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9th July 2000: Wigan 28 St Helens 30
Posted by cherryandwhite on October 21 2013 - 20:35

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Wigan Warriors v St Helens - Tetley's Super League V Round 18
Sunday 9th July 2000. Kick Off 7:05pm at JJB Stadium.

Match Report

St Helens showed all their champion qualities to snatch a dramatic victory and end the unbeaten home record of arch-rivals Wigan.

A controversial try from stand-off Tommy Martyn four minutes from the end of a remarkable Super League clash denied Wigan the chance to return to the top of the table and took Saints level with new leaders Bradford.

St Helens had trailed from the fourth minute of an epic clash and capped an astonishing comeback with Martyn's hat-trick try four minutes from the end.

Martyn lost the ball as he jinked his way through for the killer try but the video referee, who kept the 17,428 JJB Stadium record crowd on tenterhooks as he agonised over his decision, ruled the ball had been dislodged by defender Lee Gilmour.

That try levelled the scores and former Wigan player Sean Long kicked his fifth goal from six attempts to secure a famous victory.

So a week after ending Bradford's unbeaten home record, the Warriors were forced to relinquish their 100% record at the JJB Stadium - but coach Frank Endacott must be wondering just how his side lost this all-action derby.

Wigan, in buoyant mood after their magnificent win at Odsal, played some breathtaking attacking rugby to race into a 16-0 lead after only 11 minutes.

But Saints regrouped and came up with some scintillating play of their own to cut the gap to just four points by half-time and would have been level but for a disallowed try by winger Anthony Sullivan two minutes before the break.

Sullivan failed to ground the ball as he crossed the line but he went on to make amends by scoring a sensational length-of-the-field try to set up the dramatic finish.

The warning signs appeared for St Helens as early as the second minute when skipper Andy Farrell, once more dictating at will from the stand-off position, got loose forward Chris Chester over but the try was disallowed for a forward pass.

The floodgates were opened in typical fashion by Farrell, who brushed aside a challenge from captain Chris Joynt to split the Saints defence wide open and magnificent support play by Willie Peters, Terry Newton and Jason Robinson enabled centre Steve Renouf to score the opening try.

Farrell, an immensely influential figure for the Warriors, was also closely involved in his side's next two tries.

Teenage winger David Hodgson, who scored a try on his first senior appearance earlier this season, marked his full debut with another touchdown courtesy of Gary Connolly's inside pass and prop Neil Cowie, deceptively light on his feet, then produced some neat footwork to send Chester over.

Saints, hammered 44-6 by Melbourne at the JJB Stadium six months ago, must have feared another humiliation when Farrell kicked his second conversion to make it 16-0.

But centre Sean Hoppe launched the comeback on 22 minutes when he brushed aside three would-be tacklers to score a solo try.

Long kicked the conversion and put over a penalty shortly afterwards after being obstructed while chasing his own kick.

And the game was blown wide open four minutes later when Martyn charged down a kick from Farrell on the first tackle and hacked on a second time during a 60-metre chase to the line before beating full-back Kris Radlinski to the vital touch.

Long's third goal made it 16-14 and although Farrell put over a penalty after Saints substitute Vila Matautia was pulled up for interference at a play-the-ball, Saints ought to have drawn level when Sullivan successfully chased Long's speculative kick to the corner only to lose control of the ball.

Wigan edged further in front with another penalty from Farrell following an indiscretion by Matautia and a fourth drop goal of the season from Peters.

Tough guy Matautia, who left Chester crumbled in a heap during a first-half charge, appeared to fend off Renouf's attempted tackle with an elbow to the head of his opponent and was placed on report by referee Stuart Cummings.

In a game of high-class defence as well as brilliant attacking play, full-backs Paul Wellens and Radlinski both came to their teams' rescue with try-saving tackles on Renouf and Long respectively.

However, Wigan were unable to regroup quickly enough from Long's foray and Martyn dummied his way over for his second try on 51 minutes and Long's fourth goal brought his side to within a point to leave the match balanced on a knife-edge.

When Renouf sliced through the Saints defence for his second try on the hour the game looked over, but Sullivan's length-of-the-field try 13 minutes from the end provided another turning point.

Martyn was simply trying to clear his line when he picked up Farrell's grubber kick by his own posts but found himself in oceans of space and the supporting Sullivan held off Robinson in a thrilling sprint to the line.

Hodgson, 18, then blotted his copybook when he failed to take Martyn's kick and Saints used possession from the resultant scrum to set up the match-winner.

Team Sheets

- Wigan Position St Helens -
1 Kris Radlinski Full Back Paul Wellens 17
26 David Hodgson Winger Steve Hall 24
4 Gary Connolly Centre Kevin Iro 3
3 Steve Renouf Centre Sean Hoppe 15
5 Jason Robinson Winger Anthony Sullivan 5
13 Andy Farrell Stand Off Tommy Martyn 20
7 Willie Peters Scrum Half Sean Long 7
8 Terry O'Connor Prop Sonny Nickle 12
9 Terry Newton Hooker Keiron Cunningham 9
10 Neil Cowie Prop Julian O'Neill 10
11 Mick Cassidy 2nd Row Chris Joynt 11
12 Denis Betts 2nd Row Apollo Perelini 8
19 Chris Chester L.Forward Paul Sculthorpe 13
-
14 Lee Gilmour Substitute Vila Matautia 16
17 Tony Mestrov Substitute Tim Jonkers 22
18 Wes Davies Substitute Scott Barrow 23
23 Brady Malam Substitute Mike Bennett 30
- Frank Endacott Coach Ian Millward -

Score Sheet

Wigan Warriors 28 --- St Helens 30
Tries:
Steve Renouf 2
Dave Hodgson
Chris Chester
--- Tries:
Sean Hoppe
Tommy Martyn 3
Anthony Sullivan
Goals:
Andy Farrell 5
--- Goals:
Sean Long 5
Drop Goals:
Willie Peters 2
--- ---

Half Time

Wigan 18 St Helens 14

Referee

Stuart Cummings (Widnes)

Match Attendance

17,428

Table after this Round

1st:l Bradford - Played - 18 - Won - 14 - Drawn - 2 ` Lost - 2 - Points: - 30
2nd:l St Helens - Played - 18 - Won - 15 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 3 - Points: - 30
3rd:l

Wigan

- Played - 18 - Won - 14 - Drawn - 1 ` Lost - 3 - Points: - 29
4th:l Leeds - Played - 18 - Won - 11 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 7 - Points: - 22
5th:l Castleford - Played - 18 - Won - 11 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 7 - Points: - 22

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

6th:l Hull FC - Played - 18 - Won - 9 - Drawn - 1 ` Lost - 8 - Points: - 19
7th:l Halifax - Played - 18 - Won - 8 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 10 - Points: - 16
8th:l Warrington - Played - 18 - Won - 7 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 11 - Points: - 14
9th:l Salford - Played - 18 - Won - 6 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 12 - Points: - 12
10th:l Wakefield - Played - 18 - Won - 5 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 13 - Points: - 10
11th:l London - Played - 18 - Won - 4 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 14 - Points: - 8
12th:l Hudds-Sheff - Played - 18 - Won - 2 - Drawn - 0 ` Lost - 16 - Points: - 4

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

Top 5 Qualified for Play Offs

Super League 5 - Round 18 Results

Fri 7 July - Warrington Wolves 34 Halifax Blue Sox 12 - 6,243
Sat 8 July - Castleford Tigers 16 Wakefield Wildcats 12 - 8,043
Sun 9 July - Huddersfield-Sheffield 20 Leeds Rhinos 48 - 3,226
Sun 9 July - London Broncos 16 Bradford Bulls 24 - 4,063
Sun 9 July - Salford City Reds 30 Hull FC 22 - 3,494
Sun 9 July - Wigan Warriors 28 St Helens 30 - 3,325
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