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South Sydney owner Russell Crowe.

On this day, the Russell Crowe era begins at South Sydney, the Illawarra Steelers come within a whisker of a stunning midweek final victory, Ryan Girdler sets an Origin record and Chris Lawrence returns from severe facial injuries.


The Truth newspaper printed "We've Seen Last of Night Football ... Dead as Caesar" after 9000 people turned out for the first interstate match to be played under lights.

Sydney's Agricultural Ground hosted the 14-10 win by Queensland over NSW. 


Newcastle, Warrington, NSW and Australia utility player Kurt Gidley is born. As well as playing 251 matches for the Knights and 55 for English club Warrington, Gidley played 12 matches for both the Blues and Australia during a 16-year career.


In arguably the greatest final seen in the midweek competition, Brisbane race out to a 16-0 lead over the Illawarra Steelers before eventually hanging on for a 22-20 victory.

Parramatta Stadium hosted 17,000 fans for a match in which a star-studded Broncos outfit had just enough to pocket the $175,000 winners cheque.

Ryan Girdler in action for NSW.
Ryan Girdler in action for NSW. ©NRL Photos


Ryan Girdler scores a record 32 points as NSW trounce Queensland 56-16 to complete their third clean sweep in Origin history. The former Illawarra and Penrith player scored three tries and kicked 10 goals.


Peter Holmes a Court and Russell Crowe officially take charge of South Sydney, signing a $3 million cheque in return for 75 percent of the football club.  The Rabbitohs ended a 43-year premiership drought in 2014.


Queensland forward Dave Taylor requires several stitches to a head wound caused when he fell out of bed.

Chris Lawrence makes his return in round 13, 2019.
Chris Lawrence makes his return in round 13, 2019. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos


Veteran Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Lawrence makes his return to the playing field against Canberra after suffering horrific facial injuries in a training accident in the pre-season.

Lawrence required extensive surgery including seven metal plates across almost a dozen separate fractures.


A 78th minute try to Phillip Sami secured a thrilling 28-23 win for the Titans over Wests Tigers, the first win for the club in a remarkable 364 days.

A 76th-minute field goal by Benji Marshall appeared to have secured the win for the Tigers but the Titans regained possession from a short kick-off.


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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