25 years on from Apollo's memorable try in London

A quarter of a century has elapsed since 'divine intervention' played a part in Saints' successful pursuit of the first Super League title in 1996, or that's what their fans, tongue-in-cheek, have been saying ever since.

Tuesday, 27th July 2021, 10:49 am
Apollo Perelini's match winner in 1996.

Deeply religious prop forward Apollo Pereline was centre stage as he crashed over the whitewash against the London Broncos in a crucial match at the Valley - the home of Charlton Athletic FC.

The Samoan then sunk to his knees, offering a prayer to the Almighty that the try would be allowed and after an agonising larger-than-normal scrutiny of the video evidence, it was given.

Saints went on to clinch two valuable points, leaving their ecstatic fans, who had travelled 200 miles to the capital city bouncing in their seats.

A few matches later they were crowned as the first-ever Super League champions, crushing neighbours Warrington Wolves in front of an 18,000-plus crowd at the old Knowsley Road Stadium.

But the real turning point had been that dramatic late 32-28 win at the Valley on Saturday, July 27, 1996, which catapulted Saints to the title, adding to their Challenge Cup Final win over Bradford Bulls a few months earlier.

Teams - Saints: Prescott, Hayes, Gibbs, Newlove Arnold, Hammond, Goulding Perelini, Cunnigham, Fogerty, Joynt, McVey, Morley. Subs: Matautia, Hunte, Pickavance, Martyn.

London Broncos: Martin, Roskell, Krause, Barwick, Maguire, Tollett, Langer, Allen, Rea, Mestrov, Dill, Rosolen, Matterson.

Subs: Dynevor, Butt, Shaw, Bawden.

Referee: Stuart Cummings (Widnes).

Broncos tries: Roskell 2, Bawden, Roselen. Goal: Barwick 6.

Saints' tries Perelini 2, Gibbs, Heyes, Matautia, Newlove. Goals: Goulding 4..

Attendance: 6,286.