On this day, a young Benji Marshall has a field day against the Roosters, Scott Prince gets it done in crunch time, while Alice Flint breaks new ground with the Gold Coast Seagulls.
Future Brisbane and St George Illawarra halfback Ben Hunt is born. Hunt plays 189 games for the Broncos and scores 230 points in nine seasons with the club before joining the Dragons in 2018. Also born on this day in 1961 was former Manly, Roosters, Eels and Gold Coast centre Mike Eden.
A breakthrough for women takes place when Alice Flint, 42, is elected to the Gold Coast football club board of directors. She is the first woman to hold such a post.
The ARL announce the establishment of a new major player of the year award to replace the Rothmans Medal, outlawed by Federal Government legislation. The Nokia Provan‑Summons Medal is to be judged by media as well as referees.
In the midst of its most traumatic season, the game suffers another body blow when champion Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns tears the cruciate ligament in his right knee in his team’s Round 3 clash with Parramatta. He is ruled out for the season . . . St George Illawarra lose halfback Brett Firman for three months after he snapped both bones in his lower left leg in a Premier League match at Henson Park.
A last-minute field goal to Scott Prince lifts the Wests Tigers to a 37-36 win over the Bulldogs. Leading 38-18 with 10 minutes remaining, the Tigers can't stop the Bulldogs from tying it up at 36-36. Extra-time seemed inevitable but a Dogs error presented the Tigers with one last chance and Prince answered the call.
Wests Tigers coach Tim Sheens hails Benji Marshall's performance in the club's 40-24 defeat of the Roosters as his "best game for the club". Benji didn't score any of his team's seven tries but he kicked six goals, defended superbly and had a hand in almost every Tigers try.
Chris Sandow stars with a try, four goals and a field goal as Parramatta end South Sydney's long undefeated run that dated back to the previous year's premiership-winning run with a slick 29-16 home win. The Eels missed the top eight, while the Bunnies finished seventh and were knocked out in the first round of the finals by Cronulla.
The NRL announce plans for a four-team women’s competition to be staged in September 2018. The teams granted licences are Sydney Roosters, St George Illawarra, New Zealand and Brisbane. The decision causes dismay for proposed teams from South Sydney and Cronulla.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.