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November 4: Bennett masterminds Maroon miracle; SJ breaks Kiwi record

On this day in rugby league history, the Maroons spring a monumental upset, a Rabbitohs icon is born and Shaun Johnson etches his name in the record books.


Rabbitohs great John Sutton was born. The most capped player in South Sydney history, Sutton played 336 matches for the Bunnies in a career spanning 16 years from 2004 to 2019. The ball-playing back-rower represented the Prime Minister's XIII in 2005 and NSW City in 2008 and 2009 and captained the club to its drought-breaking premiership win in 2014.


Titans and Papua New Guinea star David Mead was born in Port Morseby. The versatile backline player, who moved to Australia as a 12-year-old, made his international debut for PNG in 2008 and captained his country in 2016 and 2017 – including a starring role with four tries in as many games at the 2017 World Cup. He scored 70 tries in 159 NRL matches for the Titans and Broncos between 2009 and 2017.

Newcastle Knights cult hero Nathan Ross was born. "The Rossdog" scored 23 tries in 60 games at a time when the Knights were stuck at the wrong end of the ladder in the four seasons from 2015, including some spectacular individual finishes.

Looking back at the best of Nathan Ross


Ryan Girdler scored a mammoth 46 points from three tries and 17 goals as Australia crushed Russia 110-4 in a World Cup pool match at Hull.

Ryan Girdler scores against Russia in 2000.
Ryan Girdler scores against Russia in 2000. ©NRL Photos


Great Britain caused a Tri-Nations boilover by upsetting Australia 23-12 at Aussie Stadium, in their first Test win in Sydney since 1988.


The NRL announced a revamped All Stars format for 2016 with the Indigenous All Stars to take on a World All Stars outfit that will comprise four players from each of Australia, New Zealand and England and six from Fiji, Samoa, Tonga and Papua New Guinea.


Former Canberra five-eighth Terry Campese helped Italy advance to the 2017 World Cup when he led them to a 76-0 drubbing of Russia at Leigh Sports Village. Italy were drawn to play Fiji at Canberra Stadium on November 10, 2017.


Tonga and Samoa players produced one of the most memorable moments of the 2018 World Cup when their simultaneous cultural challenges are cheered on by a crowd of 18,000 at Hamilton's Waikato Stadium. The powerful Tonga side storms to a 32-18 victory to maintain their undefeated run.

New Zealand halfback Shaun Johnson breaks the Kiwis' all-time Test pointscoring record in his team’s 74-6 rout of Scotland in Christchurch. Johnson scores 22 points for the match to eclipse the old record held by former fullback Matthew Ridge.

Welcome to Origin, Xavier Coates


Wayne Bennett’s Queensland team cause a boilover in the opening clash at Adelaide Oval when they down the Blues 18-14. NSW captain Boyd Cordner is controversially allowed to return to the field after suffering a first-half head knock. The Blues lose South Sydney forward Cameron Murray for the rest of the series to a torn hamstring, while Queensland lose fullback AJ Brimson to a Lisfranc fracture to his foot that will require surgery.


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

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National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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