St. Helens 16 Bradford Bulls 11 (VIEW MATCH)
2000 Super League qualifying play-off
One in a million!
This Qualifying Play Off was always a pulsating affair, with some incredible tackling, although there was a nervous 'edge' to the proceedings. Yet it looked as though Bradford had sealed a memorable victory over their rivals when they led 11-10 after 74 minutes, courtesy of a Henry Paul drop-goal. As the clock ticked down, Bradford hooker James Lowes unleashed an enormous kick from his own quarter to pin the Saints back virtually on their own try-line.
Chris Joynt scores
The Bradford defence held firm, until the fourth tackle, when substitute Dwayne West, who had replaced Newlove a minute before, was dragged into touch by Vaikona. Referee Smith gave the penalty and there were two options, either a kick and chase, or try and keep the ball alive and somehow look for an opening! Cunningham picked up from acting-half back and fed Long, who ran parallel with the 20 metre line to the right and kicked to his centre Kevin Iro. The big Kiwi had to catch the ball facing his own posts, a fine piece of skill, and passed out wide to winger Steve Hall. A cut inside and Hall passed inside to Hoppe, who returned the compliment with an overhead pass. Hall handed on to Jonkers, who found Sean Long once more. He took play to the left with a lateral run. Then, a pass to West out wide on the Main Stand touchline, who picked up speed. He slipped past Smith's attempted tackle and changed pace to beat Henry Paul's desperate diving challenge. As full-back Withers closed in, he passed inside to the ever-alert Chris Joynt - the one and only Captain Fantastic - who ignored Lowes' last-ditch attempted tackle as he dived over the line with his fist raised in triumph - an unbelievable score, with minus ten seconds on the clock!
'The most dramatic moment in Super League history,' gasped Sky commentator Eddie Hemmings - and who could argue with him! Saints' fans could hardly believe what they had just witnessed - the greatest finish in rugby league history! Will we ever see the like again?