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BBC Five Live's David Oates
"St Helens' thrilling brand of rugby was rewarded"
 real 14k

St Helens coach, Ian Millward
"I thought we were in control most of the game."
 real 14k

Wigan coach Frank Endacott and skipper Andy Farrell
talk to BBC Five Live after the game.
 real 14k

Saturday, 14 October, 2000, 19:27 GMT 20:27 UK
Joynt inspires Saints triumph
Andy Farrell
Wigan captain Andy Farrell (centre) is held back
St Helens 29-16 Wigan

Chris Joynt scored two tries and created another as St Helens won their second consecutive Super League Grand Final.

While skipper Joynt held everything together during the first half, the moment of the evening came in the final 30 seconds when Tim Jonkers rounded off a sweeping move to make the victory as emphatic as possible.

Wigan played their part in a dramatic and exciting final, but on the day they were second best to their great rivals in all departments.

While captain Andy Farrell was his usual dominating self, his big name colleagues were not as imposing and the game proved a sad way for Jason Robinson to sign off as a rugby league player.

But nothing should be allowed to deflect from the effort given by St Helens, who for once defended as well as they attacked.

Sean Hoppe scored the first try for St Helens wriggling through three challenges. But the conversion was missed.

Burst

But five minutes later, a burst from Robinson created gaps in the St Helens line and when the ball was fed to Farrell, the captain powered his way through with a 20 yard run.

The usually dependable Farrell missed the straightforward conversion, indicative of the nerves being shown by all concerned.

Although Wigan looked more threatening for the following 20 minute period, a series of mistakes allowed St Helens to take possesion in good territorial position.

With the ball worked from right to left, Chris Joynt used his power to make it to the line from five yards out. This time, the conversion was easily made.

More Saints pressure gave Paul Sculthorpe the chance to add a point with a drop goal and the player duly obliged from just 25 yards.

Inspirational

After Wigan had gone very close to narrowing the gap after a tremendous break by Steve Renouf, the inspirational Joynt grabbed his second try with Sean Long cutting through the centre and supplying his captain with a pass which gave him the freedom of Old Trafford.

Long duly converted the try which extended the lead to 13 points.

After some fierce exchanges between Wigan's Tony Mestrov and Perelini, the Warriors seemed rejuvenated and a sensational burst of two tries in a couple of minutes got them back in the game in a big way.

In the 58th minute substitute Chris Chester got young winger David Hodgson into the clear and he shrugged off a despairing tackle from Joynt to touch down for a try which Farrell goaled.

Break

Shortly after, a super break by Farrell created room for Tony Smith who was happy to stroll through.

But Wigan were unable to do enough to grab the lead and Fereti Tuilagi scored at the right corner after an error from Hodgson.

After the video referee reviewed the action leading up to the try, the score was confirmed and Long kicked a superb conversion to extend the lead to seven points again.

During the closing minutes, Wigan were denied a try by the video referee, which seemed to indicate which way the cup was going, a fact underlined by the try scored by Jonkers in the final moments.


St Helens: Wellens, Hall, Iro, Hoppe, Sullivan, Martyn, Long, Perelini, Cunningham, O'Neill, Jonkers, Joynt, Sculthorpe. Replacements: Tuilagi, Nickle, Stankevitch, Barrow.

Wigan: Robinson, Dallas, Renouf, Radlinski, Hodgson, T. Smith, Peters, O'Connor, Newton, Cowie, Cassidy, Betts, Farrell. Replacements: Malam, Mestrov, Chester, Gilmour.

Referee: R Smith (Castleford)

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See also:

14 Oct 00 |  Rugby League
Grand final clockwatch
14 Oct 00 |  Rugby League
Millward salutes super Saints
14 Oct 00 |  Photo Galleries
Super League Grand Final - in pictures
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