2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations

The 2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations (also known as the Gillette Rugby League Tri-Nations due to sponsorship by Gillette) was the second Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament hosted by Australia and New Zealand. The tournament followed the same format as in 2004 and 2005, with each team meeting the other two teams twice, and the top two teams at the end of the group stages proceeding to the final. Australia was to run out winners in a tight final, winning in golden point extra time with Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer scoring a try in the 87th minute.

2006 (2006) Tri-Nations  ()
2006 Tri-Nations logo
Number of teams3
Host countries Australia
 New Zealand
Winner Australia (3rd title)

Matches played7
Attendance180,774 (25,825 per match)
Tries scored45 (6.43 per match)
Top scorerAustralia Johnathan Thurston[1] (34)
Top try scorersNew Zealand Iosia Soliola[1] (4)
Australia Greg Inglis (4)
 < 2005

The teams edit

Australia edit

Coach: Ricky Stuart (Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks)
Assistant: Craig Bellamy

Club Players
Brisbane Broncos Shaun Berrigan, Tonie Carroll, Petero Civoniceva, Justin Hodges, Karmichael Hunt, Darren Lockyer (captain), Brent Tate and Sam Thaiday
St George Illawarra Dragons Mark Gasnier and Ben Hornby
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Brent Kite, Jamie Lyon
Sydney Roosters Anthony Tupou
St Helens R.F.C. Jamie Lyon
Bulldogs Willie Mason, Mark O'Meley, Andrew Ryan, and Reni Maitua
North Queensland Cowboys Luke O'Donnell, Johnathan Thurston
Melbourne Storm Greg Inglis, Matt King, Cameron Smith and Antonio Kaufusi
Parramatta Eels Nathan Hindmarsh and Jarryd Hayne

Great Britain edit

Coach: Brian Noble (Wigan Warriors)

Club Players
Leeds Rhinos Rob Burrow, Gareth Ellis, Danny McGuire, Jamie Peacock (c), Keith Senior
Newcastle Knights Brian Carney (vc)
St Helens R.F.C. Lee Gilmour, Leon Pryce, James Roby, Paul Wellens, Jon Wilkin, Sean Long
Bradford Bulls Terry Newton
Wigan Warriors Stuart Fielden, Gareth Hock, Sean O'Loughlin
Warrington Wolves Martin Gleeson, Paul Wood
Hull Richard Horne, Gareth Raynor, Kirk Yeaman, Garreth Carvell
Sydney Roosters Adrian Morley
Salford City Reds Andy Coley
Huddersfield Giants Martin Aspinwall

New Zealand edit

Coach: Brian McClennan (Auckland Lions)

Club Players
Bulldogs Roy Asotasi
Melbourne Storm Adam Blair, David Kidwell
St Helens R.F.C. Jason Cayless
Parramatta Eels Nathan Cayless
South Sydney Rabbitohs David Fa'alogo
New Zealand Warriors Awen Guttenbeil, Brent Webb, Ruben Wiki (Captain), Epalahame Lauaki, Simon Mannering, Jerome Ropati, Manu Vatuvei, Nathan Fien and Lance Hohaia
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats David Solomona
Sydney Roosters Iosia Soliola
Catalans Dragons Stacey Jones
Bradford Bulls Shontayne Hape
Wests Tigers Dene Halatau
Penrith Panthers Frank Pritchard, Tony Puletua
Manly Warringah Sea Eagles Steve Matai
Cronulla Sharks Nigel Vagana
Hull F.C. Motu Tony
Brisbane Broncos Tame Tupou

Venues edit

The games were played at the following venues in Australia and New Zealand. The tournament final was played in Sydney.

Sydney Auckland Melbourne
Sydney Football Stadium Mount Smart Stadium Telstra Dome
Capacity: 42,500 Capacity: 30,000 Capacity: 56,347
Christchurch Wellington Brisbane
Jade Stadium Westpac Stadium Suncorp Stadium
Capacity: 38,628 Capacity: 34,500 Capacity: 52,500

Tournament matches edit

21 October
20:00 AEST
Australia  20 – 15  New Zealand
Greg Inglis 2
Mark Gasnier
Johnathan Thurston (4/4)
Iosia Soliola 2
Shontayne Hape
Stacey Jones (1/3)
Field Goal: Stacey Jones
Telstra Dome, Melbourne
Attendance: 30,732

28 October
20:00 NZST
New Zealand  18 – 14  Great Britain
Brent Webb
Motu Tony
Iosia Soliola
Stacey Jones (3/3)
Paul Wellens
Gareth Ellis
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.

4 November
20:00 AEDT
Australia  12 – 23  Great Britain
Greg Inglis
Darren Lockyer
Darren Lockyer (2/2)
Paul Wellens
Jamie Peacock
Lee Gilmour
Gareth Raynor
Sean Long (3/5)
Field Goal:
Sean Long
Sydney Football Stadium, Sydney
Attendance: 24,953
Referee: Ashley Klein
Australia Position Great Britain
1 Karmichael Hunt FB 1 Paul Wellens
2 Brent Tate WG 2 Brian Carney
3 Mark Gasnier CE 3 Keith Senior
4 Jamie Lyon CE 4 Kirk Yeaman
5 Greg Inglis WG 5 Gareth Raynor
6 Darren Lockyer (c) FE/SO 6 Leon Pryce
7 Ben Hornby HB 7 Sean Long
8 Mark O'Meley PR 8 Stuart Fielden
9 Shaun Berrigan HK 9 Terry Newton
10 Petero Civoniceva PR 10 Jamie Peacock (c)
11 Willie Mason SR 11 Gareth Ellis
12 Nathan Hindmarsh SR 12 Gareth Hock
13 Luke O'Donnell LK 13 Sean O'Loughlin
14 Cameron Smith Bench 14 James Roby
15 Anthony Tupou Bench 15 Adrian Morley
16 Brent Kite Bench 16 Lee Gilmour
17 Sam Thaiday Bench 17 Jon Wilkin
Ricky Stuart Coach Brian Noble[3]

During the first minutes of the match Australian forward Willie Mason punched Stuart Fielden,[4] breaking his nose and sparking a brawl, and later took Sean Long out after kicking, leading with an elbow which left Long's head bloodied and bandaged for the rest of the match. He was later charged for his punch on Fielden and had to face a Rugby League International Federation disciplinary committee the following Monday, where he was fined AUD$5000 and suspended for one game.[5] After almost thirty minutes the Australians opened the scoring when, defending within their own ten-metre line, their scrum-half back Ben Hornby intercepted a pass and ran twenty metres before giving the ball on to winger Greg Inglis to run the remaining seventy to the line and score under the posts.[6] Lockyer converted the try so it was 6 - 0 in favour of the Kangaroos. A few minutes later Irish winger Brian Carney left the field with a hamstring injury and was replaced by Lee Gilmour.[7] Then Great Britain struck back with scrum-half-back Sean Long dummying his way through the defence thirty-five metres from the line then passing back inside to fullback Paul Wellens to score. Long then converted the try, so the scores were level at 6 all at the break.[8]

On the other side of half-time, the Lions scored after about two minutes from close range when forward Jamie Peacock barged his way through the defence and over the line. The video referee gave the try 'benefit of the doubt' and Sean Long's kick didn't miss, so the score was 12 - 6 in favour of Great Britain.[9] The Australians hit back with another long range try, the ball being moved out to Inglis on the left wing to make a break down the sideline before passing back inside to five-eighth Darren Lockyer to finish the run to the line and touch down behind the uprights. Lockyer then converted, levelling the score at 12 - 12.[10] About ten minutes later the British struck back when Lee Gilmour hit a gap twenty metres out and ran through to dive over beneath the sticks. Sean Long converted so the Lions regained the lead at 18 - 12. With just over ten minutes remaining Great Britain got an opportunity to put themselves in front by more than a converted try when they were awarded a penalty, but Long's kick missed.[11] Shortly after he got a chance to make amends with a drop goal but missed. However, with less than five minutes remaining he helped seal the match when he kicked a loose pass fifteen metres from his own goal-line downfield and chased after it, regathering and running just over the half-way line before passing it James Roby in support who couldn't outrun Nathan Hindmarsh. From the play-the-ball twenty metres away from Australia's goal-line, the British moved the ball through the hands out to the other side of the field to winger Gareth Raynor who dived over in the corner.[12] Long's conversion attempt struck the post and missed, but he later kicked a field goal in the final minutes to make it a 23 - 12 victory, Great Britain's first in Australia since their 1992 tour.[13]

This was the last match to be played against Australia by Great Britain before they split into England, Wales and Scotland.

Tournament standings edit

Team Played Won Drew Lost For Against Difference Points
  Australia 4 3 0 1 95 66 +29 6
  New Zealand 4 2 0 2 85 68 +19 4
  Great Britain 4 1 0 3 51 97 −46 21

Final edit

Australia Position New Zealand
Karmichael Hunt FB Brent Webb
Brent Tate WG Shontayne Hape
Mark Gasnier CE Iosia Soliola
Justin Hodges CE Steve Matai
Greg Inglis WG Manu Vatuvei
Darren Lockyer (c) FE Nigel Vagana
Johnathan Thurston HB Stacey Jones
Brent Kite PR Ruben Wiki (c)
Cameron Smith HK Dene Halatau
Petero Civoniceva PR Roy Asotasi
Nathan Hindmarsh SR David Kidwell
Andrew Ryan SR Simon Mannering
Luke O'Donnell LK David Fa'alogo
Willie Mason Int Motu Tony
Mark O'Meley Int Nathan Cayless
Shaun Berrigan Int Adam Blair
Anthony Tupou Int Frank Pritchard
Ricky Stuart Coach Brian McClennan

Early penalties for infringements in the ruck by the Kiwis, gave Australia an early two points from a Johnathan Thurston kick.[17] The Kangaroos then mirrored this, conceding consecutive penalties that allowed Stacey Jones' goal a few minutes later to even the scores at 2 all. In the tenth minute Australia had the ball in the centre of the field and passed it out to Mark Gasnier who made a break down the right then passed to his winger Brent Tate to finish.[18] Thurston's conversion was successful, so the home side led 8 - 2. Another penalty in the ruck in the twenty-first minute led to a minor scuffle and a goal from Thurston, extending the Kangaroos' lead to 10 - 2. Five minutes later New Zealand were ten metres into the Australians' half when Stacy Jones put a little chip kick over the heads of the Kangaroos for Brent Webb to run through and catch before drawing the defence and passing it on to Frank Pritchard who diver over untouched in the left corner.[19] Jones missed the difficult conversion attempt, leaving the score 10 - 6 in favour of Australia. In the remaining ten minutes of play before half-time no more points were scored.

After five minutes the Kiwis had made their way down to Australia's ten-metre line when they moved the ball through the hands out to the right where Nigel Vagana threw a short ball back inside for Iosia Soliola charging through to score. The scores were level at 10 - 10 and Stacy Jones' kick missed. A few minutes later Australia were given a penalty and Thurston kicked for goal, regaining his side's lead 12 - 10.[20] In the sixty-ninth minute the Kiwis picked up a penalty in front of the posts and Jones kicked it this time, levelling the scores at 12 - 12.[21] The Kangaroos then survived several raids on their try-line and two field goal attempts before a Cameron Smith 40-20 kick brought them up to New Zealand's end with two minutes remaining where Thurston missed a drop goal attempt as well.[22] Jones had another shot in the final minute, and Australia nearly scored a miraculous fifty-metre try, but the match was destined for golden point extra time.[23]

The first five-minute period of extra time featured a missed field goal attempt each from Lockyer, then Jones. The teams then changed ends and started again. After eighty-seven minutes of test football,[24] Australia gained possession of the ball. Thurston then received it thirty-five metres from his own in-goal and dummied his way through the defensive line. After running fifty metres he passed back inside to Darren Lockyer in support who was ankle-tapped on his way to the try-line and stumbled over under the posts, giving Australia a 16-12 golden-point victory.[25][26]

Kangaroos' ball twenty metres out from their own line, tackle number two. We play until we get points. There is no stoppage from here on in. We're into the 87th minute of play. Smith with the ball, now for Thurston, dummy, Thurston's through. There's support left and right, Lockyer's on the inside, Lockyer...scores the try. The Golden Boot winner, the Brisbane captain, the Queensland captain, the Australian captain has scored the try to win the Tri-Nations final. What a sensational finish sixteen points to twelve.

— Andrew Voss, commentator, Channel 9 (host broadcaster)[27]

Australia's victory regained them the Tri-nations trophy which they had lost to New Zealand in the final of the 2005 series in England.[28] Lockyer, who in 2006 captained Queensland to victory in the State of Origin, winning the Wally Lewis Medal for player of the series, captained the Brisbane Broncos to victory in the 2006 NRL Grand Final, then won his second Golden Boot Award for international player of the year, collected the trophy.[29]

The New Zealand loss brought down the curtain on the test careers of captain Ruben Wiki, who retired as New Zealand's most capped international,[30] as well as Stacey Jones and Nigel Vagana.

Non-series matches edit

During the series, Great Britain and New Zealand played additional matches to maintain their level of fitness.[31]

4 November
New Zealand  34 – 4  New Zealand Residents
Wingham Park, Greymouth
Attendance: 4,000

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ a b "Tri-Nations 2006". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  2. ^ "The Fat Controllers keep eyes trained on series cashflow". Sydney Morning Herald. 23 October 2006. Retrieved 5 December 2008.
  3. ^ "Noble - I knew we could do it". London Evening Standard. UK: ES London Limited. 5 November 2006. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  4. ^ Ouldthwaite, Eddie (5 November 2006). "Brilliant Britain batter Kangaroos". scotsman.com. UK: Johnston Press Digital Publishing. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  5. ^ BBC SPORT | Rugby League | Mason gets one-game ban for punch
  6. ^ Steve, Jancetic (5 November 2006). "Lions roar as Mason in hot water". New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 30 October 2011.
  7. ^ Hudson, Elizabeth (4 November 2006). "Clockwatch: Australia 12-23 Great Britain". BBC Sport. UK: BBC. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  8. ^ Swanton, Will (5 November 2006). "Noble: We could sniff an upset win all week". The Sun-Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. p. 122. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  9. ^ AAP (5 November 2006). "Lions roar to stunning win". tvnz.co.nz. New Zealand: Television New Zealand Limited. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  10. ^ Paul, Fletcher (4 November 2006). "Australia 12-23 Great Britain". BBC Sport. UK: BBC. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  11. ^ Telegraph online and PA (4 November 2006). "Long stars in super GB victory". The Telegraph. UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  12. ^ Patrick, Hamish (5 November 2006). "Pommie joy overflows as Aussies leak tries". The Telegraph. UK: Telegraph Media Group Limited. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  13. ^ "Lions upset Kangaroos". ABC News Online. Australia: ABC. 4 November 2006. Archived from the original on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 27 February 2011.
  14. ^ rugbyleagueplanet.com. "2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations". Rugby League Planet. Australia: Seventh Star Rise Pty Ltd. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  15. ^ "2006 International Rugby League Results & Tables". Rugby League International Scores. rugbyleagueinternationalscores.com. Archived from the original on 17 February 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  16. ^ "Tri-Nations Final - Australian Kangaroos 16 d. New Zealand Kiwis 12". rleague.com. UK: Rleague.com PTY LTD. Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  17. ^ Whiting, John (25 November 2006). "Kangaroos snatch overtime thriller". ONE Sport. New Zealand: tvnz.co.nz. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  18. ^ thisislondon.co.uk (26 November 2006). "Aussies claim Tri-Nations crown". London Evening Standard. UK: ES London Limited. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  19. ^ AAP (25 November 2006). "Thurston the Difference in Final". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  20. ^ Agencies (25 November 2006). "Kangaroos win Tri-Nations title". Sport. Aljazeera. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  21. ^ Greg, Davis (25 November 2006). "Mr Perfect does it again". The Courier-Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  22. ^ Mascord, Steve (26 November 2006). "Kangaroos win golden game". The Sunday Telegraph. Australia: News Limited. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  23. ^ Hughes, Ed (26 November 2006). "Australia 16 New Zealand 12: Aussie joy at golden victory". The Sunday Times. UK: Times Newspapers Ltd. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  24. ^ Walker, Gareth (27 November 2006). "Golden boy Lockyer drives Kangaroos to victory". The Guardian. UK: Guardian News and Media Limited. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  25. ^ "Sydney Football Stadium Magic Moments". sydneycricketground.com.au. Sydney Cricket & Sports Ground Trust. Archived from the original on 16 August 2007. Retrieved 2 September 2009.
  26. ^ Sterling, Peter (10 August 2011). "Sterling Gold: The real Darren Lockyer". NRL.com. Archived from the original on 24 October 2011. Retrieved 21 November 2011.
  27. ^ Test Football: 2006 Tri-Nations Final coverage. Commentators: Andrew Voss, Peter Sterling, Phil Gould. Sydney, Australia: Nine Network. 25 November 2006.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  28. ^ Ricketts, Steve (26 November 2006). "Slick Thurston can kick on". The Courier-Mail. Australia: Queensland Newspapers. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  29. ^ news.bbc.co.uk (25 November 2006). "Australia 16-12 New Zealand". BBC Sport. UK: BBC. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  30. ^ AAP (26 November 2006). "Australia regains Tri-Nations crown". The Age. Australia: Fairfax Media. Retrieved 3 March 2011.
  31. ^ "New Zealand's source for sport, rugby, cricket & league news on Stuff.co.nz: Hardman Morley to make comeback against Kiwis". Archived from the original on 9 August 2006. Retrieved 11 August 2006.