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Briers stars in back to the future
Warrington stand-off Lee Briers helped recreate history with a late drop goal in Friday night's 17-17 Super League draw with Wigan at the DW Stadium but was totally oblivious to the astonishing coincidences from 14 years ago.
It was Briers who kicked a one-pointer at Wilderspool in 1999 to help his side snatch a point after they had trailed 17-16. Just 57 seconds were left on the clock in that match 14 years ago while Briers had three minutes to spare last night when he put over the 68th drop goal of his Super League career.
"I had two more attempts but we couldn't get close enough to the Wigan line," said Briers, the most prolific drop-goal kicker in Super League history. "Someone mentioned the coincidence afterwards but I honestly can't remember it. I've had too many head knocks."
He added: "It is crazy, though. They say lightning doesn't strike twice but it obviously does. Perhaps it's something to go in the book."
The coincidences do not stop there. Wigan's then captain Andy Farrell was a tryscorer in 1999 and on Friday Liam Farrell, a distant cousin, was among the tries for the Warriors.
And Steve Ganson, the match referee 14 years ago, was the video referee this time.
Briers, now 34, is the only Warrington player from the 1999 team still playing the game while Jon Clarke (now with Widnes) and Lee Gilmour (Castleford) are the sole survivors from that Wigan side.
The point Warrington gained in 1999 counted for little in the end as they failed to reach the play-offs but they are the bookmakers' favourites to finish top of the table in 2013.
Briers added: "I don't know whether it's a point won or a point lost but at this stage it doesn't matter too much.
"I'm just glad we were able to put on a spectacle and showcase what the game is all about. That's the main thing we got out of it."