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March 31: Super League signing blitz; Joey and JT pile on points

On this day, Super League arrives amid a storm of controversy, goal-kickers Jason Taylor and Andrew Johns had their radars working, while Nathan Tinkler takes control of the Knights.


Brisbane Broncos chief executive John Ribot announces his sudden resignation from the club. News Limited representatives sign players to Super League contracts from Brisbane, Canberra, Cronulla and the Bulldogs. The first to sign are some of the game's superstars including Allan Langer, Laurie Daley, Terry Lamb, Dean Pay, Steve Renouf, Willie Carne, Bradley Clyde, Ricky Stuart, Brett Mullins and Andrew Ettingshausen.

Broncos great Allan Langer.
Broncos great Allan Langer.


North Queensland's former Test hooker Steve Walters admits he is close to quitting the game after being dropped from the Cowboys' side. Canberra halfback Ricky Stuart is suspended for the first time in his career after pleading guilty to a reckless tackle on Gold Coast fullback Andrew King.


Parramatta become the first former ARL club to sign the NRL's club agreement document, which paves the way for a 14-team competition in 2000.


Jason Taylor contributes 22 points to Parramatta's 42-18 demolition of Melbourne at Parramatta Stadium, while Andrew Johns breaks his own club record for most points in a match with 29 in Newcastle’s 45-24 home win over the Warriors.

Preston Campbell in full cry for the Sharks.
Preston Campbell in full cry for the Sharks.


Sharks coach Chris Anderson accuses actor and future Rabbitohs boss Russell Crowe of breaking the NRL's anti-tampering rules by attempting to entice Nathan  Blacklock and Preston Campbell to South Sydney.


Canberra coach Neil Henry invokes a get-out clause in his contract in order to sign a five-year deal with the North Queensland Cowboys. The Raiders' board considers sacking Henry immediately before allowing him to see out the season.


Newcastle members vote overwhelmingly in favour of the $100 million proposal of mining magnate Nathan Tinkler to take over the club. The vote of 2,500 members runs 97 per cent in his favour.


Nathan Tinkler fails to meet a deadline to have a bank guarantee in place that will allow him to continue as sole owner of the Knights. Negotiations between Tinkler's Hunter Sports Group, the NRL and the Knights' Members’ Club take place to resolve the club’s ownership model.

Andrew Fifita representing Tonga in 2018.
Andrew Fifita representing Tonga in 2018. ©Nathan Hopkins/NRL Photos


Cronulla prop Andrew Fifita announces via podcast that he is committed to representing Tonga and will no longer be available to play for New South Wales or Australia.


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

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