St Helens 40 Wakefield Trinity 16: Wakefield have no answer to the power of Saints

St Helens powered away from Wakefield in the second half to stay top of the First Utility Super League.

Wakefield Trinity Wildcats new head coach James Webster

Saints’ much-changed team dominated the opening 40 minutes only to have just a six-point cushion to show for it at the break at 12-6 in front, but they found their killer instinct after the interval and ran out winners by seven tries to three.

Tommy Makinson, Josh Jones and Shannon McDonnell scored two tries each, while Mark Percival kicked six goals.

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Saints took an early lead when McDonnell’s chip on the last tackle forced an error and from the subsequent free play Percival dabbed through for Makinson to touch down.

Saints enjoyed the lion’s share of the ball, but it was not until the 27th minute that they managed to breach the visitors’ line, with quick hands from Wellens sending Jones cantering home.

Trinity countered with a late flourish just before the break and were rewarded with a close-range score from Danny Washbrook, with Jarrod Sammut’s goal cutting the deficit to six points at the break.

Saints were quick out of the blocks in the second half and a super break from Percival, followed by a clever kick down the touchline, yielded a debut try for McDonnell. Percival added the conversion, but Trinity hit back shortly afterwards.

Scrum-half Tim Smith was afforded all the time in the world to pick his spot on the right to loft the ball for Richard Owen to attack, out-jumping Matty Dawson to touch down. However, Saints’ Sia Soliola forced his way through from close range.

A great break from Roby, backed up by Turner, ended up with McDonnell chasing up in support from full-back to bag his second of the night. Jones added his second and, although Lee Gilmour grabbed a late consolation against his old club, Saints had the last word with Makinson completing his brace.

St Helens: McDonnell, Makinson, Jones, Percival, Dawson, Wheeler, Wellens, Amor, Roby, Walmsley, Laffranchi, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Turner. Substitutes: Masoe, Soliola, Manu, Flanagan.

Wakefield: Jowitt, Owen, Collis, Lyne, Riley, Sammut, T. Smith, Anderson, McShane, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Substitutes: Wildie, Tautai, Molloy, Gilmour.

Referee: P Bentham (Blackpool).