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May 7: Stacey the Kiwi icon; City-Country's finale

On this day in rugby league history, the birth of a Kiwis legend, the arrival of golden point extra time in State of Origin, and the end of a great rivalry.


Warriors and New Zealand rugby league legend Stacey Jones was born. He played in the Warriors' first season as a 19-year-old in 1995, quickly earning a spot in the World Cup squad for the national side by the end of the season.

He helped carry his club to the minor premiership and a grand final berth and won the Golden Boot for international player of the year in 2002. He finished up at the Warriors holding the club records for most appearances and most points, and played in 46 Tests for the Kiwis.


The ARL implemented the golden point rule for the State of Origin series, with each team to play five minutes for the first half of extra time and an unlimited period for the second half until a point is scored to determine the winner.


The Sharks and Warriors faced off in the first NRL game in Perth since 1999, with Cronulla five-eighth Adam Dykes winning the match for his team 28-24 with a 79th-minute try. On the same day the Canberra Raiders pulled off a remarkable comeback against the Panthers in Penrith, winning 26-18 after trailing 18-0.


Australia edged out New Zealand 12-8 in a rain-drenched Test match to celebrate the opening of Melbourne's AAMI Park, despite the Kangaroos losing hooker Cameron Smith with an elbow injury shortly before half-time.

Bryce Cartwright celebrates a match-winning try for City.
Bryce Cartwright celebrates a match-winning try for City. ©NRL Photos


The final City v Country Origin match was played in Mudgee, with the Brad Fittler-coached City side edging out Craig Fitzgibbon's Country 14-10. Bryce Cartwright scored an 80th-minute try to hand City the win, with captain Paul Gallen landing the conversion after Clint Gutherson had earlier kicked three from three.


Jordan Rapana re-signed with the Raiders until the end of the 2020 season after his stint with Japanese Rugby outfit Panasonic Wild Knights was cut short due to the coronavirus.


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

Acknowledgement of Country

The New Zealand Warriors honour the mana of the Indigenous peoples of Aotearoa, Australia and the Pacific. We acknowledge the traditional kaitiaki of the lands, elders past and present, their stories, their traditions, their mamae and their mana motuhake.

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