On this day, Parramatta greats Mick Cronin and Ray Price enjoyed a premiership farewell, Fuifui Moimoi played the grand final with a broken rib, while Danny Buderus drew the curtain on his superb career.
Future Kangaroos prop Shane Webcke is born in Toowoomba, Queensland. Webcke played his entire 254-game career with the Broncos. He played 26 games for Australia and 26 games for Queensland.
At 22 and 177 days, Dave Brown becomes Australia’s youngest Test captain when he takes the field against New Zealand in the first Test at Auckland’s Carlaw Park.
Parramatta stalwarts Mick Cronin and Ray Price complete a fairytale farewell to the game when they play in victorious grand final-winning side. The Eels beat Canterbury 4-2 in the only tryless grand final.
Newcastle fullback Brad Godden is the shock selection choice in the Australian squad to contest the World Cup final. St George and Illawarra, who finished second and third in the competition have no players in the squad.
The 28-man Kangaroo squad flies out of Sydney bound for its 18-match tour of Great Britain and France.
Newcastle perform one of Rugby League’s greatest fairytale victories. A try to winger Darren Albert inside the last 10 seconds breaks a 16-all deadlock. The Knights’ 22-16 over Manly creates scenes of hysteria unprecedented in the game’s history. Thousands of supporters line the Knights’ route back to Newcastle and an estimated 25,000 Novocastrians greet the team on arrival. Robbie O’Davis becomes the first fullback to win the Clive Churchill Medal. Watch the full match replay.
A day after leading Brisbane to their fourth premiership title, Allan Langer is named captain of the Australian side for the second Test against New Zealand. Langer is one of a record representation of nine Brisbane players in the squad of 17. Two members of Canterbury’s beaten grand final side - forwards Darren Britt and Steve Price - are named in the squad.
The Sydney Roosters qualify for the grand final after a pulsating 16-12 defeat of Brisbane in the first preliminary final. Roosters coach Ricky Stuart recalls fullback Luke Phillips and centre Shannon Hegarty from injury to play in the match. The Broncos fume that referee Bill Harrigan did not award them a penalty until the 70th minute. Roosters lock Luke Ricketson suffers a torn hamstring and is in doubt for the grand final.
A brilliant display by veteran centre Ryan Girdler helps Penrith to a 28-20 upset victory over the Warriors at Telstra Stadium, setting up the first all-Sydney grand final since 1996.
Newcastle captain Andrew Johns says Melbourne prodigy Greg Inglis could become the best player ever to play the game. “He’s only 19 but already in the top two or three players in the game – that’s how highly I rate him,” Johns told the Daily Telegraph.
Eels prop Fuifui Moimoi reveals he will play the grand final with a cracked rib and has carried the injury throughout the finals.
The career of Newcastle great Danny 'Bedsy' Buderus comes to a sudden end at Allianz Stadium when he is knocked out in a heavy collision with Sydney Roosters prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves. The Knights’ bid to reach their first grand final since 2001 is also dealt a crushing blow when the Roosters hand them a 40-14 caning. The result sets up a grand final showdown between the Sydney Roosters and Manly.
North Queensland star Johnathan Thurston makes history as the first four-time winner of the Dally M award. Thurston is a notable absentee at the awards ceremony in Sydney as he remains in Townsville to treat a calf injury. Wayne Bennett is awarded the Coach of the Year title for the first time since 2000, while Cronulla’s Jack Bird is named Rookie of the Year. Meanwhile, Jillaroos five-eighth Jenny-Sue Hoepper becomes the inaugural winner of the Dally M Female Player of the Year.
For the second time in three years the Dally M Medal is shared by two players. Melbourne Storm halfback Cooper Cronk and North Queensland powerhouse Jason Taumalolo finish level in voting after 26 rounds of the regular season. It is Cronk’s second title and Taumalolo’s first. Gold Coast halfback Ash Taylor is named Dally M rookie of the year.
The Roosters give themselves the chance to become the first team since Brisbane in 1992-93 to win back-to-back premierships when they beat Melbourne Storm 14-6 in a preliminary final at the SCG.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.