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February 21: Cowboys rule the world; Broncos sack coach

On this day in rugby league history, the Broncos sack Henjak, the Cowboys rule the world and the NRL brings in the shot clock.


Ben Ikin is born. A utility back who eventually settled into five-eighth, he started his career with the Gold Coast in 1995 and was famously not recognised by coach Paul Vautin when he arrived in Maroons camp after just three first-grade games to play for Queensland.

Ikin moved to Norths the following year for four seasons before returning to Queensland to play for the Broncos, lining up in the No.6 jersey for their 2000 grand final win in his first year at the club. Knee injuries hampered his career but he retired in 2004 with 150 first-grade matches, 17 Origins and two Tests. 

Queensland's Ben Ikin.
Queensland's Ben Ikin. ©NRL Photos


South Sydney international Mark McGaw is suspended until March 10 after being cited for a careless tackle on St George’s David Barnhill.


A record crowd of 28,310 turns out for the annual Charity Shield clash between St George and South Sydney at the Sydney Football Stadium. St George win a fiery match 14-4. Two players are sent off and three sin-binned.


Coaching legend Jack Gibson calls on the NRL to fine clubs up to $100,000 if their players misbehave in public.

Justin Hodges in 2004.
Justin Hodges in 2004. ©NRL Photos


Justin Hodges returns to the playing field for the Roosters in a trial against Newcastle, eight months after injuring his knee in a 2003 State of Origin match.


Former Queensland and Australian captain Wally Lewis undergoes brain surgery in a bid to control his epilepsy.


A statue of Eels legend Ray Price is unveiled outside Parramatta Stadium.


The Canberra Raiders mourn the death of club patriarch Les McIntyre at the age of 93.


Maroons State of Origin legend Dale Shearer suffers critical injuries in a car accident on the Queensland Sunshine Coast. 


Cronulla leagues club members vote overwhelmingly to support plans for a $300 million retail and residential development adjacent to the club. The move results in an immediate $2 million cash injection for the financially strapped club and is viewed as a crucial step in the Sharks’ survival.


The Brisbane Broncos sack coach Ivan Henjak three weeks before the start of the premiership. Assistant coach Anthony Griffin is appointed for the season, leading to speculation that Wayne Bennett will be approached to return to his former club in 2012.


The ARL Commission marks one year in operation by forecasting that the game will generate $284 million in revenue in 2013, a 61 per cent increase on 2012.


Manly captain Jamie Lyon injures a knee in his team’s 36-6 trial loss to Sydney Roosters at Gosford’s Central Coast Stadium. Second-rower Tom Symonds suffers an elbow injury that is likely to keep him out of the opening rounds.

Broncos forward Corey Parker takes on Wigan in 2015.
Broncos forward Corey Parker takes on Wigan in 2015. ©NRL Photos


Brisbane claim a dramatic 14-12 win over Wigan in the World Club Series after veteran Corey Parker lands a penalty goal in golden point at a sodden DW Stadium. Wigan centre Anthony Gelling is sin-binned for deliberately obstructing Parker as he attempted the winning goal.


After being held to a 4-all score at half-time at Headingley, North Queensland overpower Leeds 38-4 at Headingley to claim the World Club Challenge title.


The NRL announces an extension of the shot clock in 2018 with the clock to stop for 30 seconds after a conversion attempt to prevent time wasting. Manager of elite competitions Jason King claims an extra three minutes of playing time will result per game.


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


Acknowledgement of Country

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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