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On this day in rugby league history, a Panthers great is born, royalty at the SCG, Darren Lockyer's 300th and a classic Sam Kasiano tackle.


Panthers hooker and coach Royce Simmons was born. Simmons made his debut for the club in 1980 and was made captain in 1983. He won his first NSW jersey in 1984, also taking out the Dally M Centre of the Year and Captain of the Year awards that season.

In 1986 he became the first Penrith player to represent Australia, going on to represent his state and country 10 times each.

After retiring following his memorable two-try performance in the 1991 grand final, he coached Penrith from 1994 to 2001, taking the Panthers to the finals in 1997 and 2000.

Simmons celebrates historic day with double


Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip and Princess Anne watch the Balmain Tigers take on the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the SCG, the first league match in Australia attended by royalty, in a crowd of close to 38,000.           


In an unusual occurrence at Ericsson Stadium, referee Tony Archer awards Warriors lock Sione Faumuina a second penalty goal attempt after Melbourne forward Stephen Kearney squirts water at him.

Broncos star Darren Lockyer.
Broncos star Darren Lockyer. ©NRL Photos


Darren Lockyer played his 300th first-grade game in Newcastle's EnergyAustralia Stadium amidst a fierce storm and a half-time blackout. The half-time break was stretched to 40 minutes while power was restored, and the Knights spoiled Lockyer's celebration with a 28-12 victory.


Samoa edge out Tonga 18-16 in a high-quality Pacific Test match on the Gold Coast, with Canterbury's Sam Kasiano producing a match-winning cover tackle on try-bound Tonga winger Jorge Taufua. In the preliminary clash, Fiji downed Papua New Guinea 22-10.

Rep Rd: Samoa v Tonga (Hls)


The Warriors are finally granted permission to fly into Australia, where 48 players and staff will undertake two weeks quarantine in Tamworth. The team is permitted to train in a secure environment in preparation for the NRL's May 28 return.


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

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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