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November 15: Johnson stars in historic Kiwi win; MG signs off

On this day, Mark Geyer signs off, Australia retain the Ashes and Shaun Johnson stars in a historic win.


Balmain, NSW and Australia hooker Ben Elias was born. Elias played 13 seasons for the Tigers, amassing 232 matches including a pair of grand final appearances. At rep level, he played 19 State of Origin matches for NSW and six Tests for Australia.


Illawarra players Brett Rodwell and David Riolo are released from their Super League contracts, allowing them to remain with Illawarra. In 1996 the Steelers finished 14th in a 20-team competition.


Penrith forward Mark Geyer announces his retirement. As well as playing three State of Origin matches for NSW and three Tests, Geyer played 181 club games for Penrith, Balmain and the Western Reds. He was a member of Penrith's 1991 premiership side.


Australia retain the Ashes with a 23-20 victory over Great Britain at Hull. The Kangaroos fight back from a 20-12 deficit to win the match. Craig Fitzgibbon scores a try and kicks five goals for the tourists.

Willie Mason in his final year at Canterbury.
Willie Mason in his final year at Canterbury. ©NRL Photos


On the same day that Willie Mason is officially released from the Bulldogs, the Sydney Roosters win the race for his signature after agreeing to a three-year deal. 


A man of the match performance by Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson inspires the Kiwis to a 22-18 Four Nations victory over Australia in Wellington. Manu Vatuvei scored two tries for the hosts. It was the first time the Kiwis have won a major tournament in their own country.

Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke celebrate the Kiwis' win over Australia in 2014.
Shaun Johnson and Issac Luke celebrate the Kiwis' win over Australia in 2014.


Penrith agree to release forward Trent Merrin from the final two years of his contract to take up a four-year deal with English Super League outfit Leeds. Merrin played 205 NRL matches for the Dragons and Panthers, seven Tests for Australia and 13 Origin matches for NSW.


Former Cronulla, NSW and Test player Paul Gallen's fight against AFL great Barry Hall ends in a draw in Melbourne.


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

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