Saturday 17 March 2018 / 09:22 PM


Newcastle and St George Illawarra, who square off on Saturday at Hunter Stadium, aren’t enjoying the happiest of seasons in 2016.

But the rivals were among the NRL’s heavyweights in 1999 when they produced a late-season classic at the Sydney Football Stadium.

The scorer of the most famous last-gasp try in grand final history reprised his match-winning role less than two years later at the same venue in a dramatic Knights victory.

The Dragons – in their first season as a joint venture – looked to have snatched a late win in the see-sawing clash when they scored twice inside the final eight minutes, including the go-ahead score to hooker Nathan Brown in the 77th minute.

Trailing 20-18, the Knights, whose linchpin Andrew Johns had just left the field injured in the latter stages, recovered the ball from a short kick-off.

With only seconds remaining, centre Matthew Gidley slipped a brilliant trademark pass to winger Darren Albert, who tiptoed down the sideline to win the game 22-20.

Albert scored the buzzer-beating try in the 22-16 Grand Final defeat of Manly at the SFS in 1997 that delivered Newcastle’s first premiership.

[YouTube – Scott Brown]

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Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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