Two fires in the Snowy Monaro area and an out-of-control fire at Bawley Point in the Shoalhaven sparked watch alerts from the NSW Rural Fire Service, which urged surrounding residents to prepare to implement their bushfire survival plans.
Temperatures at the NRL grand final – the hottest since observations began at Olympic Park – reached a high of 36 degrees shortly after the start of the women’s grand final between Newcastle and the Gold Coast.
A strong northerly breeze at ground level relieved the players in both the NRLW game and the previous state championship game, which started at 3.55 and 1.20 respectively.
There were no drinks breaks in either game, but Newcastle kept a slushie machine running on the touchline and misting fans to keep players cool.
NRLW players and coaches were unfazed by the conditions, although several players suffered cramps towards the end of the game.
South Sydney employee Charlie Gallico, 79, was perhaps the hardest working man that day, donning his Reggie the Rabbit mascot outfit for the Rabbitohs’ state championship game against the Easts Tigers.
Gallico carried out his duties in the sultry mascot suit as usual before scoring an early goal with 15 minutes left, Souths being home and hosed at that point.
“It was pretty warm, but after 23 years I got used to it,” Gallico said.
“The hottest game I ever played was in Cairns, with 40 degrees humidity and I played the full 80 minutes. I played 15 minutes of the second half. The crowd was quiet so I took an early note. I’ll come back next year, don’t worry.”
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