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December 13: Steelers get green light; Churchill's Kangaroos shine

On this day, Clive Churchill leads Kangaroos to a big win, the Steelers get the green light and the High Court rules the NSWRL transfer system invalid in the famous Dennis Tutty case.

1935

Arthur Summons was born. One half - the halfback - of the famous "The Gladiators" photo at the end of the 1963 grand final, Summons spent four seasons with Wests, culminating in the loss to Norm Provan's St George side at the SCG.

After representing the Wallabies during his stint in rugby, Summons also played for Australia's rugby league team in nine Tests in the early 1960s.

1952   

After having already lost the Ashes series 2-0, Clive Churchill’s Kangaroos score their biggest win over Great Britain in 40 years, when they win a violent third Test 27-7 at Odsal Stadium.

The match becomes known as the “Battle of Bradford” and features a series of unsavoury incidents and punch-ups. Australian prop Duncan Hall is the only player sent off, although several others are considered lucky not to have been marched.

Dennis Tutty at the 2018 RLPA awards.
Dennis Tutty at the 2018 RLPA awards. ©NRL Photos

1971   

In an historic decision, the full High Court of Australia rules the NSWRL’s transfer system invalid. The system had been challenged by Balmain forward Dennis Tutty, who showed considerable fortitude to pursue the action which cost him two years of his career and possibly a premiership with Balmain in 1969.

1971

Scott Sattler was born in Sydney. A super-fit back-rower who played 203 first-grade games during stints with the Gold Coast, Roosters, Crushers, Panthers and Wests Tigers, his most remembered moment was his famous tackle on Roosters winger Todd Byrne in the 2003 grand final which helped propel Penrith to their upset win.

The son of Rabbitohs legend John Sattler, he played one game for Queensland in 2003. 

1980   

Illawarra become the 13th team to be included in the 1982 premiership through a vote of the NSWRL general committee. A team representing Canberra are named the 14th team early in 1981.

1988

James Tamou was born in Palmerston North. After making his debut with the Cowboys in 2009, the towering prop spent eight seasons with the club and was a key member of their 2015 premiership-winning team.

His long list of achievements includes World Cup and State of Origin victories, as well as success in the Auckland Nines and World Club Challenge, and an NRL premiership with North Queensland Cowboys. Tamou relocated from Townsville to Penrith to join Panthers in 2017 and became captain two years later.

1986   

The Don Furner-coached and Wally Lewis-led Kangaroos complete the second successive undefeated tour of Great Britain and France with a 52-0 romp in the second Test against France at Carcassonne.

1995   

The Adelaide Rams are announced as the 10th franchise holder in Super League’s proposed competition.

1995   

ARL QC Bob Ellicott asks the Federal Court to prohibit News Limited from starting up a Super League competition anywhere in the world to prevent “inventive minds” from circumventing court orders by playing matches overseas.

1998   

The Sunday Telegraph reveals that Ben Elias will stand for the Balmain board. Elias suggests the Tigers should scrap plans of a merger with Western Suburbs and form a “super club” with Sydney City and Souths.

1999   

South Sydney president George Piggins vows not to watch another NRL match until the Rabbitohs are readmitted to the competition.

2002   

The English Academy completes a historic 2-0 series defeat of the Australian Schoolboys with a 22-12 victory at Headingley.

2005   

Former Test coach Wayne Bennett launches a scathing attack on his successor Ricky Stuart amid accusations of a binge drinking culture within the Australian team under Bennett’s control.

Former Kangaroos coach Wayne Bennett.
Former Kangaroos coach Wayne Bennett. ©NRL Photos

“Don’t tell me that Ricky Stuart or somebody else is going to do a better job because they drink with the boys and the boys will behave themselves better because they’re drinking with them,” he said. “Just look at the Sydney Roosters’ track record over the last four or five years with some of their behaviour and you tell me whether that approach works or not.”

2009   

Sydney Roosters hooker Jake Friend is charged by police for a third alcohol-related incident in the space of 12 months. He is later sacked by the club before eventually being reinstated.

2010   

Parramatta officially part ways with centre Timana Tahu while representative winger Eric Grothe announces his retirement after 142 NRL games.

2013   

Boom Canberra youngster Anthony Milford confirms he will remain with the Raiders in 2014 despite a get-out clause in his contract that would have allowed him to return to Brisbane to be with his sick father.

2017   

Sydney Roosters fullback Michael Gordon finalises a two-year deal to play with the Gold Coast from 2018. Meanwhile, veteran Cronulla forward Sam Tagataese signs a one-year deal with the Broncos.

 

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