- Super League (Australia) season 1997
:"This article details the Super League half of 1997's split club competition. For the Australian Rugby League half, see
Australian Rugby League season 1997. For more information on the Super League franchise, see Super League (Australia)"Infobox rugby league season
year = 1997
competition = Super League
imagesize = 150px
teams = 10
count = 3rd
minor premiers =
mpcount = 2nd
matches = 96
points = 4035
attendance = 1251777
top points scorer = (197)
top try scorer = (17)The 1997 Australian Super League premiership (known as the
TelstraCup for sponsorship purposes) was contested by ten clubs. It was the 90th season of professional rugby league footballin Australia and the only top grade competition to be run by the News Limited-controlled Super League.
There were just three teams in the competition based in
Sydneycompared to seven in the rival Australian Rugby League competition being run at the same time. A further team from greater New South Wales, two teams from Queensland, one from the Australian Capital Territory, one from South Australia, one from Western Australiaand one from New Zealandmade up the competition.
Super League was a
rugby leaguecompetition that was held in Australia in 1997. It was created by News Corporationafter an unsuccessful attempt to purchase the pay television rights to Australian rugby league games. After two years of legal battles the competition was played for a single season in 1997 before merging with the rival Australian Rugby Leaguecompetition in 1998to form the National Rugby League.
The Telstra Cup premiership was held over eighteen rounds. The season was dominated by the minor premiers, the
Brisbane Broncos, who won 14 of their 18 matches, losing only to the Penrith Panthers, the Hunter Marinersand eventual runners-up, the Cronulla Sharks. The Grand Final was played at Brisbane's ANZ Stadium in front of 58,000 people; the ground record for that venue. The Broncos defeated the Sharks 26-8 to win their third premiership. The Auckland Warriorshad teams in both the reserve grade and two age-group Grand Finals but lost all three.
The winners in all grades were:
* First Grade: Brisbane Broncos
* Reserve Grade: Canterbury Bulldogs
* Under-19s: Penrith Panthers
* Under-17s: Brisbane Broncos
Teaser ads had been created by Mojo Sydney in 1996 around the theme of "Superleague: It's Coming". They featured Super League players performing superhuman feats. One notable execution included Canberra's
Bradley Clydeinside a rodeo corral being stormed by a runaway bull with the suggestion that he is about to singlehandedly bring the bull to ground.
By season launch in 1997 Foxtel's ad agency Young and Rubicam Sydney had the Super League account and created a space-themed ad with players running through outer-space and the tag-line "Super League: It's out of this world".
By mid season the account had moved again and Sydney agency VCD produced much of the game promotional and club fixture print ads that ran in newspapers throughout the season. This commenced VCD's association with Super League that would continue with the ARL post the re-unification.
Despite rain, a record crowd in Queensland rugby league history was at ANZ Stadium for the first ever night grand final and the only Australian top level grand final to be played outside Sydney. The match crowned a week of grand final festivities, including a ball, street parade and massive game-night fireworks display, of the sort the Broncos' management had wanted the ARL to bring to Brisbane before the code's big schism in 1995.
Jon Stevensand Olivia Newton-Johnalso performed in the pre-match entertainment.
, became only the third man to score three tries in a grand final. The win kept the Broncos' 100% record intact in Grand Finals making it three from three, while the Sharks had yet to make a grand final victory with zero from three.
Brisbane 26 (Tries: Renouf 3, Hancock; Goals: Lockyer 5/6)
Cronulla 8 (Tries: Richardson; Goals: Rogers 2/2)
National Rugby League
With twenty-two teams playing in two competitions in 1997 crowd attendances and corporate sponsorships were spread very thinly, and many teams found themselves in financial difficulty by the end of the season. On
September 23, 1997the ARL announced that it was forming a new company to control the competition in 1998 and invited Super League clubs to participate. On October 7 Rupert Murdochannounced that he was confident that there would be a single competition in 1998 and in the following months the National Rugby League, jointly owned by the ARL and News Limited, was formed.
1997 World Club Challenge
Brisbane Broncos 1997
Super League Tri-series
Super League (Australia)
Super League War
* [http://www.rl1908.com/Grandfinals/super-league.htm Super League (Australia) season 1997 at rl1908.com]
* [http://www.stats.rleague.com/rl/snotes.html Rugby League Tables - Notes] "The World of Rugby League"
* [http://www.stats.rleague.com/rl/seas/1997sl.html Rugby League Tables - Season 1997 (SL)] "The World of Rugby League"
* [http://www.rl1908.com/premiership.htm Premiership History and Statistics] "RL1908"
* [http://rugbyleagueproject.com/competitions/Superleague_1997.html Super League (Australia) season 1997 stats at rugbyleagueproject.com]
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