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South Sydney owner Russell Crowe.

On this day, the Russell Crowe era begins at South Sydney, the Illawarra Steelers come within a whisker of a stunning midweek final victory, Ryan Girdler sets an Origin record and Chris Lawrence returns from severe facial injuries.

1934

The Truth newspaper printed "We've Seen Last of Night Football ... Dead as Caesar" after 9000 people turned out for the first interstate match to be played under lights. Sydney's Agricultural Ground hosted the 14-10 win by Queensland over NSW. 

1982

Newcastle, Warrington, NSW and Australia utility player Kurt Gidley is born. As well as playing 251 matches for the Knights and 55 for English club Warrington, Gidley played 12 matches for both the Blues and Australia during a 16-year career.

1989

In arguably the greatest final seen in the midweek competition, Brisbane race out to a 16-0 lead over the Illawarra Steelers before eventually hanging on for a 22-20 victory. Parramatta Stadium hosted 17,000 fans for a match in which a star-studded Broncos outfit had just enough to pocket the $175,000 winners cheque.

Ryan Girdler in action for NSW.
Ryan Girdler in action for NSW. ©NRL Photos

2000

Ryan Girdler scores a record 32 points as NSW trounce Queensland 56-16 to complete their third clean sweep in Origin history. The former Illawarra and Penrith player scored three tries and kicked 10 goals.

2006

Peter Holmes a Court and Russell Crowe officially take charge of South Sydney, signing a $3 million cheque in return for 75 percent of the football club.  The Rabbitohs ended a 43-year premiership drought in 2014.

2012    

Queensland forward Dave Taylor requires several stitches to a head wound caused when he fell out of bed.

Chris Lawrence makes his return in round 13, 2019.
Chris Lawrence makes his return in round 13, 2019. ©Gregg Porteous/NRL Photos

2019    

Veteran Wests Tigers second-rower Chris Lawrence makes his return to the playing field against Canberra after suffering horrific facial injuries in a training accident in the pre-season. Lawrence required extensive surgery including seven metal plates across almost a dozen separate fractures.

 

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