St Helens brushed aside Wakefield Trinity with an eight-try show to notch their third Super League win in a row.
Chris Flannery swept over for a hat-trick and Sol Soliola crossed twice as Saints warmed up for Saturday’s Carnegie Cup quarter-final at Wigan in style.
Wakefield trailed 22-6 at half-time with James Roby scoring a memorable long-range try for Saints in the second half.
The Wildcats had opted to leave out Isaac John and also Paul Johnson against his old club despite clearing a two-match ban.
Andy Ellis stepped into the pack for Oliver Wilkes (thumb).
Saints piled up 98 points in their two league wins last season over Wakefield, who fell behind to Flannery’s try after six minutes, after he supported Paul Wellens’s incisive burst, and Lomax tagged on the straightforward conversion.
But Wakefield hit back almost immediately with Saints’ defence failing to deal with Matt Wildie’s high kick and Dean Collis pouncing on the loose ball, with Paul Sykes converting.
Soliola was prominent for Saints with several thundering tackles but was then at fault with a handling error to allow Ben Cockayne to set up an attack.
Soliola made amends by taking Wellens’s pass to crash through Wildie’s tackle and stretched over the line to make it 12-6.
Wakefield continued to strive for an opening and Danny Kirmond was only denied a try by a superb tackle from Wellens.
Soliola grabbed his second try after taking Roby’s pass to dart 30 metres and outpace the Wildcats’ cover and then Lomax burrowed over, before adding his third conversion to fire his side ahead 22-6 at the break.
Saints turned defence into attack early in the second half after Wakefield’s Frankie Mariano spilled the ball when they threatened to score.
Lomax’s grubber bounced perfectly for Flannery to notch his second try. Roby’s short pass gave Flannery his hat-trick before smart handling from Wellens and Michael Shenton put Tommy Makinson over in the corner.
Then Roby intercepted Collis’s pass near his own line to sprint 90 metres. Peter Fox touched down in the corner after brushing past Meli for Wakefield’s second try, converted by Sykes.
St Helens: Wellens, Makinson, Shenton, J. Jones, Meli, Hohaia, Lomax, Laffranchi, Roby, Clough, Flannery, Soliola, Flanagan. Substitutes: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Dixon, Forster, Greenwood.
Wakefield: Mathers, Fox, Collis, Sykes, Cockayne, Wildie, Smith, Raleigh, Ellis, Amor, Mariano, Kirmond, Washbrook. Substitutes: Mellars, Wood, Aiton, James.
Referee: T Alibert (France).