Super League Tri-series

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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.


Game 1[edit]

Friday 11 April
New South Wales New South Wales colours.svg 38 – 10 Queensland colours.svg Queensland
Andrew Ettingshausen (3)
Ken Nagas (2)
Greg Alexander
David Peachey
Ryan Girdler (5/7)
[1] Tries:
Peter Ryan
Wendell Sailor

Mat Rogers (1/2)
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 26,731
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan
Man of the Match: Greg Alexander New South Wales colours.svg

Game 2[edit]

Friday 9 May
New Zealand New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg 12 – 26 Queensland colours.svg Queensland
Stacey Jones
John Timu

Gene Ngamu (2/2)
[2] Tries:
Tonie Carroll
Allan Langer
Mat Rogers
Kevin Walters
Shane Webcke
Mat Rogers (3/5)
Ericsson Stadium, Auckland
Attendance: 18,000
Referee/s: Graham Annesley
Man of the Match: Allan Langer Queensland colours.svg

Game 3[edit]

Wednesday 14 May
New South Wales New South Wales colours.svg 20 – 15 New Zealand Kiwis colours.svg New Zealand
Simon Gillies (2)
Ken Nagas (2)
Ryan Girdler (2/4)
Laurie Daley (0/1)
[3] Tries:
Ruben Wiki (2)

Stacey Jones (3/4)

Field Goals:
Gene Ngamu (1)
Bruce Stadium, Canberra
Attendance: 13,836
Referee/s: Steve Clark

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.[4]


Team Played Wins Losses Points
1 New South Wales 2 2 0 4
2 Queensland 2 1 1 2
3 New Zealand 2 0 2 0


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.

Despite the game being played in Brisbane, NSW were the home team as it was the Final of the series.

Monday 19 May
New South Wales New South Wales colours.svg 23 – 22 (gp) Queensland colours.svg Queensland
Brett Mullins (3)
Matthew Ryan

David Furner (3/4)

Field Goals:
Noel Goldthorpe (1)
[5] Tries:
Steve Renouf (2)
Tonie Carroll
Michael Hancock
Mat Rogers (2/3)
Darren Lockyer (1/2)
ANZ Stadium, Brisbane
Attendance: 35,570
Referee/s: Bill Harrigan


New South Wales[edit]

Position Game 1
(versus Qld)
Game 2
(versus NZ)
Game 3
(versus Qld)
Fullback Cronulla colours.svg David Peachey
Wing Canberra colours.svg Ken Nagas
Centre Cronulla colours.svg Andrew Ettingshausen
Centre Penrith colours.svg Ryan Girdler Canterbury colours.svg Matthew Ryan
Wing Canterbury colours.svg Matthew Ryan Canberra colours.svg Brett Mullins
Five-Eighth Canberra colours.svg Laurie Daley (c)
Halfback Penrith colours.svg Greg Alexander Hunter colours.svg Noel Goldthorpe
Prop Brisbane colours.svg Glenn Lazarus
Hooker Penrith colours.svg Craig Gower Canberra colours.svg Luke Priddis Penrith colours.svg Craig Gower
Prop Western Reds colours.svg Rodney Howe North Queensland colours.svg Ian Roberts
Second Row Cronulla colours.svg Sean Ryan Canberra colours.svg David Furner
Second Row Canterbury colours.svg Simon Gillies
Lock Canberra colours.svg David Furner Canberra colours.svg Bradley Clyde
Interchange Penrith colours.svg Matt Adamson Cronulla colours.svg Danny Lee Western Reds colours.svg Robbie Kearns
Interchange Canterbury colours.svg Solomon Haumono
Interchange Hunter colours.svg Robbie Ross Western Reds colours.svg Scott Wilson Hunter colours.svg Robbie Ross
Interchange Hunter colours.svg Noel Goldthorpe Canterbury colours.svg Matthew Ryan Canberra colours.svg Luke Priddis

New Zealand[edit]

The side was coached by Graeme Norton and he served as a selector alongside Frank Endacott and Gary Kemble.

Position Game 1
(versus Qld)
Game 2
(versus NSW)
Fullback Auckland colours.svg Anthony Swann
Wing Auckland colours.svg Sean Hoppe
Centre Auckland colours.svg Tea Ropati
Centre Canberra colours.svg Ruben Wiki
Wing Cronulla colours.svg Richie Barnett
Five-Eighth Auckland colours.svg Gene Ngamu
Halfback Auckland colours.svg Stacey Jones
Prop Canberra colours.svg Quentin Pongia
Hooker Auckland colours.svg Syd Eru
Prop Auckland colours.svg Joe Vagana
Second Row Hunter colours.svg Tony Iro Auckland colours.svg Stephen Kearney
Second Row Auckland colours.svg Stephen Kearney North Queensland colours.svg Tyran Smith
Lock Cronulla colours.svg Tawera Nikau
Interchange Canterbury colours.svg John Timu Canterbury colours.svg Solomon Haumono
Interchange Auckland colours.svg Brady Malam Auckland colours.svg Marc Ellis
Interchange North Queensland colours.svg Tyran Smith Auckland colours.svg Brady Malam
Interchange Auckland colours.svg Marc Ellis Hunter colours.svg Tony Iro


Queensland were coached by Wayne Bennett.

Position Game 1
(versus NSW)
Game 2
(versus NZ)
Game 3
(versus NSW)
Fullback Western Reds colours.svg Julian O'Neill Brisbane colours.svg Darren Lockyer
Wing Cronulla colours.svg Mat Rogers
Centre Brisbane colours.svg Steve Renouf Brisbane colours.svg Darren Smith Brisbane colours.svg Steve Renouf
Centre Cronulla colours.svg Geoff Bell Brisbane colours.svg Tonie Carroll
Wing Brisbane colours.svg Wendell Sailor
Five-Eighth Brisbane colours.svg Kevin Walters
Halfback Brisbane colours.svg Allan Langer (c)
Prop Brisbane colours.svg Brad Thorn
Hooker North Queensland colours.svg Steve Walters
Prop Brisbane colours.svg Andrew Gee Cronulla colours.svg Craig Greenhill North Queensland colours.svg Owen Cunningham
Second Row North Queensland colours.svg Owen Cunningham Brisbane colours.svg Peter Ryan
Second Row Brisbane colours.svg Gorden Tallis
Lock Brisbane colours.svg Darren Smith Brisbane colours.svg Peter Ryan Brisbane colours.svg Darren Smith
Interchange Brisbane colours.svg Peter Ryan Brisbane colours.svg Michael Hancock
Interchange Cronulla colours.svg Chris McKenna Adelaide colours.svg Kevin Campion
Interchange Cronulla colours.svg Paul Green
Interchange Brisbane colours.svg Shane Webcke


Try scorers[edit]

Tries Scored Player
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)

See also[edit]


External links[edit]