1997

Coaches

Graham Henry, Mac McCallion

Manager

Rex Davy

Captain

Zinzan Brooke

Player of the Year

Zinzan Brooke


Unbeaten season 

The Blues’ triumph in 1997 was even more emphatic than that of 1996 – they went through the season undefeated, an extraordinary feat considering the high standard of most sides and one which only the Crusaders in 2002 have repeated. 

There were two cliff-hanger wins, 29-28 over the Crusaders at Pukekohe and in an Eden Park 45-42 thriller against the Hurricanes. But those apart, the only blot on the Blues’ sweep through the 1997 competition was a 40-all draw with the Bulls in Pretoria. 

Victory over Brumbies in final 

An unbeaten round-robin record saw the Blues overcome the Natal Sharks in a high scoring home semi-final. A week later, on a wet Saturday afternoon at Eden Park, the Blues retained the title with a 23-7 win over the Brumbies. 

Jones intercept clinches the win 

Fittingly, the try which sealed the victory came from one of Auckland’s greatest players, Michael Jones, aged 32, and playing superbly at blindside flanker after achieving earlier fame at open-side. With the game in the balance, Jones scored from an interception as the Brumbies backs attacked from their own 22. 

Season stats

  • Played: 11
  • Win: 10
  • Draw: 1
  • PF: 435
  • PA: 283
  • Diff: +152
  • BP 8
  • Points: 50
  • Place: 1st