On this day, Martin 'Chariots' Offiah moves from the Roosters to the Dragons, the NSW team of the century is named, the eighth Immortal celebrates a birthday and Curtis Scott becomes the first player in four years to be sent off.
Andrew Johns celebrates his 46th birthday today. He is a three-time Dally M Player of the Year, two-time Golden Boot winner and two-time premiership winner. He played 23 Tests for Australia and 23 Origins for NSW. He scored 2,176 points for Newcastle - fourth all-time in first grade - before he retired in 2007. In 2012, Johns was inducted as the game's eighth Immortal.
Great Britain flyer Martin 'Chariots' Offiah celebrates his first game in the famous Red-V jersey of St George with a try in his team’s 30-6 thumping of South Sydney. He played 12 games for the Roosters in 1989 before returning to the Australian competition.
Felise Kaufusi turns 28 today. The Storm back-rower had a break-out season in 2017 playing for Tonga in the mid-season Pacific Tests, then for Australia in the World Cup side. And in between he won the Telstra Premiership grand final over the North Queensland Cowboys. Kaufusi continued his rep footy run in 2018 by making his Origin debut for Queensland.
NSW defeat Queensland 23-22 in a period of sudden death extra-time in the Tri-Series final at ANZ Stadium, for the Super League players not eligible for Origin. A New Zealand side was the third team in the Tri-Series.
Five of the game’s seven Immortals are named in the NSW Team of the Century, announced in Sydney. The team is: Clive Churchill; Ken Irvine, Reg Gasnier, Graeme Langlands, Dally Messenger; Bob Fulton, Andrew Johns; John Raper, Ron Coote, Norm Provan, Frank Burge, Sandy Pearce, Glenn Lazarus. Reserves: Wally Prigg, Dave Brown, Steve Rogers, Roy Bull. (Johns was not inducted as an Immortal until 2012; Provan, Burge, Brown and Messenger were inducted in 2018).
Who said wingers should never meet?
Melbourne centre Curtis Scott becomes the first player sent from the field since 2015 when he is marched for raining punches on Manly opposite Dylan Walker. Walker is left with a fractured eye socket and was expected to be sidelined for six weeks. Scott entered a guilty plea for striking and was suspended for two games.
Newcastle halfback Mitchell Pearce is awarded maximum Dally M points for the fourth consecutive week as the Knights hammer St George Illawarra 45-12 in Mudgee. Pearce scores a try, sets up four more and kicks a field goal as he re-enters discussions for a State of Origin recall.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.