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November 18: Bati party at World Cup; Maroons' stunning upset

On this day, Fiji shock the rugby league world, Ian Roberts announces his switch to the Sea Eagles and the Maroons spring one of the great Origin upsets.


Hall of Famer Viv Thicknesse was born in Temora. A representative rugby union halfback, he joined Easts in 1931 and went to become a Kangaroo in 1933–34, toured with the Australian team to New Zealand in 1935, played in the first two Ashes Tests of 1936, and was a key figure in his club's domination of Sydney football in the mid-1930s. 


Trent Barrett was born in Temora. The talented five-eighth made his debut for Illawarra in 1996 and was called up to the NSW team in State of Origin the following season.

A member of the 1999 St George Illawarra foundation team which lost the grand final, he won the Dally M Medal the next year and went on to play 11 Origins for the Blues and 15 Tests for Australia. After a two-year stint with Wigan, he returned to finish his career with Cronulla in 2009-10, finishing with 235 games in the NRL.

Trent Barrett during his playing days at St George Illawarra.
Trent Barrett during his playing days at St George Illawarra. ©NRL Photos


Widnes provide Australia with toughest club match of tour. Australia win 15-8 and players complain of eye-gouging by a Widnes forward.


Ian Roberts signs a four-year deal with Manly, rejecting a lucrative offer from the Auckland Warriors and two other clubs to remain with Manly until 1997.


Trent Barrett signs a four-year deal with St George Illawarra worth between $800,000 and $1 million.


New Zealand crush England 49-6 to qualify for the World Cup final.

Kiwi greats Ruben Wiki and Stacey Jones played starring roles in the 2000 World Cup.
Kiwi greats Ruben Wiki and Stacey Jones played starring roles in the 2000 World Cup.


Businessman Peter Holmes a Court reveals that he and actor Russell Crowe would spend $13.5 million to take a 75 percent share in the South Sydney Football Club. Souths, meanwhile strike a $3 million funding deal with Souths Juniors, which is separate to any dealing with the two prospective financiers.


Australia end Great Britain’s Tri-Nations campaign with a 33-10 victory at Suncorp Stadium. The crowd of 44,358 is the biggest Test crowd in Australia since 1974.


Female referees Belinda Sleeman and Kasey Badger make history when they are named in the Referee Elite Performance Squad for part-time and full-time referees and could be controlling NRL games in 2014.

NRL referee Belinda Sharpe.
NRL referee Belinda Sharpe. ©Jason O'Brien/NRL Photos


Kiwi Test forward Adam Blair is granted a release from Wests Tigers to allow him to link with the Brisbane Broncos on a three-year deal.


Fiji score one of international rugby league’s greatest upsets when they down New Zealand 4-2 in a tryless World Cup quarter-final in Wellington. The Kiwis miss out on a place in the Cup final for the first time since 1995.


The Kiwis knock off the Kangaroos for top spot in the latest world rankings. New Zealand have built on their 2018 wins over Australia and England and their recent 2-0 series defeat of Great Britain and victory in the mid-season Oceania Cup Test against Tonga to take the top position from the Kangaroos despite losing to them in Wollongong in October, 2019.

Cameron Munster claims Wally Lewis Medal


Queensland claim a stunning series victory after triumphing 20-14 over the Blues in a gripping decider before 49,155 fans at Suncorp Stadium. Maroons five-eighth Cameron Munster is named man of the match and winner of the Wally Lewis Medal as player of the series. NSW suffer a crushing early blow when they lose captain James Tedesco after 19 minutes.


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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