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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 1Edit

Friday 11 April
New South Wales   38 – 10   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: Bill Harrigan
Man of the Match: Greg Alexander  

Game 2Edit

Friday 9 May
New Zealand   12 – 26   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: Graham Annesley
Man of the Match: Allan Langer  

Game 3Edit

Wednesday 14 May
New South Wales   20 – 15   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: 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   23 – 22 (gp)   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: Bill Harrigan


New South WalesEdit

Position Game 1
(versus Qld)
Game 2
(versus NZ)
Game 3
(versus Qld)
Fullback   David Peachey
Wing   Ken Nagas
Centre   Andrew Ettingshausen
Centre   Ryan Girdler   Matthew Ryan
Wing   Matthew Ryan   Brett Mullins
Five-Eighth   Laurie Daley (c)
Halfback   Greg Alexander   Noel Goldthorpe
Prop   Glenn Lazarus
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   Solomon Haumono
Interchange   Robbie Ross   Scott Wilson   Robbie Ross
Interchange   Noel Goldthorpe   Matthew Ryan   Luke Priddis

New ZealandEdit

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   Anthony Swann
Wing   Sean Hoppe
Centre   Tea Ropati
Centre   Ruben Wiki
Wing   Richie Barnett
Five-Eighth   Gene Ngamu
Halfback   Stacey Jones
Prop   Quentin Pongia
Hooker   Syd Eru
Prop   Joe Vagana
Second Row   Tony Iro   Stephen Kearney
Second Row   Stephen Kearney   Tyran Smith
Lock   Tawera Nikau
Interchange   John Timu   Solomon Haumono
Interchange   Brady Malam   Marc Ellis
Interchange   Tyran Smith   Brady Malam
Interchange   Marc Ellis   Tony Iro


Queensland were coached by Wayne Bennett.

Position Game 1
(versus NSW)
Game 2
(versus NZ)
Game 3
(versus NSW)
Fullback   Julian O'Neill   Darren Lockyer
Wing   Mat Rogers
Centre   Steve Renouf   Darren Smith   Steve Renouf
Centre   Geoff Bell   Tonie Carroll
Wing   Wendell Sailor
Five-Eighth   Kevin Walters
Halfback   Allan Langer (c)
Prop   Brad Thorn
Hooker   Steve Walters
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
Interchange   Paul Green
Interchange   Shane Webcke


Try scorersEdit

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 alsoEdit


  1. ^ 1997 Super League Tri-series - NSW vs Qld
  2. ^ 1997 Super League Tri-series - NZ vs Qld
  3. ^ 1997 Super League Tri-series - NSW vs NZ
  4. ^ Mascord, Steve (14 May 1997). "Try, try and try again, but Kiwis denied by ref". The Sydney Morning Herald. Australia: Fairfax. p. 50. Retrieved 3 May 2010.
  5. ^ 1997 Super League Tri-series Final

External linksEdit