Manly's Des Hasler and Terry Hill celebrate the 1996 grand final win

On this day, Des Hasler retires, Graham Murray gets the sack. Preston Campbell takes the ultimate prize and the player known as 'Bupa' has a birthday.


St George outlast South Sydney 19-12 in one of the toughest grand finals on record. Sportswriter Jim Mather said of the match: "Players were thrown to the ground with a venom that broke all rules of decent, hard football."

England forward James Graham
England forward James Graham ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos


England international, former Man of Steel and Dally M Prop of the Year James  'Bupa' Graham turns 34 today. He passed the 400 first-grade games mark this year after his 224 games in Super League and currently 180 NRL games at the Bulldogs and Dragons.


The Bulldogs sack Jarrod McCracken from the club’s finals series squad over his failure to attend training.


Veteran utility player Des Hasler announces his retirement, at the age of 36. He played 289 games with three clubs - Penrith, Manly and Western Suburbs - played 12 Origins for NSW and seven tests for Australia. He was the Dally M Lock of the Year in 1991.

Former Cowboys coach Graham Murray
Former Cowboys coach Graham Murray ©NRL Photos


Coach Graham Murray is sacked by the Sydney Roosters following the club’s early exit from the finals - they lost to the Knights 40-6 in the first week. Murray then went to the Cowboys and took them to the 2005 grand final. Also on this day, Sharks pint-sized half Preston Campbell won the Dally M Player of the Year.


Wallaby star Quade Cooper rejects an off from Parramatta to stay in rugby union for another season so he can play for the Wallabies at the 2011 World Cup.


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