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St Helens 34 Wakefield 30: Trinity denied as leaders Saints increase lead

St Helens Zeb Taia is tackled by Wakefield Trinity's David Fifita (right) and James Batchelor (left).
St Helens Zeb Taia is tackled by Wakefield Trinity's David Fifita (right) and James Batchelor (left).
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St Helens went six points clear at the top of Betfred Super League as they extended their winning run to eight games against Wakefield – the last team to beat them back in April.

However, the hosts were given a huge scare as a resilient Trinity outfit clawed back a 20-6 half-time deficit with four quickfire tries to lead 26-20.

Late tries from Regan Grace, Zeb Taia and James Roby turned the game back in favour of Justin Holbrook’s men in a breathless second half.

Saints took the lead as Grace took the final pass from Mark Percival to score in the corner.

Wakefield were quickly level when winger Tom Johnstone intercepted a pass from Ryan Morgan and had the simple job of touching down.

Some wonderful play from stand-off Jonny Lomax was rewarded when he took an inside pass from Percival to finish off a 40-metre move.

Danny Richardson scored Saints’ third try after he picked up a pass from Tommy Makinson after a high kick had caught out the Wakefield defence. Richardson added the goal as well as a penalty moments later to give Saints a 14-point lead at the break.

But full-back Ryan Hampshire took a pass from former Saints man Matty Ashurst to race in and Liam Finn added the conversion.

Wakefield scored again when Jacob Miller collected his own kick to score by the posts before Mason Caton-Brown fought his way over from dummy half.

Things got even better for Chris Chester’s men when Johnstone claimed his second try as he took Bill Tupou’s pass to the wing and got the ball down.

However, Saints were not finished and they scored the game’s best try in the 65th minute. Taia got clear and had Percival in support, who raced away before Grace cut infield to score.

Saints regained their lead as hooker Roby showed his predatory instincts by bursting through from dummy-half and Richardson’s goal made it 30-26. Saints ended any Wakefield hopes of another comeback when Taia managed to get the ball down.

With time almost up, Reece Lyne kept his side’s faint hopes alive with a try in the corner and Wakefield refused the conversion in order to get the ball back from the restart more quickly but it was to no avail.

St Helens: Barba, Makinson, Morgan, Percival, Grace, Lomax, Richardson, Douglas, Roby, Thompson, Peyroux, Taia, Wilkin. Substitutes: Fages, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Knowles, Lees.

Wakefield: Hampshire, Caton-Brown, Tupou, Lyne, Johnstone, Miller, Finn, England, Randell, Fifita, Batchelor, Ashurst, Arona. Substitutes: Wood, Hirst, Pauli, Annakin.

Referee: James Child (RFL)