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September 24: Raiders win a classic; Cronk joins 300 Club

On this day in rugby league history, one of the greatest grand finals, Cronk's 300th and the Bulldogs win it from sixth.

1932

South Sydney won their seventh first-grade title in eight years. The Rabbitohs downed Wests 19-12 in a closely fought grand final.   

1989

Sironen scores a Tigers classic

Canberra upset Balmain 19-14 in extra-time to win one of the most dramatic and exciting grand finals ever played. It was the first premiership for the Raiders, who were the first team from outside the Sydney metropolitan area to win the competition. The Tigers were in control at half-time before the Raiders stormed back in the second half and a try to winger John Ferguson sent the game into extra-time where a Lance O'Sullivan field goal and Steve Jackson's now legendary try got the Green Machine home.  

Ferguson try forces extra time

1995

The Bulldogs completed a remarkable football fairytale by downing minor premiers Manly 17-4 in the 14th and final Winfield Cup grand final. The Dogs had finished the regular season in sixth place but toppled the Dragons, Bulldogs and Raiders to earn a place in the decider.

2005       

Wests Tigers book their place in the grand final with a 20-12 win over hot favourites St George Illawarra. The Tigers’ win is soured by a serious ankle injury to winger Pat Richards. Early indications are that he faces months of rehabilitation but remarkably he makes it to the field a week later for the decider.

2011     

The Warriors giant-killing run takes them all the way to a grand final showdown with Manly when they upset minor premiers Melbourne 20-12 at AAMI Park in one of the great boilovers of finals football.

2016

Test halfback Cooper Cronk celebrated his 300th NRL game in style as Melbourne advanced to the decider after downing Canberra 14-12 in a tense preliminary final at AAMI Park.

Nathan Cleary celebrates a match-winning field goal against Canberra in 2018.
Nathan Cleary celebrates a match-winning field goal against Canberra in 2018.

2018

Penrith re-sign halfback Nathan Cleary until the end of the 2024 season. Panthers general manager Phil Gould says he believes Cleary will become a 300-game player. “I’d like to see him play his whole career here but this is a significant step in that direction,” he said.

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