On this day, Johnathan Thurston pips Andrew Johns in the closest Dally M vote ever, the NRL gets its first female match official while a Maika Sivo hat-trick secures him the Dave Brown Medal.
James Joseph Giltinan, founding father of the New South Wales Rugby League, dies in Sydney, a week after his 84th birthday. In 2019, Giltinan was inducted into the Hall of Fame in the Contributor category alongside Ray Warren and Peter Frilingos. Since 1951 the JJ Gilitinan Shield has been awarded to the NRL minor premiers each season.
David Fairleigh becomes the first North Sydney player to win the Rothmans Medal, recording the highest points tally in the award's history. Bookmakers are said to have lost $115,000 after suggestions the name of the winner was leaked. Manly youngster Steve Menzies finished second and Cronulla rookie Paul Green third.
North Queensland’s Johnathan Thurston beats Andrew Johns to claim the Dally M Medal after the closest vote in the history of the award. Johns takes part in the awards ceremony via satellite from Warrington. Parramatta halfback Tim Smith takes out the Rookie of the Year award while Wests Tigers’ Tim Sheens is named Coach of the Year.
The minor premiership showdown between South Sydney and the Sydney Roosters draws a record crowd for a regular season, stand-alone game when 59,708 turn out at ANZ Stadium. The Roosters claim the JJ Giltinan Shield for the first time since 2004 with a 24-12 win. Prop Jared Waerea-Hargreaves lands in hot water after his forearm strikes Souths second-rower Chris McQueen in the throat late in the game. He is subsequently suspended at the judiciary and misses the Roosters’ first finals match.
Belinda Sleeman, a 27-year-old page designer with the Courier Mail, becomes the first female match official in the history of the premiership when she runs the line as touch judge in the final-round clash between Wests Tigers and Cronulla at Leichhardt Oval.
Parramatta winger Semi Radradra breaks the Eels’ 33-year-old club tryscoring record of former international Steve Ella when he crosses twice against Canberra to take his season’s tally to 24.
A hat-trick of tries to Parramatta excitement machine Maika Sivo helps lift the Eels to a 32-16 defeat of Manly and a fifth-place finish on the competition ladder. The Bankwest Stadium crowd of 25,034 chants Sivo’s name as he secures the Dave Brown Medal as the season’s leading try scorer.
This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.