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On this day, a chronic knee injury forces Eric Grothe to retire, Larry Corowa makes a comeback after eight years in retirement, while Nathan Brown delivers the infamous sideline slap to Trent Barrett.


One of the game’s greats, Eric Grothe, announces his retirement at the age of 30 after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury. 'The Guru' scored 78 tries in 158 games for Parramatta after debuting in 1979. He played eight games for Australia and nine for NSW.


Former international winger Larry Corowa makes a comeback for the Gold Coast against Parramatta after eight years out of the game. Corowa played 96 games in six seasons with Balmain and represented NSW and Australia in the late 70s. He retuired in 1983 before his short-lived comeback - he played two games - with the Seagulls.


Balmain player Michael Gillett accuses referee Paul McBlane of grabbing his jumper during a match against St George at Kogarah Oval, prompting Tigers coach Wayne Pearce to visit the referees' room for an explanation shortly after full-time.


North Sydney star Greg Florimo breaks Don McKinnon’s record of 277 grade games for the Bears in his team’s 42-8 defeat of Souths at North Sydney Oval.


Melbourne halfback Matt Orford outshines his high-profile opponent Brett Kimmorley in the Storm’s 52-18 win over the Northern Eagles. Orford and Kimmorley had swapped clubs in one of the biggest moves of the off-season.

Former Melbourne Storm halfback Matt Orford.
Former Melbourne Storm halfback Matt Orford. ©NRL Photos


St George Illawarra coach Nathan Brown sparks a sensation when he slaps captain Trent Barrett on the face in full view of television cameras during a break in play at WIN Stadium. "I gave him a bit of a clip," Brown said later. "That was me showing how poor I was under pressure. I’m no different."


Sydney Roosters coach Ricky Stuart is fined $10,000 by the NRL for abusing a referee and touch judge during his team’s round 5 clash with Brisbane. It is his third fine for similar offences in three seasons.


North Queensland halfback Johnathan Thurston produces his third consecutive man-of-the-match performance as the Cowboys swamp an injury-hit South Sydney 30-12 at ANZ Stadium.

Sharks lock Paul Gallen goes down hurt against the Dragons.
Sharks lock Paul Gallen goes down hurt against the Dragons. ©Grant Trouville/NRL Photos


Cronulla suffer a spate of injuries to senior players Andrew Fifita (knee), Paul Gallen (knee), Wade Graham (hamstring) and Luke Lewis (leg) in a 40-20 loss to high-flying St George Illawarra at WIN Stadium.


Cronulla coach John Morris is unceremoniously axed by the club's board, who announce the signing of Sydney Roosters assistant Craig Fitzgibbon as head coach for the next three years. Sharks assistant coach Josh Hannay is appointed interim coach for the balance of the 2021 season.


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

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