Super League Tri-series
The Super League Tri-series was an international rugby league football tournament contested in 1997 between Queensland, New South Wales, and New Zealand representative rugby league teams. It was run by the breakaway Super League organisation as an alternative to the Australian Rugby League's traditional State of Origin series, with each of the two series involving exclusively players contracted to clubs of their respective League. New South Wales were overall winners of the Tri-series, defeating Queensland in the final.
New Zealand restricted their selections to players based in Australia and New Zealand and did not recognize the matches as international games.
- New South Wales defeated Queensland 38–10 (Aussie Stadium, Sydney, 11 April 1997. Attendance: 26,731)
- Queensland defeated New Zealand 26–12 (Ericsson Stadium, Auckland, 9 May 1997. Attendance: 18,000)
- New South Wales defeated New Zealand 20–15 (Bruce Stadium, Canberra, 14 May 1997. Attendance: 13,836)
After New South Wales defeated Queensland on 11 April 1997 it was possible for New Zealand to make the final if they defeated New South Wales. This commercially disastrous final looked like becoming a reality when New Zealand winger Sean Hoppe scored a try in the dying minutes of the 14 May match against New South Wales, but the try was controversially disallowed.
|1||New South Wales||2||2||0||4|
The Tri-series final was held on 19 May 1997, and won by New South Wales, who defeated Queensland 23-22 at ANZ Stadium in the longest-ever game of first class rugby league. After 80 minutes, the scores were locked at 18-18, and a further 20 minutes were played. At the end of this time, the scores were 22-22, and Queensland captain Allan Langer is said to have asked the referee, "Should we toss a coin to see who wins?" The game then moved into golden point extra time, and after 104 minutes, Noel Goldthorpe kicked a field goal for New South Wales, and won the match.
New South Wales
|Centre||Ryan Girdler||Matthew Ryan|
|Wing||Matthew Ryan||Brett Mullins|
|Five-Eighth||Laurie Daley (c)|
|Halfback||Greg Alexander||Noel Goldthorpe|
|Hooker||Craig Gower||Luke Priddis||Craig Gower|
|Prop||Rodney Howe||Ian Roberts|
|Second Row||Sean Ryan||David Furner|
|Second Row||Simon Gillies|
|Lock||David Furner||Bradley Clyde|
|Interchange||Matt Adamson||Danny Lee||Robbie Kearns|
|Interchange||Robbie Ross||Scott Wilson||Robbie Ross|
|Interchange||Noel Goldthorpe||Matthew Ryan||Luke Priddis|
The side was coached by Graeme Norton and he served as a selector alongside Frank Endacott and Gary Kemble. The squad for the two matches was Anthony Swann, Sean Hoppe, Tea Ropati, Ruben Wiki, Richie Barnett, Gene Ngamu, Stacey Jones, Quentin Pongia, Syd Eru, Joe Vagana, Tony Iro, captain Stephen Kearney, Tawera Nikau, John Timu, Brady Malam, Tyran Smith and Marc Ellis.
Queensland were coached by Wayne Bennett.
|Fullback||Julian O'Neill||Darren Lockyer|
|Centre||Steve Renouf||Darren Smith||Steve Renouf|
|Centre||Geoff Bell||Tonie Carroll|
|Halfback||Allan Langer (c)|
|Prop||Andrew Gee||Craig Greenhill||Owen Cunningham|
|Second Row||Owen Cunningham||Peter Ryan|
|Second Row||Gorden Tallis|
|Lock||Darren Smith||Peter Ryan||Darren Smith|
|Interchange||Peter Ryan||Michael Hancock|
|Interchange||Chris McKenna||Kevin Campion|
|4||Ken Nagas (NSW)|
|3||Andrew Ettingshausen (NSW), Brett Mullins (NSW), Tonie Carroll (Qld)|
|2||David Peachey (NSW), Simon Gillies (NSW), Ruben Wiki (NZ), Steve Renouf (Qld)|
|1||Shane Webcke (Qld), Greg Alexander (NSW), Kevin Walters (Qld), Allan Langer (Qld), Mat Rogers (Qld), Stacey Jones (NZ), Wendell Sailor (Qld), Gene Ngamu (NZ), Peter Ryan (Qld), Michael Hancock (Qld), Matthew Ryan (NSW), John Timu (NZ)|
- Complete Statistics and Players of the Super League Tri-Series
- Super League Tri-Series 1997 at rugbyleagueproject.org