On this day, Akuila Uate runs rings around the Rabbitohs, Kane Elgey chooses the Titans over the Sea Eagles and six clubs are fined for salary cap breaches.
St Kilda AFL club consider moves to relocate a Sydney league club to Melbourne. Their aim is to become partners in a multi-million dollar poker machine palace in Moorabbin.
The protracted battle over the future of New Zealand star Ruben Wiki is settled out of court when Auckland agree to allow him to continue playing with Canberra. Wiki plays in the Raiders’ 26-0 defeat of Brisbane at Bruce Stadium.
Brisbane Broncos captain Allan Langer announces his retirement at a press conference televised live throughout Queensland. Meanwhile, Manly fine winger John Hopoate $10,000 and suspend him for eight weeks for misconduct after arriving at training in an “unacceptable state”. Hopoate agrees to stop drinking and undergo rehabilitation.
Sharks players David Peachey (hamstring) and Jason Stevens (knee) are expected to be ruled out of the opening State of Origin match after suffering injuries in their team’s 30-10 loss to the Bulldogs.
Newcastle front-rower Josh Perry is directed to appear before the judiciary on a gouging charge. Bulldogs chief executive Steve Mortimer is fined $10,000 for abusing referee Paul Simpkins at Canberra Stadium.
Six clubs are fined a total of almost $250,000 after breaching the NRL’s salary cap following 2003 audits. Melbourne was the only club found to have exceeded the cap and are fined $130,956. The others: Penrith ($50,000 over two seasons), Newcastle ($30,000), Brisbane ($20,000), Warriors ($15,000) and Souths ($5252) are fined over third party arrangements.
A Daily Telegraph investigation reveals that Sydney Roosters trainer Ron Palmer spent over 37 minutes on the field during the Roosters’ Anzac Day clash with St George Illawarra. Palmer escapes censure for his constant incursions, despite a strict set of NRL guidelines governing the role of trainers.
Five South Sydney players are sanctioned for breaking the club’s alcohol ban after failing breath tests at a Sunday morning recovery session. David Kidwell is stripped of the co-captaincy while Eddie Paea, Jaiman Lowe, Fetuli Talanoa and Ben Rogers are all dropped for the round 8 clash with North Queensland.
Cronulla forward Jeremy Smith escapes censure after the NRL investigates an incident in which he appears to prod North Queensland winger Kalifa Faifai-Loa in the backside. The NRL ruled that the incident was a prank gone wrong between two players who were related as cousins.
Gold Coast rookie Kane Elgey rejects a lucrative offer from Manly to re-sign with the Titans. Elgey’s decision to remain loyal to the Titans costs him a reported $200,000.
Manly winger Akuila Uate blazes his way to four tries as the Sea Eagles trounce South Sydney 46-8 at Allianz Stadium. Uate becomes the first player in over 20 years to score four tries for two different clubs.
ARLC Chairman Peter V’landys announces that the premiership will be played over 20 rounds when the game resumes on May 28. The premiership will culminate with a grand final on October 25 and a State of Origin series to be played over three consecutive Wednesdays in November.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.