July 31: Lamb a triple centurion; Girdler grinds Manly into dust

On this day, Terry Lamb becomes a triple centurion, Ryan Girdler smashes the Sea Eagles and the Rabbitohs come back from the dead to down the Dragons.

1923

Doug McRitchie was born. A centre with St George in the 1940s, he played six Tests for Australia. His brother Bill also played for the Saints. He died in 1998.

1965

Ian Roberts was born in London. A rampaging forward, he made his name with South Sydney in a 65-game stint from 1986-89, graduating to State of Origin honours with NSW. He switched to Manly and played 100 matches for the Sea Eagles over six seasons, racking up 13 Tests in the early 1990s. Roberts sat out the 1996 season after signing with Super League and finished his career with 29 appearances over two seasons at North Queensland. Roberts made history in 1994 when he became the first openly gay rugby league player in the world. 

1973

Nathan Brown was born in Maclean in northern NSW. A skilful hooker, he made his debut with St George in the early 1990s, playing 151 games with the Dragons, including the grand final defeats of 1992, 93, 96 and 99. He began his coaching career St George Illawarra and joined Newcastle in 2016 after a stint in the UK.

Nathan Brown.
Nathan Brown. ©NRL Photos

1977

John Doyle was born. A versatile player with the Cowboys in a 64-game career from 1997-2002, he played three matches for Queensland in 2001-02. In 2006 he re-emerged with the Roosters for 10 games before retiring.

1977

Adam Mogg was born in Toowoomba. A utility back, he made his debut with Parramatta in 2002, playing nine games, before spending the next four seasons with Canberra, then returning to the Raiders in 2010 after a stint in the Super League. Mogg played two matches for the Maroons in the 2006 series and although he was an unheralded selection, he played superbly for Queensland.

Paul Whatuira during his Wests Tigers days.
Paul Whatuira during his Wests Tigers days. ©NRL Photos

1981

Paul Whatuira was born in Wellington. The Kiwi centre, who represented New Zealand 16 times, had stints with the Warriors and Melbourne before a three-year stay at Penrith, which included the 2003 grand final win. He switched to the Wests Tigers and was part of the premiership win in 2005 in his first of three seasons at the club. Whatuira played with Huddersfield before making one appearance for Parramatta during a short-lived return to the NRL in 2011.

1988

Alex Glenn was born in Auckland. Initially a centre, he made his name in the back row for the Broncos, a model of consistency for the club since making his debut in 2009, racking up his 250th appearance in the 2019 season. 

1993

Curtis Sironen was born in Sydney. The son of Balmain Tigers legend Paul Sironen and older brother of Rabbitohs forward Bayley Sironen, he made his debut for the Wests Tigers in 2012, playing 65 matches for the clubs over four seasons before switching to Manly. Sironen has been a mainstay for the Sea Eagles in the second row since 2017. 

1994

Terry Lamb makes his long-awaited comeback from a broken arm to play his 300th first grade match in the Bulldogs’ defeat of Souths.

1999

Penrith centre Ryan Girdler scores a club record 28 points in his team’s crushing 52-10 defeat of Manly.

Ty Williams on the fly for North Queensland.
Ty Williams on the fly for North Queensland. ©NRL Photos

2005

North Queensland winger Ty Williams runs from near the Cowboys’ dead-ball line to score a 110-metre try against Manly.

2011

Souths achieve one of their greatest comeback victories to upset St George Illawarra 34-24 at WIN Stadium. The Rabbitohs trailed 20-0 late in the first half before launching their fightback.

 

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