Mark Elia

OVERALL STATISTICS

BIRTHAGESIGNED ONFROMDEBUTLAST MATCHLEFT
25-12-1962
N/A
17-11-1985
Te Atatu- NZ
12-01-1986 v Warrington
Leeds
1995- French club?
CAREERAPPEARANCES (SUBS)TRIESGOALSDGOALSPTS
1985-1987
74 (5)
50
2
0
204

BIOGRAPHY

Mark Elia by Alex Service

By the mid 1980s, the trend was to sign big, strong and fast centre threequarters in the Mal Meninga and Gene Miles mode. Saints signed New Zealand international Mark Elia, first of all on a temporary basis and then full time during 1987-88. He was a big, long-striding centre, with a great pace and a superb finisher. Mark played for the Te Atatu club in Auckland and was a member of the 1985 Kiwi tourists to Great Britain and made 8 appearances, scoring 8 tries, including a brace in the 46-8 demolition of Saints at Knowsley Road! Although he did not make a Test match appearance, as a result of the consistency of the likes of Dean Bell and James Leuluai, he proved to be a fine addition to the St.Helens backline. In one match against Hull KR at Craven Park on 9th April 1986 he scored a marvellous hat-trick by capitalising on the half-breaks of loose forward Chris Arkwright, as Saints came away with a marvellous 23-11 victory, which was quite rare in those days given the strength of both Humberside teams.
The Saints of 1986-87 were a brilliant attacking outfit and although progress in the First Division Championship was thwarted by Wigan, who finished first some 15 points ahead of second-placed St.Helens, the Challenge Cup brought renewed hope of success. Saints reached the final against an ageing Halifax outfit. Yet experience is everything at Wembley and the Yorkshiremen pulled off a shock 19-18 success despite enduring terrific Saints pressure for much of the game. For Mark it was a bitter-sweet experience, however, as he scored a marvellous try just after the interval from half-way, leaving Aussie full-back Graham Eadie trailing in his wake. St.Helens were back in the match now at 8-12, but there was to be disappointment for the team, as Halifax extended their lead to 8-15. By the 70th minute, the Saints had reduced the deficit to one point (18-19) and pounded the beleaguered Halifax defence. In what could only be described as a nerve-wracking finish, Mark had two opportunities to win the match.
On the first occasion, Halifax loose forward John Pendlebury punched the ball from his grasp as he was diving over the try-line. Perhaps a more modern interpretation would have seen the try awarded! Minutes later, Andy Platt made a searing break down the left and fed Elia who went over only for referee Holdsworth to disallow the try for a forward pass. It was a great pity that the Saints had not been more pragmatic and gone for the drop-goal. They would have hammered Halifax in the replay, but it wasn’t to be.
Mark played a full season at Knowsley Road in 1987-88 (32 appearances and 20 tries) and won a John Player Trophy winners medal after the superb 15-14 success against Leeds at Central Park. It was a game where his centre partner on the other flank, Paul Loughlin, scored two tries and kicked two goals, virtually ensuring his selection for the 1988 Australian Tour squad. Mark’s final match was at Old Trafford at the end of the season, in the Premiership Final, when an injury-hit Saints side fell to a powerful Widnes outfit, who had more pace on the day.
He did rejoin the club for a second spell in January 1995, from French RL and once again his final match was in an end-of-season Premiership match. This time it was the infamous semi-final at Headingley when Saints were 20-6 up at the interval and ended up losing 30-26.
A marvellous cricketer, who played for a spell in the Yorkshire Leagues, Mark also played for Widnes and the Canterbury Bulldogs in Australia in the late 1980s and made 10 test match appearances for the Kiwis overall, scoring 5 tries. A popular, friendly guy, he is currently coach of the famous Cootamundra Bulldogs in Southern New South Wales, the same club that produced fearsome Aussie front-rower Les Boyd.

SEASON STATISTICS

Season (Official Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
1985~86 15 1 0 13
1986~877 0 0 13
1987~88 20 0 0 32
1994~95 8 1 0 17
TOTALS:50 2 0 75
Season (Other Matches)TriesGoalsDGoalsMatches
TOTALS:

ALL MATCHES

DatePosOpponentsCompSeasonVenueFTFTOTGDGNPS**
12th Jan 1986 L 3 Warrington L 1985~86 A 16 26 1 V
2nd Feb 1986 W 3 Featherstone Rovers L 1985~86 H 44 14 2 V
24th Feb 1986 W 3 Dewsbury CC1 1985~86 A 22 19 V
2nd Mar 1986 W 3 Halifax L 1985~86 H 22 10 1 V
8th Mar 1986 L 3 Wigan CC2 1985~86 A 14 24 1 V
16th Mar 1986 W 3 York L 1985~86 A 18 11 1 V
19th Mar 1986 W 3 Salford L 1985~86 H 28 10 2 V
23rd Mar 1986 W 3 Dewsbury L 1985~86 A 18 12 1 V
28th Mar 1986 W 3 Wigan L 1985~86 H 18 13 2 V
31st Mar 1986 W 4 Widnes L 1985~86 A 16 6 1 V
2nd Apr 1986 W 4 Oldham L 1985~86 A 38 12 V
6th Apr 1986 W 4 Swinton L 1985~86 H 24 14 1 V
9th Apr 1986 W 4 Hull K.R. L 1985~86 A 22 13 3 V
23rd Nov 1986 W 3 Hull L 1986~87 H 50 10 V
18th Feb 1987 W 4 Warrington L 1986~87 H 42 22 2 V
22nd Feb 1987 W 4 Bradford Northern L 1986~87 H 40 14 2 V
1st Mar 1987 W 4 Whitehaven CC3 1986~87 H 41 10 V
4th Mar 1987 L 4 Castleford L 1986~87 A 10 12 V
14th Mar 1987 W 4 Leigh CCSF 1986~87 N 14 8 V
17th Mar 1987 L 4 Hull L 1986~87 A 22 36 V
22nd Mar 1987 D 4 Warrington L 1986~87 A 17 17 1 V
25th Mar 1987 W 4 Leigh L 1986~87 A 16 8 V
20th Apr 1987 L 4 Widnes L 1986~87 H 24 30 V
26th Apr 1987 W 4 Bradford Northern PT1 1986~87 H 46 14 1 V
2nd May 1987 L 4 Halifax CCF 1986~87 N 18 19 1 V
10th May 1987 L 4 Warrington PTSF 1986~87 H 8 18 V
30th Aug 1987 L 4 Castleford L 1987~88 A 10 20 V
6th Sep 1987 W 4 Hull K.R. L 1987~88 H 31 16 2 V
13th Sep 1987 L 6 Leigh LC1 1987~88 A 21 27 2 V
27th Sep 1987 W 4 Bradford Northern L 1987~88 H 38 10 V
4th Oct 1987 L 4 Halifax L 1987~88 A 12 14 1 V
18th Oct 1987 W 4 Leigh L 1987~88 H 23 14 1 V
25th Oct 1987 W 4 Salford L 1987~88 A 18 8 V
14th Nov 1987 W 4 Widnes JP1 1987~88 H 12 10 V
22nd Nov 1987 W 4 Mansfield Marksmen JP2 1987~88 H 40 0 2 V
29th Nov 1987 W 4 Hull JP3 1987~88 H 20 16 V
6th Dec 1987 L 4 Hull K.R. L 1987~88 A 16 25 1 V
13th Dec 1987 W 4 Warrington L 1987~88 H 17 14 V
19th Dec 1987 W 4 Oldham JPSF 1987~88 N 18 8 V
27th Dec 1987 W 4 Wigan L 1987~88 A 32 22 V
3rd Jan 1988 W 4 Widnes L 1987~88 H 25 0 V
9th Jan 1988 W 4 Leeds JPF 1987~88 N 15 14 V
17th Jan 1988 W 4 Bradford Northern L 1987~88 A 13 12 V
31st Jan 1988 W 4 Leigh CC1 1987~88 A 22 12 2 V
7th Feb 1988 W 4 Halifax L 1987~88 H 16 4 2 V
13th Feb 1988 W 4 Warrington CC2 1987~88 A 24 20 V
17th Feb 1988 W 4 Hull L 1987~88 H 64 2 V
21st Feb 1988 W 4 Leigh L 1987~88 A 50 12 1 V
28th Feb 1988 L 4 Salford CC3 1987~88 A 18 22 V
1st Mar 1988 W 4 Hunslet L 1987~88 H 70 6 2 V
6th Mar 1988 W 4 Hunslet L 1987~88 A 14 10 V
1st Apr 1988 L 4 Wigan L 1987~88 H 9 10 V
10th Apr 1988 L 14 Leeds L 1987~88 H 23 28 V
13th Apr 1988 W 4 Hull L 1987~88 A 20 8 1 V
17th Apr 1988 W 4 Swinton L 1987~88 H 52 4 2 V
24th Apr 1988 W 4 Castleford PT1 1987~88 H 40 8 1 V
8th May 1988 W 4 Bradford Northern PTSF 1987~88 H 24 10 V
15th May 1988 L 4 Widnes PTF 1987~88 N 14 38 V
11th Jan 1995 L 5 Wakefield Trinity L 1994~95 A 0 15 V
15th Jan 1995 W 5 Featherstone Rovers L 1994~95 H 26 20 1 V
22nd Jan 1995 W 4 Hull L 1994~95 H 54 18 1 1 V
29th Jan 1995 L 4 Castleford L 1994~95 A 16 18 V
5th Feb 1995 L 4 Sheffield Eagles L 1994~95 A 31 35 1 V
11th Feb 1995 D 14 Wigan CC4 1994~95 A 16 16 Y V
15th Feb 1995 L 14 Wigan CC4rep 1994~95 H 24 40 V
12th Mar 1995 W 3 Hull L 1994~95 A 43 32 V
17th Mar 1995 W 3 Bradford Northern L 1994~95 H 36 27 1 V
22nd Mar 1995 W 3 Leeds L 1994~95 A 31 20 V
26th Mar 1995 L 3 Featherstone Rovers L 1994~95 A 27 34 1 V
2nd Apr 1995 W 5 Wakefield Trinity L 1994~95 H 56 14 1 V
14th Apr 1995 L 14 Wigan L 1994~95 A 18 34 V
17th Apr 1995 W 5 Widnes L 1994~95 H 54 22 1 V
21st Apr 1995 W 14 Warrington L 1994~95 H 31 12 V
7th May 1995 W 5 Halifax PT1 1994~95 H 32 16 1 V
14th May 1995 L 14 Leeds PTSF 1994~95 A 26 30 V
*Unofficial Match. **Non Playing Sub.
CALCULATED APPEARANCES : OFFICIAL 74 OTHER 0 = 75
ACTUAL APPEARANCES (inc 5 Subs) = 74

GALLERY


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