St. Helens 32 Wigan 16 (VIEW MATCH)
2000 Grand Final
Although the Saints finished in second place in the league, they gave their fans a real roller-coaster ride to Old Trafford, not least with their first play-off victory, against Bradford Bulls, when Chris Joynt’s ‘overtime’ try dubbed ‘Wide to West’ ensured an unlikely success and the chance to meet first-placed Wigan at the JJB Stadium. The Saints roared in for a sensational 54-16 success and Wigan were forced to play a final eliminator against Bradford before joining them at Old Trafford.
Chris Joynt try
The third Super League Grand Final was a stunning spectacle and, despite the one-sided nature of the previous clash between the two sides was very much in the balance until the last quarter. Saints, without star centre Paul Newlove, were first off the blocks with a well-crafted try by Sean Hoppe after just seven minutes. They led 11-4 at half-time, with a further four-pointer from skipper Chris Joynt, a Sean Long conversion and a Paul Sculthorpe drop-goal. Andy Farrell scored Wigan’s try.
In a fast, open game the Saints appeared to be cruising at 17-4 when Chris Joynt notched his second try in the 50th minute. Yet on the hour, Wigan had pulled the lead back to a single point, with tries from David Hodgson and Tony Smith and there was a need for stability and consolidation in the St. Helens ranks. A couple of crucial penalties gave the Saints the initiative to score once more, however, courtesy of Fereti Tuilagi, who was playing his last game of rugby league before retirement. Virtually on the hooter, Saints clinched it, when Anthony Sullivan gave the ball to Tim Jonkers, who touched down gleefully to clinch a 29-16 victory and the club’s first-ever back-to-back Grand Final success. Saints’ skipper Chris Joynt received the Harry Sunderland trophy after a fantastic individual display.