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May 14: Kiwis on top of the world; Magic Round crackdown

On this day, the Kiwis storm to No.1 in the world, the 'Black Pearl' flies with the Magpies and Ken Nagas bags a ripper for the Raiders.


In between his 256 NRL games with two clubs - the Roosters and Bulldogs - fullback and winger Sam Perrett also played 20 Tests for New Zealand, scoring 11 tries. He retired at the end of the 2016 season, and turns 36 today.


The man who captain Great Britain and enjoyed two nicknames - 'The Black Pearl' and Mr Magic' - Ellery Hanley, made his long awaited-debut for Western Suburbs at Orana Park. Hanley performs well but cannot lift the Magpies to victory over Souths. The Rabbitohs win 15-6. He had played eight games for the Balmain Tigers in 1988 before joining the Magpies.


Canberra flyer Ken Nagas scores a stunning 99-metre try during Canberra’s 40-10 defeat of St George at Bruce Stadium. It is the Saints’ fourth consecutive defeat. The Raiders went on to win the grand final that year, over the Bulldogs, with Nagas scoring two tries in the 36-12 win.


St George Illawarra hooker Mark Riddell accepts a four-match suspension for a reckless high tackle on Canberra’s Mark McLinden. It was Riddell’s second lengthy suspension of the season.


New Zealand displaces Australia as the No.1 rugby league nation when the International Rugby League Federation (IRLF) announces the latest world rankings. The Kiwis had beaten the Tim Sheens-coached Kangaroos twice in the 2014 Four Nations tournament - 30-12 in the preliminary rounds and 22-18 in the final - and backed that up with a stunning 26-12 win in the 2015 Anzac Test at Suncorp Stadium with Manu Vatuvei voted man of the match. It was the first time since 1953 that the Kiwis had won three consecutive Tests against Australia.


Brown levels Napa


Panthers coach Ivan Cleary reacts to the club’s horror start to the season by dumping former Test winger Josh Mansour to Canterbury Cup and naming prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard as 18th man for his team’s clash with the Warriors.

Panthers winger Josh Mansour.
Panthers winger Josh Mansour. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

Meanwhile, Panthers management say they won’t stand in the way of James Maloney if he seeks an early exit to his contract to join a club in the English Super League.


Four players are sin-binned in the Magic Round opening clash between Newcastle and Wests Tigers and another four in the Sea Eagles-Broncos game. The crackdown was foreshadowed in an email sent to all clubs just hours before the first game. "The crackdown should have happened last week, but it will definitety happen tonight - we will not tolerate any hit above the shoulder, the head or the neck region," says ARLC chairman Peter V'landys on Sydney radio on the morning of the opening games.


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

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