Plenty of strife in a spectacular rugby league season

WHETHER it was good news or bad, 2012 had everything in what was arguably the greatest year in the history of the NRL.

Coaches were sacked, the chief executive was sacked, Melbourne put its troubled past behind it to win the competition, the State of Origin series was extraordinary from start to finish, and everywhere you looked the referees were in trouble.

Here are the highlights:

1: The Storm's premiership - September 30

THE Storm was left in ruins in 2010 after being caught cheating the salary cap.

The club was stripped of two premierships, made ineligible to play for competition points that season and had to shed players in 2011, including stars Greg Inglis and Ryan Hoffman.

This year provided redemption, the Storm overcoming a late-season form slump to beat the Bulldogs 14-4 in the decider.

While the Storm players covered themselves in glory, the Bulldogs went into crisis control after prop James Graham copped 12 weeks for biting Storm fullback Billy Slater on the ear and the club was fined $30,000 following unsavoury Mad Monday celebrations.


Melbourne Storm’s Ryan Hoffman will run on to the field today to play the Bulldogs.
Melbourne Storm’s Ryan Hoffman will run on to the field today to play the Bulldogs. Brett Cockford

2: The Greg Inglis try in Origin I - May 23


UNDOUBTEDLY the biggest talking point of the year came in Origin I when Queensland star Greg Inglis was awarded a controversial try that put the game out of reach for the Blues. New South Wales players, officials and fans were in uproar, arguing replays showed the ball was clearly knocked on before Inglis grounded it.

The debate continued for days - the decision just the first of what became an avalanche of clangers from under-fire referees on the field and in the video box.


Former Bowraville junior Greg Inglis was happy to pose for photos and sign autographs for fans when South Sydney met Gold Coast in an NRL trial match at BCU International Stadium in February 2011.
Former Bowraville junior Greg Inglis was happy to pose for photos and sign autographs for fans when South Sydney met Gold Coast in an NRL trial match at BCU International Stadium in February 2011. TREVOR VEALE

3: Queensland in seventh heaven - July 4

ONE of the most anticipated, and arguably the best, Origin series was sealed with a memorable field goal from Queensland halfback Cooper Cronk at Suncorp Stadium in game three.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Greg Inglis scores THAT try in Origin I, Petero Civoniceva shows off the Origin trophy, and Andrew Johns celebrates becoming an Immortal.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Greg Inglis scores THAT try in Origin I, Petero Civoniceva shows off the Origin trophy, and Andrew Johns celebrates becoming an Immortal. GETTY IMAGES

The kick came from 40m out with five minutes left on the clock and was all that separated the teams, which had thrown everything but the kitchen sink at each other. After the game, Cronk's teammates revealed the Storm star had practised kicking field goals from all over the park in case one was needed on the night.

4: The Greg Inglis shoulder charge - July 21

IT WAS the hit that changed the rules. Inglis's shoulder charge on Dean Young, where the Souths fullback raced in to put a blind shot on the Dragons back-rower, was compared to a car crash.

Inglis copped a three-game suspension and the tackle was subsequently banned from the game after the season. Young was in such a bad way after the match he thought his coach was former Dragons mentor Nathan Brown, not Steve Price.

5: Try of the year: some Barba magic - June 24

IN FRONT of a Mackay stand full of family and friends, Bulldogs fullback Ben Barba set up the try of the year against the Storm in round 16.

Picking up the ball in his side's in-goal area, Barba beat six opponents in a mesmerising dash downfield, before chipping ahead at full speed for centre Josh Morris to gather and score. Barba finished the year

with 22 tries, many of them similarly brilliant efforts, and was a worthy winner of the Dally M medal.

David Gallop
David Gallop

6: David Gallop sacking - June 5

JUST a week before the highly anticipated Origin II kick-off, the NRL's worst-kept secret was confirmed when chief executive David Gallop was sacked.

His 10-year reign - notable for punishing the Bulldogs and Storm for salary cap breaches, and bringing in strict off-field rules - was brought to an end due to his strained relationship with ARL Commission chairman John Grant. Gallop was later appointed CEO of Football Federation Australia.

7: Kieran Foran's hand of God incident - September 14

FANS from both the Cowboys and Sea Eagles were left stunned after another video referee blunder in a big game cost the Cowboys victory in the semi-final clash at Allianz Stadium.

Replays clearly showed Sea Eagles five-eighth Kieran Foran  knocked the ball forward in the lead-up to a try by teammate Michael Oldfield.

The bizarre decision led to the sacking of referees bosses Bill Harrigan and Stuart Raper following a flood of criticism, including Cowboys coach Neil Henry labelling some NRL match officials incompetent.

8: Broadcast deal - August 21

THIS deal, worth $1.025 billion, put rugby league at the top of the Australian sporting landscape. While it wasn't as much as the AFL's unprecedented $1.25 billion deal, on a per-minute basis rugby league was the winner.

Starting from next season, NRL games will be worth $1275 every 60 seconds across 80 minutes, as opposed to the AFL's $1170 per minute over 100 minutes of game time.

Andrew Johns (right).
Andrew Johns (right). Dean Purcell

9: Joey becomes an Immortal - September 27

NO ONE can deny what former Newcastle halfback Andrew Johns did on the field was freakish, and on his playing ability alone he deserved to be crowned an Immortal.

But what angered many Queensland league fans was his off-field history of misdemeanours, and that he received the recognition ahead of Mal Meninga.

As well as being a Canberra, Maroons and Kangaroos great, Meninga has a clean off-field record and has coached Queensland to an unprecedented seven straight series. Perception is everything.

10: Big Petero retires - May 8

ONE of the toughest props to play the game, Petero Civoniceva announced early in the year that he would retire at season's end.

After 307 first-grade games, he did not get the farewell he wanted, but although the Broncos were bundled out in the first week of the finals, Civoniceva was chaired off the ground by his Queensland teammates after Origin III.

In 2012, the game much-loved players Nathan Hindmarsh, Luke Burt, Ben Hornby and Dean Young, Aaron Payne, Colin Best, Micheal Luck and Casey McGuire also retired.

Topics:  editors picks greg inglis melbourne storm nrl year in review

The Ipswich stamp fair has it all licked

RARE METAL: Dave Roberts with his aluminium Tongan stamps from 1965.

Ipswich stamp fair will feature rare and unusual stamps

Culture feast brightens city

COLOUR: This year's Diwali Festival was a hit.

Diwali Festival embraces happiness and joy

LETTER Monty Python circus with squirrels marrying squirrels

Squirrel in Yellowstone National Park during summer.  - User Contributed

God help us with the current crop of egomaniacs in Canberra

Local Partners

Top floor teams take out The Block's terrace week

Kim and Chris pictured on their winning outdoor terrace in a scene from The Block.

RIVALS Kim and Chris and Julia and Sasha tie in final week of work.

Bob Dylan slammed as 'arrogant' for Nobel silence

Nobel Prize winner Bob Dylan.

Singer the controversial winner of literature Nobel

Shannen Doherty reveals fear of dying in post on chemo

Actor Shannen Doherty shared this image of her lying in a hospital bed after a chemotherapy session.

Actor has been fighting cancer since 2015

Eddie Redmayne's stage fright on latest Harry Potter film

Actor Eddie Redmayne stars in Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Actor felt like kid again when he got to film with a wand

Salma Hayek: 'Trump planted story because I turned him down'

Actor Salma Hayek is the latest woman who says U.S presidential nominee Donald Trump acted inappropriately.

Salma Hayek latest woman to accuse Trump of misconduct

Brisbane snake catcher shows who's the Boss

Brisbane snake catcher Julia Baker returns in season two of Snake Boss.

Hit show Snake Boss is back for another season

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals

Cherrabah's mega resort plans axed

PLANS for a massive development at Cherrabah have been scrapped.

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track