How quickly time goes in the NRL now. You’ve heard it before, a week is a long time in Rugby League – well what about 4 years? That makes for an absolute eternity. NRL News thought we would flashback to NRL as it was in July 2005 and what news was around the NRL traps and who was playing where:
The Eels and Dragons battled out a big Friday Night Football clash. A clash where Trent Barrett king hit PJ Marsh, Wade McKinnon scored a 70m try untouched for the Eels. There was a massive all in brawl and Parramatta backrower Dean Widders was at his unstoppable best.
All players mentioned are now gone from their clubs, Barrett and Widders spending time in the UK Super League, Marsh joining the Broncos and McKinnon off to the Warriors.
The Roosters were toying with their halves combination, slotting in Brett Finch and Craig Wing as their playmakers. Again, both players now long gone from their previous clubs. The Roosters, coached by Ricky Stuart were struggling to regain their position as one of the leading sides over the previous 3 years.
The Maroons were considering upcoming Storm coach Craig Bellamy as their State of Origin coach and future mentor. NSW had won the Origin series that year and Queensland were desperate for answers. Who knew what the future would hold, the Maroons now an unstoppable force.
Reni Maitua was making an appearance for City Origin.
Willie Mason was returning to the Bulldogs lineup after a long layoff with a foot injury.
Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus were both playing and trying to get the Knights off last place on the ladder.
Jamaal Lolesi just signed a deal with the Wests Tigers for 2 years.
Jason Smith was playing for Canberra and being chased hard by South Sydney for future services.
Roosters hooker Stuart Webb was a standout for his club and in hot demand, the Rabbitohs getting his signature in that year. Webb struggling to find his best form ever since.
Steven Bell playing with Melbourne agreed to a 3 year deal with Manly that year.
Craig Gower defied doctors orders to take the field for the Panthers, despite a concerning neck injury.
Stuart Raper was coaching the Sharks and decided to sack Paul Mellor mid-way through the season.
When we look at the NRL Table below in 2005 (July 9) its interesting to see where the eventual Premiers (Wests Tigers) were sitting at this time. Well out of the Top 8, they were set to go on an amazing run all the way to the top. Don’t forget, the Titans weren’t even born – hence the 15 teams!
1. Broncos 28 pts
2. Eels 26 pts
3. Cows 22 pts
4. Manly 22 pts
5. Sharks 22 pts
6. Storm 20 pts
7. Dragons 20 pts
8. Roosters 20 pts
9. Raiders 20 pts
10. Wests Tigers 18 pts
11. Bulldogs 17 pts
12. Warriors 16 pts
13. Panthers 12 pts
14. Souths 9
15. Knights 6