bergman), Otago Storm, the West Coast Chargers and from Canterbury: the Haswell Hornets (who included Mike Dorreen, Glenn Coughlan and Aaron Whittaker), Hornby Panthers (including Corey Lawrie), Eastern Sea Eagles, Papanui Tigers, Sydenham Swans, Riccarton Knights and Linwood Kews.[27][28][29]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
Halswell Hornets 9 9 0 0 323 116 207 18
Eastern Sea Eagles 9 6 1 2 270 196 74 13
Tasman Orcas 9 6 0 3 292 154 138 12
Hornby Panthers 9 5 2 2 226 151 75 12
Papanui Tigers 9 6 0 3 262 196 66 12
Otago Storm 9 4 1 4 220 208 12 9
Sydenham Swans 9 2 1 6 206 338 -132 5
West Coast Chargers 9 2 0 7 170 306 -136 4
Linwood Keas 9 2 0 7 172 322 -150 4
Riccarton Knights 9 0 1 8 170 324 -154 1

Team Mainland Super 10 "dream team" was: Warren Donaldson (West Coast), Eddie Hei Hei (Papanui), Joe Fatuleai (Eastern), Clinton Fraser (Tasman), Linkoln Newson (Hornby), Phil Bergman (Tasman), Aaron Whittaker (Halswell), Danny Champion (Halswell), Leon Stone (Papanui), Vince Whare (Riccarton), Riki Ashwell (Otago), Tim Sione (Hornby), Brad Williams (Halswell).[30]

Tasman and Hornby made the final after they defeated Easts 51-36 and Halswell 20-14 respectively.[30] Tasman won the inaugural season's championship by defeating Horby 20-0 in the Grand Final.[31][32]

Australian competitions[edit]

The Auckland Warriors competed in the National Rugby League competition. They finished 13th out of 14 teams and failed to make the playoffs.

Club competitions[edit]


The Otahuhu Leopards won the Fox Memorial, despite also fielding a Bartercard Cup side.[25] They defeated Richmond 21-14 in the grand final.[2][page needed] Richmond won the Rukutai Shield (minor premiership). Richmond included Tevita Latu and Daniel Vasau, who won the Best and Fairest award.[2][page needed]


The Wellington City Council announces that Rugby League Park will be shared by the Wellington Rugby League and the Wellington Rugby Union, following the sale of Athletic Park.[33][34]


Halswell won the Canterbury Rugby League title.

Other Competitions[edit]

Turangawaewae won the 2000 Waikato Rugby League competition, defeating the Hamilton City Tigers.[35][36]

The Waitara Bears defeated Marist 24-12 in the Taranaki Rugby League grand final.[37]


  1. ^ John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. pp. 316–317. ISBN 978-1-86969-331-2.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4.
  3. ^ Johns named halfback and captain AAP Sports News (Australia), 10 October 2000
  4. ^ NZ Residents end trip with a flourish The Press, 27 July 2000
  5. ^ a b c d Last-minute changes to Residents league side New Zealand Herald, 17 July 2000
  6. ^ Last chance for tour selection [dead link] The Press, 23 June 2000
  7. ^ Sharks in ripping form to take on Coastline[dead link] Taranaki Daily News, 5 September 2010
  8. ^ Canterbury provincial team in new league [dead link] The Press, 16 October 1999
  9. ^ Jessup, Peter (18 April 2009). "NRL: Heremaia back in the fold". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  10. ^ a b c d Auck clubs bolstered by released Warriors [dead link] The Press, 19 May 2000
  11. ^ Tigers call on Auck warhorse [dead link] The Press, 5 August 2000
  12. ^ a b Warriors go with experience for warm-up match New Zealand Herald, 19 January 2000
  13. ^ a b c d Bears, Tornadoes may hold edge New Zealand Herald, 26 August 2000
  14. ^ Staladi makes return after quitting game[dead link] The Press, 18 March 2000
  15. ^ Lions roar after slow start[dead link] The Press, 17 June 2000
  16. ^ a b Bears' migration adds some bite to clash New Zealand Herald, 8 March 2001
  17. ^ Jessup, Peter (29 May 2000). "Rugby League: Lio neck injury caps bad weekend for Bears". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  18. ^ Formidable look to Leopards[dead link] The Press, 26 July 2000
  19. ^ Makeshift Bulls look a touch vulnerable [dead link] The Press, 29 July 2000
  20. ^ Bulls line up for giant task The Press, 16 September 2000
  21. ^ Warrior boosts Otahuhu in showdown with Bulls[dead link] The Press, 6 May 2000
  22. ^ Tiny halfback threat to Bulls[dead link] The Press, 29 April 2000
  23. ^ Bergman may prove bugbear for Bulls[dead link] The Press, 24 June 2000
  24. ^ Otahuhu guards against backlash[dead link] The Press, 15 September 2000
  25. ^ a b Otahuhu Leopards strong favourites to beat Canterbury New Zealand Herald, 16 September 2000
  26. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.328.
  27. ^ Weather crash-tackles competition [dead link] The Press, 28 August 2000
  28. ^ Halswell, Hornby break out[dead link] The Press, 14 August 2000
  29. ^ 2000 Mainland Super 10 rugbyleague.co.nz
  30. ^ a b Tasman has slight edge for final[dead link] The Press, 30 September 2000
  31. ^ 2000 Mainland Super 10 Finals rugbyleague.co.nz
  32. ^ Sponsorship sought for Orcas[dead link] The Nelson Mail, 5 June 2001
  33. ^ Kilgallon, Steve. Whatever Happened to Rugby League Park? Sunday Star-Times, 17 April 2011. p.B7
  34. ^ Burgess, Dave (22 November 2010). "Name change bumped into touch by league fans". The Dominion Post. Retrieved 14 September 2011.
  35. ^ Tigers taking on league champs[dead link] Waikato Times, 11 September 2000
  36. ^ Rugby league action hots up[dead link] Waikato Times, 27 April 2001
  37. ^ Taranaki Grand Final Countdown Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine rleague.com, 11 July 2003
Preceded by
Bartercard Cup
Succeeded by
2001 Bartercard Cup