On this day, John Sattler etches his name into grand final folklore, Manly down the Sharks in a grand final replay and a remarkable Cowboys comeback is foiled by a controversial call.
South Sydney captain John Sattler plays through most of the grand final against Manly with a badly broken jaw. Sattler cops a savage punch behind the play in the early minutes of the match, but displays remarkable courage to play out the 80 minutes and lead his side to a 23-12 victory.
Manly down Cronulla 16-0 in the grand final replay. Despite controversy along the way, Manly’s win ranks as one of the great premiership victories. The Sea Eagles come through six finals matches, five of them sudden-death, including two replays in the space of 24 days. Remarkably it was the second year in a row a replay had been needed to decide the premiers after St George and Parramatta were locked 9-9 on the Saturday in 1977 and did it all again a week later with the Dragons emerging victorious.
The Bulldogs bounce back from their qualifying final loss to the Cowboys to sink Melbourne 43-18 at Aussie Stadium. Bulldogs winger Hazem El Masri becomes the first player in the history of the premiership to score 300 points in a season.
A touch-and-go decision on a knock-on costs North Queensland the most extraordinary comeback victory in the history of the premiership when they fight back from a 30-0 deficit against the Sydney Roosters to draw level, but eventually go down 31-30 at Allianz Stadium. Halfback maestro Johnathan Thurston streaked away for what would have been the match-winning try for the Cowboys only to be called back for a miniscule knock-on by five-eighth Robert Lui.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.