On this day, Shane Webcke bows out a winner, Macklemore wows the grand final audience and Cooper Cronk wins a thrilling Dally M Medal count.
Ken Arthurson was born. The long-time administrator who rose to the position of chairman of the Australian Rugby League was a passionate advocate for the game throughout his decades as an official, playing a leading part in the ARL's battle with Super League for control of the game in the mid 1990s.
Jim Serdaris was born in Sydney. A journeyman hooker, he started his career with four seasons at South Sydney, had a season at Canterbury before two seasons at Wests. He graduated to NSW and Australian honours in 1995 in his first season at Manly and retired in 1999 after more than 200 first-grade appearances.
Mitchell Aubusson was born in Sydney. The Roosters stalwart has been one of the most dependable players in the club's history, playing mostly in the back row but also filling in as a centre or in the halves since his debut in 2007. He became the most capped player in Roosters history in 2020 and retired with 306 games to his name.
Super League officially announce that the Perth Reds would be disbanded because of mounting debts.
Norths and Manly agree to form a joint venture, with Peter Sharp named as coach.
Big League magazine names its greatest ever Kangaroo squad at the Men of League Ball at Darling Harbour. The squad is: Clive Churchill (c), Darren Lockyer, Harold Horder, Brian Carlson, Ken Irvine, Eric Grothe, Dally Messenger, Dave Brown, Reg Gasnier, Graeme Langlands, Mal Meninga, Bob Fulton, Wally Lewis, Peter Sterling, Andrew Johns, Wally Prigg, Johnny Raper, Frank Burge, George Treweeke, Norm Provan, Ron Coote, Bob McCarthy, Ray Stehr, Duncan Hall, Noel Kelly, Arthur Beetson, Ian Walsh, Steve Walters.
The Brisbane Broncos send front-row workhorse Shane Webcke into retirement with the perfect parting gift – a grand final win in his last game. The Broncos outmanouevre minor premiers Melbourne to win the decider 15-8.
The game is not without its controversy with a handful of incidents working in the Broncos’ favour. Brisbane hooker Shaun Berrigan wins the Clive Churchill Medal. Wayne Bennett becomes the most successful coach in grand final history when he claims his sixth win.
Match Highlights: Storm v Broncos
Melbourne halfback Cooper Cronk adds the Dally M Medal to a growing list of personal achievements after holding off a three-way challenge from Manly’s Daly Cherry-Evans, Cowboys five-eighth Johnathan Thurston and Cronulla playmaker Todd Carney to take out the award.
Pre-game entertainment featuring US rapper Macklemore is widely applauded, especially his rendition of Same Love which celebrates marriage equality.
The Melbourne Storm lay claim to being one of the best club sides of the modern era after a 34-6 grand final defeat of North Queensland at ANZ Stadium. Storm fullback Billy Slater becomes only the second player after Canberra’s Bradley Clyde to win the Clive Churchill Medal twice. The Cowboys suffer an early setback in the decider when prop Shaun Fensom breaks his leg in the fourth minute.
Hours after being named Australia’s new Test captain Greg Inglis is arrested and charged with mid-range drink-driving and speeding. Inglis is later suspended from both end-of-year Test matches (against New Zealand and Tonga) and Boyd Cordner appointed captain.
Veteran coach Wayne Bennett accepts an offer from the Queensland Rugby League to step into the breach as Maroons coach for the 2020 State of Origin series following Kevin Walters’ appointment as Broncos coach. Bennett last coached the Maroons in 2003.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.