1999 New Zealand rugby league season

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The 1999 New Zealand rugby league season was the 92nd season of rugby league that had been played in New Zealand. The main feature of the year was the National Provincial competition that was run by the New Zealand Rugby League.

International competitions[edit]

The New Zealand Kiwis competed in and co-hosted the inaugural Tri-Nations tournament. They lost the final to Australia after defeating both Australia and Great Britain in pool play. Earlier in the season the Kiwis had lost the ANZAC Test to Australia and had defeated Tonga in a Test Match notable for Stacey Jones breaking his arm during the match. New Zealand were coached by Frank Endacott and included; Tri-Nations captain Richie Barnett, Sean Hoppe, Willie Talau, Ruben Wiki, Lesley Vainikolo, Robbie and Henry Paul, Stacey Jones, Jason Lowrie, Nigel and Joe Vagana, Nathan Cayless, ANZAC Test captain Jarrod McCracken, Logan Swann, David Kidwell, Matt Rua, Terry Hermansson, Richard Swain, Brian Jellick, Tony Puletua, Stephen Kearney, Gene Ngamu and Craig Smith.

The New Zealand Māori rugby league team played, and lost to, Great Britain in the curtain raiser to the Tri-Nations final. The team was: Alex Chan, Steve Matthews, Lewis, Steve Berryman, Jared Mills, Luke Goodwin, Willie Rangi, Paul Rauhihi, Tukere Barlow, John Edmonds, Robert Henare, Darren Rameka, Andrew Wynyard. Substitutions: Gavin Bailey, Martin Moana, Frank Watene, Wairangi Koopu. Coach: Cameron Bell. Referee: David Pakieto.[1] The Māori's had already toured Papua New Guinea earlier in the year. This team included Henry Perenara, Jamie Cook, Shontayne Hape and James Stosic.[2][3][4]

The Junior Kiwis included Henry Perenara.[5]

The New Zealand Universities team attended the Student World Cup in Great Britain. They won Pool B, accounting for Wales and Canada, and advanced through the finals. They defeated the England Students team 46-16 at The Boulevard, winning the World Cup.[6]

National competitions[edit]

Rugby League Cup[edit]

Waikato started the year holding the Rugby League Cup. Taranaki then challenged for the trophy, defeating Waikato 68-8 on 24 April.[7]

National Provincial Competition[edit]

The New Zealand Rugby League ran a National Provincial Competition throughout the season. Auckland was divided into North and South. However a combined Auckland side defeated New South Wales Country 33-6. This side was coached by Stan Martin and included 8 Glenora Bears players, including Boycie Nelson and Steve Buckingham.[8]

The Teams[edit]


  Semifinals Qualifying Final Grand Final
1 Auckland South 22  
2 Auckland North 0           Auckland South 24
        Auckland North 20     Auckland North 22
    Taranaki 18  
3 Canterbury 32
4 Taranaki 41  

Canterbury, Taranaki, Auckland North and Auckland South all qualified for the finals.[21][22]

In a MacIntyre final four playoff system Taranaki defeated Canterbury 41-32 in the first round.[17][23]

Auckland North defeated Taranaki 20-18 to qualify for the grand final against Auckland South.[24]

The final was won by Auckland South who defeated Auckland North 24-22.[25]

Australian competitions[edit]

The Auckland Warriors competed in the National Rugby League competition. They finished 11th out of 20 teams and failed to make the playoffs.

Club competitions[edit]


The Glenora Bears won the pre-season Roope Rooster, the minor premiership Rukutai Shield and the grand final Fox Memorial to complete a clean sweep of the Auckland Rugby League club trophies. In the final, played at Carlaw Park, Glenora defeated Otahuhu 24-4.[5] Glenora included Henry Perenara, David Bailey, Boycie Nelson, Steve Buckingham and Wairangi Koopu. The Super 12 tournament had been expanded to include two new teams; the Eastern Tornadoes and the Hibiscus Coast Raiders.[26]

Gus Malietoa-Brown played for the Eastern Tornadoes while Dean Clark and Phillip Leuluai played for Otahuhu and Esau Mann represented Mangere East.

The Mount Albert Lions won the Sharman Cup.[12]



Halswell and Horby met in the Canterbury Rugby League grand final which was held at Rugby League Park on 19 September.[27] Halswell won 30-12.[28] Mike Dorreen and Aaron Whittaker played for Halswell[29]

Scott Codyre was named the outstanding player of the year.[30]

Aranui High School won the Canterbury secondary schools senior competition.[31]

Other Competitions[edit]

Turangawaewae won the Waikato Rugby League grand final, defeating Hukanui 32-22 at Davies Park in Huntly.[32] Former Kiwi Kelly Shelford played for the Hamilton City Tigers.[33]

Marist defeated the Waitara Bears 28-20 in the Taranaki Rugby League grand final.[34]


  1. ^ GB have Long to thank BBC Sport, 5 November 1999
  2. ^ Whiz kid surprise for Canty The Press, 23 July 1999
  3. ^ Jessup, Peter (3 November 1999). "Rugby League: It's a different world for Maori". The New Zealand Herald. Retrieved 14 September 2011. 
  4. ^ Heat, humidity stacks up against Maori side AAP Sports News, 10 June 1999
  5. ^ a b Junior Kiwi enjoys life in fast lane Sunday Star-Times, 19 September 1999
  6. ^ The Independent Student Rugby League World Cup srlalumni.supanet.com
  7. ^ Sharks put bite on Waikato Cougars Taranaki Daily News, 26 April 1999
  8. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.323.
  9. ^ Stokes on alert for 'hit men' The Press, 1 May 1999
  10. ^ a b Injury gives Hoppe a starting chance New Zealand Herald, 16 March 1999
  11. ^ Waikato lose gallant fight Waikato Times, 20 March 1999
  12. ^ a b c Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4.
  13. ^ New coach puts fresh blood into Waikato Waikato Times, 19 March 1999
  14. ^ League squad named Waikato Times, 25 February 1999
  15. ^ a b Focus on Kiwi prop The Press, 26 June 1999
  16. ^ Tough job for depleted Canty The Press, 20 March 1999
  17. ^ a b Canterbury to protest Taranaki win Taranaki Daily News, 27 September 1999
  18. ^ Young star hurts Canty The Press, 29 March 1999
  19. ^ Dorreen returns after six years The Press, 26 April 1999
  20. ^ Whittaker to rescue The Press, 10 April 1999
  21. ^ Taranaki has second thoughts on ineligible players The Press, 25 September 1999
  22. ^ Play-offs place uncertain despite landslide The Press, 28 June 1999
  23. ^ Selection woes for Taranaki Taranaki Daily News, 25 September 1999
  24. ^ Last-minute loss for Taranaki Sharks Taranaki Daily News, 4 October 1999
  25. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.322.
  26. ^ Coffey, John and Bernie Wood Auckland, 100 years of rugby league, 1909-2009, 2009. ISBN 978-1-86969-366-4, p.318.
  27. ^ Champion effort sought in grand final The Press, 18 September 1999
  28. ^ Grand final delight for Halswell The Press, 20 September 1999
  29. ^ Sydenham puts play-offs case The Press, 16 August 1999
  30. ^ Hornby duo sweep league awards The Press, 25 September 1999
  31. ^ Aranui students make the switch The Press, 28 July 1999
  32. ^ Turangawaewae trounce grand final challengers Waikato Times, 18 October 1999
  33. ^ Shelford helps Tigers to runaway victory Waikato Times, 17 May 1999
  34. ^ Taranaki Grand Final Countdown Archived 15 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. rleague.com, 11 July 2003