2006 New Zealand rugby league season

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The 2006 New Zealand rugby league season was the 99th season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand. The main feature of the year was the seventh season of the Bartercard Cup competition that was run by the New Zealand Rugby League. The Auckland Lions won the Cup by defeating the Canterbury Bulls 25-18 in the Grand Final.

International competitions[edit]

The New Zealand Kiwis co-hosted the Tri-Nations with Australia. Three tests were played in New Zealand; with the Kiwis defeating Great Britain 18–14 in Christchurch and 34–4 in Wellington and losing to Australia 18–30 in Auckland. New Zealand lost the final, which was played in Sydney, 16–12 to Australia after Golden Point extra time. The first win against Great Britain was discounted after it was discovered that Nathan Fien was ineligible to play for New Zealand. Coached by Brian McClennan, for the Tri-Nations New Zealand included; Roy Asotasi, Adam Blair, Jason and Nathan Cayless, David Fa'alogo, Nathan Fien, Dene Halatau, Shontayne Hape, Stacey Jones, David Kidwell, Simon Mannering, Steve Matai, Frank Pritchard, Tony Puletua, Jerome Ropati, Iosia Soliola, Motu Tony, Tame Tupou, Nigel Vagana, Manu Vatuvei, Brent Webb and captain Ruben Wiki.

Earlier in the year New Zealand had lost the ANZAC Test 12-50 to Australia and lost to Great Britain 14-46 in a June Test match. Jake Webster, Paul Whatuira, Thomas Leuluai, Sonny Bill Williams, Benji Marshall and David Faiumu all appeared in the ANZAC Test but did not make the Tri-Nations squad. Lesley Vainikolo, Willie Talau, Henry Fa'afili, Ben Roberts, Alex Chan, Iafeta Paleaaesina, Ali Lauiti'iti, David Solomona, Robbie Paul, Harrison Hansen and Monty Betham all appeared in the Great Britain Test but did not make the Tri-Nations squad. Clinton Toopi and Louis Anderson appeared in both mid-season Test matches but did not make the Tri-Nations squad.

20:00 NZST
New Zealand  18–14  Great Britain
Tries: Brent Webb
Motu Tony
Iosia Soliola
Goals: Stacey Jones 3/3
Tries: Paul Wellens
Gareth Ellis
Goals: Sean Long 2/2
Danny McGuire 1/1
Jade Stadium, Christchurch
Attendance: 17,005
This match was discounted after New Zealand were found guilty of fielding an ineligible player.

New Zealand Kiwis New Zealand 34–4 New Zealand New Zealand Residents
Wingham Park, Greymouth
Attendance: 4000

20:00 NZST
New Zealand  34–4  Great Britain
Tries: Brent Webb 2
Nigel Vagana
Ruben Wiki
Nathan Cayless
Manu Vatuvei
Goals: Stacey Jones 5/6
Tries: Gareth Ellis
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Attendance: 16,401

During the Tri-Nations the Kiwis played a New Zealand Residents side in Greymouth and defeated them 34–4. The Residents team included Corey Lawrie, Shane Beyers, David Fisi'iahi, Cliff Beverley, Julian O'Neill, Sala Fa'alogo, Cooper Vuna, George Tuakura and Wayne McDade.[2][3] Earlier in the year the Residents had hosted a Trans Tasman Quadrangular Series, winning the final against Country 32-18.[3][4] The Queensland Rangers, New South Wales Country and Jim Beam Cup side all came to New Zealand for the tournament. The Residents side for the tournament included Steve Buckingham, Sala Fa'alogo, Sonny Fai, Fabian Soutar and Miguel Start.[3][5] The side was coached by David Lomax who was assisted by Sam Panapa.

Auckland hosted the 2006 Pacific Cup, which was won by Tonga. New Zealand Māori finished third.[6] The Māori had already defeated Fiji in a January test match. Later in the season the New Zealand Māori team tourned the Cook Islands, losing a three match series 2-1.[7] The New Zealand Māori side was coached by Dean Clark and included Paul Atkins, Jeremiah Pai and Steve Skinnon. Kevin Tamati coached the team in the January match, which included Luke Goodwin.

National competitions[edit]

Rugby League Cup[edit]

Bartercard Cup[edit]

The 2006 Bartercard Cup was the seventh season of the Bartercard Cup competition run by the New Zealand Rugby League. This season saw substantial change for the Cup as the number of clubs was reduced for the 2006 season from 12 to 10. The New Zealand Rugby League also decided to move towards a franchise model. As a result, there was a large number of clubs affected and all Auckland franchises were reviewed. The major changes were; the Harbour League replaced the Hibiscus Coast Raiders and the North Harbour Tigers, the Waitakere Rangers replaced the Glenora Bears to represent all of Waitakere City, the Auckland Lions replaced the Mt Albert Lions and the Marist Richmond Brothers, the Tamaki Leopards replaced the Otahuhu Ellerslie Leopards and the Eastern Tornadoes and the Northern Storm were formed, to represent Northland. In addition the Wellington Franchise adopted the nickname the Orcas in support of the Southern Orcas National Rugby League bid.

One game a week was shifted to a Monday night and played live on Māori Television.[8]

The Teams[edit]

Season Stadings[edit]

Team Pld W D L PF PA PD Pts
Auckland Lions 18 15 1 2 704 270 434 31
Canterbury Bulls 18 13 0 5 583 376 207 26
Waitakere Rangers 18 12 0 6 608 435 173 24
Tamaki Leopards 18 9 2 7 546 440 106 20
Counties Manukau Jetz 18 9 1 8 522 458 64 19
Harbour League 18 9 0 9 476 446 30 18
Wellington Orcas 18 6 0 12 452 549 -97 12
Waicoa Bay Stallions 18 5 2 11 494 662 -168 12
Central Falcons 18 6 0 12 415 678 -263 12
Northern Storm 18 2 2 14 314 802 -488 6

The Playoffs[edit]

The playoff system used was the McIntyre Final Five System. This meant that:

  • Canterbury and Waitakere (being second and third respectively) got a double-chance, as did the Auckland Lions (minor premiers) and the other team that got to play in the Qualification Semi-final (Canterbury).
  • The Auckland Lions, being the minor premiers, did't have to play until the Qualification Semi-final.
  • Basically, the higher you were on the table, the easier your road to the Grand Final was.
  Qualifying finals Semi finals Preliminary final Grand Final
1 Auckland Lions 27  
    Canterbury Bulls 14         Auckland Lions 25
2 Canterbury Bulls 26     Canterbury Bulls 30   Canterbury Bulls 18
3 Waitakere Rangers 20       Tamaki Leopards 6  
Waitakere Rangers 24
4 Tamaki Leopards 25   Tamaki Leopards 25  
5 Counties Manukau 12
Date Match Winner Loser Venue
28 August
TV Match
Elimination Play-off Tamaki Leopards 25 Counties Manukau Jetz 12 Mt Smart Stadium
26 August Preliminary Semifinal Canterbury Bulls 26 Waitakere Rangers 20 Rugby League Park
4 September
TV Match
Elimination Semifinal Tamaki Leopards 25 Waitakere Rangers 24 North Harbour Stadium
3 September Qualification Semifinal Auckland Lions 27 Canterbury Bulls 14 Western Springs Stadium
11 September
TV Match
Preliminary Final Canterbury Bulls 30 Tamaki Leopards 6 Mt Smart Stadium
Grand Final[edit]
Team Halftime Total
Auckland Lions 14 25
Canterbury Bulls 12 18
Tries (Auckland) 1: K.Wright, R.Wigg, M.Start
Tries (Canterbury) 1: S.Hurrell, C.Fraser, L.Fanene
Goals (Auckland) 6: S.Buckingham
Goals (Canterbury) 3: S.Hurrell
Field Goals Goals (Auckland) 1: S.Buckingham
Date 18 September
Venue Mt Smart Stadium
Broadcast Maori Television

National First Division[edit]

Auckland won the National First Division championship.[3] They were coached by Sam Panapa and defeated Wellington 32-14 in the final at Wise Park. Canterbury and Waikato also competed. The squads were limited to players that had played less than three Bartercard Cup matches that season.

Australian competitions[edit]

The New Zealand Warriors competed in the National Rugby League competition. They finished 10th out of 15 teams and failed to make the playoffs.

Club competitions[edit]


The Mount Albert Lions won the Fox Memorial trophy, the Rukutai Shield (minor premiership) and the Roope Rooster. The Lions defeated the Papakura Sea Eagles, 49–6, in the final.[3] Mangere East Hawks won the Stormont Shield.

The Manurewa Marlins won the Sharman Cup (Division Two) while Hibiscus Coast won the Phelan Shield (Division Three).

Richie Blackmore coached Otahuhu.[3]



Hornby won the Canterbury Rugby League title.

Other Competitions[edit]

Turangawaewae defeated the Pikiao Warriors in the Waicoa Bay championship.

The Paikea Whalers defeated EITSA 42-18 to win the Eastern Alliance championship.[20]


  1. ^ "The Fat Controllers keep eyes trained on series cashflow". Sydney Morning Herald. 2006-10-23. Retrieved 2008-12-05. 
  2. ^ Four Bulls make Residents, The Press, 30 October 2006
  3. ^ a b c d e f Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.p.349-350.
  4. ^ Rangers Campaign Gets Underway Archived 13 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine. QRL Official Site
  5. ^ Residents cane the Toads The Daily Post, 22 June 2006
  6. ^ 2006 International Rugby League Results & Tables Rugby League International Scores
  7. ^ John Coffey, Bernie Wood (2008). 100 years: Māori rugby league, 1908-2008. Huia Publishers. p. 334. ISBN 978-1-86969-331-2. 
  8. ^ Debut in Lions den The Press, 24 March 2006
  9. ^ The Storm 'grows depth' The Press, 1 April 2006
  10. ^ Thousands farewell Ngati Haua stalwart The Northern Advocate, 22 May 2006
  11. ^ a b c d e f g Bartercard Cup Rd 4 teams & fixtures New Zealand Rugby League, 14 April 2006
  12. ^ a b c Bartercard Cup Rd7 - Fixtures and Teams Archived 8 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine. New Zealand Rugby League, 12 May 2006
  13. ^ a b c Bartercard Cup Rd 12 preview and teams leagueunlimited.com, 16 June 2006
  14. ^ Coach talks up his pride The Press', 27 March 2006
  15. ^ Reinforced Lions to face Bulls The Press, 5 August 2006
  16. ^ Stallions coach hopes teamwork will win rematch Waikato Times, 10 June 1994
  17. ^ Top rugby league returns to Taranaki Taranaki Daily News, 4 August 2006
  18. ^ Focus on footy brings balance to Falcons Dominon Post, 24 March 2006
  19. ^ Villasanti leads charge for Bulls The Press, 24 April 2006
  20. ^ Whalers leave EITSA floundering Hawke's Bay Today, 21 August 2006
Preceded by
2005 Bartercard Cup
Bartercard Cup
Succeeded by
2007 Bartercard Cup