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May 8: Freddy makes history; King Wally outsmarts Blues

On this day, Wally Lewis put a fork in the Blues, Brad Fittler made history, while Ivan Cleary dumped an Origin star to reserve grade.

1932

Harry 'Dealer' Wells is born in Wollongong. Wells played 35 games for NSW and 37 games for Australia from 1952-60. He played for South Sydney and Western Suburbs and also had stints with several country-based clubs before finally retiring at the age of 40 after three seasons with Port Macquarie.

1988

Giants stun the Broncos

1991

Wally Lewis leads Queensland to a 6-4 defeat of NSW in the State of Origin opener at Lang Park. In a stunning comeback to representative football, Lewis is judged man of the match.

1995

State of Origin selectors overlook Super League players when naming teams for the opening match of the 1995 series. Brad Fittler (NSW) and Trevor Gillmeister (Queensland) are named respective captains. Unknown Gold Coast teenager Ben Ikin is named as a fresh reserve for Queensland.

Former Maroons enforcer Trevor Gillmeister.
Former Maroons enforcer Trevor Gillmeister. ©NRL Photos

2004

Sydney Roosters captain Brad Fittler plays his 200th first-grade game for the club and becomes the first player to appear in 200 games for one club and 100 for another (Penrith).

2009

Australia gain a measure of redemption for their World Cup defeat by overpowering New Zealand 38-10 at Suncorp Stadium. Darrren Lockyer equals Mal Meninga’s record of 46 Test appearances for Australia. Centre Justin Hodges is awarded man of the match honours.

Former Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer.
Former Kangaroos captain Darren Lockyer. ©NRL Photos

2012

Penrith coach Ivan Cleary relegates centre Michael Jennings to the Windsor Wolves in the NSW Cup for poor performance but NSW coach Ricky Stuart insists he is still prepared to select him for the Blues. Meanwhile, veteran Bronco Petero Civoniceva announces he will retire at the end of the 2012 season.

2020

The NSW government declines to impose a "no jab, no play" order on NRL players but tougher restrictions in Queensland mean Gold Coast forward Bryce Cartwright is stood down from training and players such as Canberra’s Josh Papalii face the prospect of being banned from playing in the Sunshine State.

 

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

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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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