1989 Kangaroo tour of New Zealand

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The 1989 Kangaroo Tour of New Zealand was a mid-season tour of New Zealand by the Australia national rugby league team. The Australians played six matches on tour, including a three test series against the New Zealand national rugby league team. The tour began on 4 July and finished on 23 July.[1]

Australia, the reigning Rugby League World Cup champions after having defeated New Zealand 25–15 in the 1988 World Cup Final at Auckland's Eden Park ground, defeated the home side 3–0 in the series. The third test of the series also doubled as the first match of the 1989–1992 Rugby League World Cup tournament.[2]

The series was broadcast to Australia by the Nine Network with commentary provided by Ray Warren and Darrell Eastlake.

As of 2017, this remains the last full mid-season Kangaroo tour of New Zealand in which the Australians played against club and regional teams.

LeadershipEdit

Don Furner had stepped down after three successful years as coach and was replaced by 1978 Kangaroo tour captain and Manly-Warringah's 1987 premiership winning coach Bob Fulton. Wally Lewis was the captain of the side as he had been since 1984 while Manly-Warringah's Paul Vautin was the team vice-captain. Vautin captained the team in the three non-test games of the tour.

Touring squadEdit

Queensland had won the 1989 State of Origin series with a 3–0 clean sweep of New South Wales prior to the tour. Of the 20 man touring team, 12 were from Qld with 8 from NSW. Balmain Tigers front rower Steve Roach was the only tourist who had not played in the Origin series.

Only 10 players from the touring party would go on to be selected for the 1990 Kangaroo tour of Great Britain and France.

Player Club Position(s) Games Tests Tries Goals F/Goals Points
Greg Alexander   Penrith Panthers Halfback 5 2 5
Sam Backo   Brisbane Broncos Prop 6 3 1 4
Gary Belcher   Canberra Raiders Fullback 5 3 3 12
Martin Bella   North Sydney Bears Prop 3
Bradley Clyde   Canberra Raiders Lock, Second-row 4 3 1 4
Tony Currie   Brisbane Broncos Centre 5 3 2 8
Michael Hancock   Brisbane Broncos Wing 6 3 3 12
Des Hasler   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Halfback, Five-eighth 4 2 1 4
Peter Jackson   Brisbane Broncos Centre 3
Wally Lewis (c)   Brisbane Broncos Five-eighth 3 3
Bruce McGuire   Balmain Tigers Second-row, Lock 5 2
Mal Meninga   Canberra Raiders Centre, Second-row 3 3 1 8 20
Michael O'Connor   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Wing 5 2 3 15 42
Steve Roach   Balmain Tigers Prop 5 3
Dale Shearer   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Fullback, Wing, Centre 5 3 5 20
Paul Sironen   Balmain Tigers Second-row 3 2 1 4
Dan Stains   Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks Second-row 3
David Trewhella   Eastern Suburbs Roosters Hooker 3
Paul Vautin (vc)   Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles Lock, Second-row 6 3 1 2
Kerrod Walters   Brisbane Broncos Hooker 5 3 1 4

TourEdit

The Australians played six games on the tour, winning five.


Tuesday 4 July
New Zealand XIII   18 – 50   Australia
Tries:
Duane Mann, Kelly Shelford, Dave Watson
Goals:
Phil Bancroft (3)
[3] Tries:
Greg Alexander (3), Gary Belcher (3), Sam Backo, Des Hasler, Michael O'Connor
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (7)
Palmerston North Showgrounds
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Jim Stokes

New Zealand XIII: Morvin Edwards, Sam Panapa, Dave Watson, Tea Ropati, David Ewe, Kelly Shelford, Phil Bancroft, George Mann, Duane Mann, Russell Tuuta, Shane Hansen, Francis Leota, Mike Kuiti (c). Res - Gary Mercer, Peter Brown.

Australia: Gary Belcher, Michael O'Connor, Peter Jackson, Tony Currie, Michael Hancock, Des Hasler, Greg Alexander, Sam Backo, David Trewhella, Steve Roach, Bruce McGuire, Dan Stains, Paul Vautin (c). Res - Kerrod Walters, Martin Bella.


First testEdit

Sunday 9 July
New Zealand   6 – 26   Australia
Tries:
Mark Elia



Goals:
Kevin Iro (1/2)
[4] Tries:
Tony Currie
Wally Lewis
Paul Sironen
Kerrod Walters
Goals:
Mal Meninga (5/5)
Queen Elizabeth II Park, Christchurch
Attendance: 17,000
Referee: Ray Tennant  
Man of the Match: Bradley Clyde  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Australia
FB 1   Darrell Williams
RW 2   Tony Iro
RC 3   Kevin Iro
LC 4   Tony Kemp
LW 5   Mark Elia
FE 6   Shane Cooper
HB 7   Clayton Friend
PR 8   Brent Todd
HK 9   Barry Harvey
PR 10   James Goulding
SR 11   Hugh McGahan (c)
SR 12   Sam Stewart
LF 13   Brendon Tuuta
Substitutions:
IC 14   Gary Freeman
IC 15
Coach:
  Tony Gordon
FB 1   Gary Belcher
RW 2   Dale Shearer
RC 3   Mal Meninga
LC 4   Tony Currie
LW 5   Michael Hancock
FE 6   Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7   Greg Alexander
PR 8   Sam Backo
HK 9   Kerrod Walters
PR 10   Steve Roach
SR 11   Paul Sironen
SR 12   Bradley Clyde
LF 13   Paul Vautin
Substitutions:
IC 14   Michael O'Connor
IC 15   Bruce McGuire
Coach:
  Bob Fulton

Wednesday 12 July
Auckland   26 – 24   Australia
Tries:
Shane Hansen, Francis Leota, Mike Patton, Dave Watson
Goals:
Kelly Shelford (5/6)
Tea Ropati (0/1)
[5] Tries:
Dale Shearer (2), Greg Alexander, Tony Currie, Michael Hancock
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (2/5)
Carlaw Park, Auckland
Attendance: 9,000
Referee: Bill Shrimpton

Auckland: Carl Magatogia, Sam Panapa, Mike Patton, Dave Watson, Kevin Pulieta, Kelly Shelford (c), Neville Ramsay, Mike Thomson, Peter Ropati, George Mann, Tawera Nikau, Francis Leota, Shane Hansen. Res - Tea Ropati, Taime Tagaloa. Coach - Cameron Bell

Australia: Dale Shearer, Michael O'Connor, Peter Jackson, Tony Currie, Michael Hancock, Des Hasler, Greg Alexander, Sam Backo, David Trewhella, Martin Bella, Dan Stains, Bruce McGuire, Paul Vautin (c). Res - Bradley Clyde.

The 26-24 loss to Auckland was the Kangaroos first loss to a club or provincial team since losing 12-11 to NZ side South Island during the 1980 NZ tour.[6] As of 2017 it remains the last time an Australian side has lost a non-test match. This was also the last time the Australians would play a match at Carlaw Park.


Second testEdit

Sunday 16 July
New Zealand   0 – 8   Australia
Tries:
Goals:
Phil Bancroft (0/1)
Kevin Iro (0/2)
Tony Kemp (0/1)
[7] Tries:
Michael Hancock
Goals:
Mal Meninga (2/3)
Rotorua International Stadium, Rotorua
Attendance: 26,000
Referee: Ray Tennant  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Australia
FB 1   Darrell Williams
RW 2   Tony Iro
RC 3   Tony Kemp
LC 4   Kevin Iro
LW 5   Gary Mercer
FE 6   Shane Cooper
HB 7   Gary Freeman
PR 8   Brent Todd
HK 9   Duane Mann
PR 10   James Goulding
SR 11   Hugh McGahan (c)
SR 12   Sam Stewart
LF 13   Brendon Tuuta
Substitutions:
IC 14   Phil Bancroft
IC 15   Mark Horo
Coach:
  Tony Gordon
FB 1   Gary Belcher
RW 2   Dale Shearer
RC 3   Mal Meninga
LC 4   Tony Currie
LW 5   Michael Hancock
FE 6   Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7   Greg Alexander
PR 8   Sam Backo
HK 9   Kerrod Walters
PR 10   Steve Roach
SR 11   Paul Sironen
SR 12   Bradley Clyde
LF 13   Paul Vautin
Substitutions:
IC 14   Des Hasler
IC 15   Bruce McGuire
Coach:
  Bob Fulton

Wednesday 19 July
Wellington   10 – 28   Australia
Tries:
Morvin Edwards
Goals:
George Lajpold (3)
[8] Tries:
Dale Shearer (2), Greg Alexander, Michael Hancock, Michael O'Connor
Goals:
Michael O'Connor (3)
Paul Vautin (1)
Basin Reserve, Wellington
Attendance: 5,000
Referee: Alan Church

Wellington: Morvin Edwards, David Ewe, George Lajpold, Charlie McAlister, Victor Aramoana, Geoffrey Tangira, Sibi Raika, Arnold Lomax, Barry Harvey (c), Daroa Ben-Moide, Sonny Whakarau, Kelly Makoare, Mike Kuiti.

Australia: Gary Belcher, Michael O'Connor, Peter Jackson, Dale Shearer, Michael Hancock, Paul Vautin (c), Greg Alexander, Steve Roach, David Trewhella, Martin Bella, Dan Stains, Paul Sironen, Bruce McGuire. Res - Kerrod Walters, Sam Backo.

As of 2017, this remains the last game Australia has played against a NZ club or provincial side.


Third testEdit

The dead rubber third test also doubled as the first game of the 1989–1992 Rugby League World Cup tournament. It also saw the first time that the Mount Smart Stadium would host a rugby league test match. Australia's vice-captain Paul Vautin played his 13th and last test match. Tony Currie, Sam Backo and Bruce McGuire also played their last tests. With Paul Sironen out injured, Mal Meninga moved into the second row. After 9 tests on the wing, Dale Shearer played his first test at centre with Michael O'Connor coming in on the wing. This would also be the 24th and last time Wally Lewis would captain Australia in a test match.

Sunday 23 July
New Zealand   14 – 22   Australia
Tries:
Mark Elia
Gary Mercer


Goals:
Kelly Shelford (3/4)
[9] Tries:
Bradley Clyde
Mal Meninga
Michael O'Connor
Dale Shearer
Goals:
Mal Meninga (1/3)
Michael O'Connor (2/3)
Mount Smart Stadium, Auckland
Attendance: 15,000
Referee: Ray Tennant  
Man of the Match: Bradley Clyde  
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
New Zealand
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Australia
FB 1   Darrell Williams
RW 2   Gary Mercer
RC 3   Kevin Iro
LC 4   Tony Kemp
LW 5   Mark Elia
FE 6   Kelly Shelford
HB 7   Gary Freeman
PR 8   James Goulding
HK 9   Duane Mann
PR 10   Brent Todd
SR 11   Sam Stewart
SR 12   Mark Horo
LF 13   Hugh McGahan (c)
Substitutions:
IC 14   Brendon Tuuta
IC 15   Kurt Sherlock
Coach:
  Tony Gordon
FB 1   Gary Belcher
LW 2   Michael Hancock
RC 3   Dale Shearer
LC 4   Tony Currie
RW 5   Michael O'Connor
FE 6   Wally Lewis (c)
HB 7   Des Hasler
PR 8   Sam Backo
HK 9   Kerrod Walters
PR 10   Steve Roach
SR 11   Mal Meninga
SR 12   Paul Vautin
LF 13   Bradley Clyde
Substitutions:
IC 14   Bruce McGuire
IC 15
Coach:
  Bob Fulton

During the second half of the game, Australian captain Wally Lewis pulled off a massive (but fair) hit on Kiwi fullback Darrell Williams. Lewis later told that he thought he was lining up Brendon Tuuta who had produced a fair bit of foul play through the series, only to look down at the tackled player and find it was Williams and not Tuuta.[10]

StatisticsEdit

Leading Try Scorer

Leading Point Scorer

Largest Attendance

Largest non-test Attendance

ReferencesEdit