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September 14: Classic deciders and a controversial Cowboys exit

On this day in rugby league history, a couple of classic grand finals, two contentious finals exits for North Queensland and a history-making shock win for the Warriors.


Souths won their fifth straight premiership when they account for Newtown 30-10 in the final. The Rabbitohs' win came despite five of their star players departed with the Kangaroos in late July.


After surviving a series of matches that would have ended their season, Balmain claimed the premiership in controversial circumstances when they defeat St George 13-12 in the grand final. The Dragons complain about the refereeing of ex-Kangaroo hooker George Bishop, who awards two tries to Balmain after what St George claim were “blatant forward passes”.


The Warriors make history at Melbourne’s Olympic Park when they become the first eighth-placed team to defeat the minor premiers under the McIntyre Finals System, winning a thrilling qualifying final 18-15. The Warriors’ survival spells doom for the sixth-placed Canberra Raiders after their 36-10 loss to Cronulla.


Controversy erupts after the Cronulla-North Queensland elimination final following confirmation that the Sharks’ second try was scored on the seventh tackle. The Cowboys eventually lose 20-18.

It follows the club's elimination from the 2012 finals when video referees awarded a controversial Sea Eagles try despite footage suggesting Kieran Foran had knocked on in the lead-up. Cowboys coach Neil Henry and co-captain Johnathan Thurston claim a conspiracy is at work to bring about an all-Sydney grand final between the Roosters and the Rabbitohs.

A malfunctioning scoreboard clock leads to further drama at the conclusion of the game as the Cowboys make a desperate bid for victory.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scored the game's only try in the Roosters' 4-0 win over Manly in 2013.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scored the game's only try in the Roosters' 4-0 win over Manly in 2013.


Minor premiers Sydney Roosters and Manly fight out one of the lowest-scoring finals matches in history before the Roosters emerge with a 4-0 victory. The clash is hailed as a finals classic.


Cronulla halfback Chad Townsend kicks a 75th minute field goal to lift the Sharks to a 19-18 victory over a fast-finishing Penrith in a thrilling semi-final at Allianz Stadium. The Panthers had rallied from an 18-2 deficit to level at 18-all.


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

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