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April 15: First televised game; Larson calls time on Origin

On this day, the Tigers and Bears featured in the first rugby league match on TV, Gary Larson calls time on his Maroons career and Johnathan Thurston hits the 1000-point milestone in Townsville.

1961

Balmain and Norths play in rugby league's first televised game. Former international Ray Stehr calls the action on Channel Nine, following the League's decision to allow half a match to be televised each weekend on a trial basis.

1980

Willie Mason was born. A dual international with Tonga and Australia, the sight of Willie Mason in full flight was one of league's best. He played 291 NRL games for five clubs in an eventful and entertaining career, which also included 13 games for NSW. 

1990

Canberra record one of the biggest wins in the history of the game, defeating Easts 66-4. Mal Meninga scores a post-war high of 38 points from five tries and nine goals.

1994

Mitch Barnett was born in Taree. He made his debut with the Raiders in 2015 before returning 'home' to play for the Knights, where he is enjoying his fourth season in 2019.

1999

North Sydney forward Gary Larson declares himself unavailable for Queensland after a record 24 consecutive matches for the Maroons.

Gary Larson played 24 consecutive games for the Maroons.
Gary Larson played 24 consecutive games for the Maroons. ©NRL Photos

2003

Manly are left fuming after the Sydney Roosters clinch the signature of second-rower Mal Kaufusi from under their noses. Kaufusi, who was deported to Tonga during the off-season due to a visa problem, was expected to re-sign with the Sea Eagles until the Roosters snuck under their guard.

2011

Barba try leaves commentary team stunned

2012

Channel Nine's coverage of the 2011 State of Origin decider is recognised with a Logie award for 'Most Outstanding Sports Coverage'. In the same year, the selection of New Zealand-born Cowboys prop James Tamou in Australia's squad for the mid-season Test match against the Kiwis, sparks renewed controversy over eligibility rules.

Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston.
Cowboys great Johnathan Thurston. ©Scott Davis/NRL Photos

2016

Johnathan Thurston reaches the milestone of 1,000 points at his home ground of 1300Smiles Stadium as the Cowboys thump the Rabbitohs 44-18. 'JT' becomes only the second player after Andrew Johns to score 1,000 at a single venue.

 

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