On this day, Darren Lockyer is born, 'Chicka' grabs a try in his first game for the Roosters, while Mark Gasnier and Mitchell Pearce make their first-grade debuts seven years apart.
Darren Lockyer arrives in the world. After starting out as an Aussie Rules kid, Lockyer gets a taste of rugby league and eventually becomes one of the game's greats. Also born on this day in 1968 was Barry Walker, who won a premiership with Penrith in 1991.
Eastern Suburbs kick off the season with a 24-8 win over Manly at the SCG with former Newtown winger John 'Chicka' Ferguson scoring a try for the Roosters. Five-plus years later Ferguson scores a famous crunch time try for Canberra in the 1989 grand final.
The Dragons continue their revival after an ordinary start with a 25-18 upset win over a strong Newcastle team. Debuting in that game is an 18-year-old rookie centre with a famous rugby league surname. Mark Gasnier ends up playing 175 games over two separate stints with the Dragons, scoring 92 tries, including the opening try of the 2010 grand final.
Andrew Johns becomes the first player to score 2000 points for one club. 'Joey' finishes with a record 2176 before his 2007 retirement, though he's eventually overtaken by Hazem El Masri, who plays his entire career with the Bulldogs and tallies 2418 points.
At the tender age of 17 Mitchell Pearce makes his debut for the Sydney Roosters in a 43-6 away loss to the Cowboys. A little over a year later Pearce is selected at halfback for the NSW Origin team to replace the injured Peter Wallace. Heading into the 2019 season, the son of Balmain Tigers legend Wayne 'Junior' Pearce had 254 NRL games under his belt.
Johnson and Vatuvei in classic Warriors footy
Canterbury coach Dean Pay and his coaching staff are stood down without pay while Penrith’s Ivan Cleary and staff are told to take annual leave immediately. Other NRL clubs follow suit as the game comes to terms with the “catastrophic” shutdown.
Newcastle hooker Jayden Brailey is diagnosed with a torn ACL, despite playing out 80 minutes of his team’s clash with Wests Tigers on March 22.
Manly captain Daly Cherry-Evans is appointed general president of the Rugby League Players’ Association, replacing outgoing president Cameron Smith.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton