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March 15: Lote back with a bang; Bunnies back from exile

On this day, foundation club South Sydney return after two years in the wilderness, dual international Lote Tuqiri returns to league with a bang and the Steelers turn giant killers.


Two-time Roosters premiership-winning coach Trent Robinson was born on this day.


The NSWRL premiership begins under a hail of protest at the new interchange law. There are 41 interchanges in the Manly-Brisbane match and alterations to the rule receive widespread support.


Illawarra create history when they defeat Brisbane 4-2 in the final of the Tooheys Challenge in Dubbo. It is the Wollongong club’s first top-grade title.

Wayne Bennett in his time as Kangaroos coach.
Wayne Bennett in his time as Kangaroos coach.


Brisbane coach Wayne Bennett reacts to the club’s poor start to the season by resigning his position as Australian coach after less than a year in the job. He returned to the gig in 2004.


A near-capacity crowd of 35,316 turns out at Aussie Stadium to watch South Sydney’s official return to the NRL. Oscar winner Russell Crowe and 97-year-old Rabbitoh veteran Albert Clift ring the original South Sydney timekeeper’s bell, signifying the start of a new era for the foundation club.

The fans’ joy is short-lived as the Roosters inflict a 40-6 defeat. 

Russell Crowe and Albert Clift ring the bell at the Aussie Stadium in 2002.
Russell Crowe and Albert Clift ring the bell at the Aussie Stadium in 2002.


Parramatta centre Jamie Lyon drops a bombshell, telling officials he wants to quit the game and return home to the country.


A fairytale NRL comeback by dual international Lote Tuqiri inspires Wests Tigers to a stunning comeback victory over Manly at the SFS. Tuqiri scores a try with his first touch of the ball and helps create the match-winning try for Gareth Ellis as the Tigers fight back from a 20-4 half-time deficit to win 26-22.


Carney's freakish play for Perrett

Inglis and Johnston produce coast-to-coast thriller


The Rabbitohs launch the Wayne Bennett era in style with a 26-16 win over arch-rivals the Roosters at the SCG.

Cody Walker grabs a try in the Rabbitohs' win over the Roosters in round one, 2019.
Cody Walker grabs a try in the Rabbitohs' win over the Roosters in round one, 2019. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

In Newcastle, David Klemmer laid the foundations as the Knights got their campaign off to the perfect start with a 14-8 win over the Sharks. A 90-metre intercept try to new recruit Edrick Lee got the Knights home in a tight contest.


Officials at Lottoland disinfect footballs at regular intervals during the Sea Eagles’ clash with Melbourne to reduce the threat of the coronavirus.

Storm captain Cameron Smith says the competition should be suspended for two weeks to allow the NRL to reassess its position and determine the best way forward during the global pandemic.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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