WAKEFIELD TRINITY produced a much-improved display at runaway Super League league leaders St Helens but it wasn’t enough to bring a halt to their worrying run of form.
Trinity have now lost nine of their last 10 league games and have just five fixtures to secure their Super League survival.
They will need to find a win sooner rather than later, however head coach Chris Chester will be encouraged by his side’s display on Friday evening.
For the opening 25 minutes, Wakefield looked a different outfit to the one that had been thumped by Wigan Warriors just over two weeks ago.
Free-flowing Saints weren’t given an inch by a determined Trinity, who produced one of their best defensive stints of the season in the first quarter.
Wakefield welcomed back Danny Kirmond and Craig Kopczak but were without captain Jacob Miller, who was replaced at half-back by Ryan Hampshire.
The score was locked at 2-2 until the 27th minute, highlighting the defensive intent from both sets of players.
However, St Helens only needed an eight-minute spell of dominance to grab the game by the scruff of the neck.
They scored three unanswered tries to leave Trinity 18 points adrift at the interval, despite Chester’s side matching Justin Holbrook’s high-flyers for the majority of the first 40 minutes.
The 20-2 half-time scoreline was harsh on Wakefield, who had defended superbly against a side who have now scored 7xx points in the league this year.
There was no score for the first 31 minutes of the second half as Trinity continued to go toe-to-toe with their hosts.
The second-period deadlock was finally broken when Kevin Naiqama burst onto a short ball to seal victory for the home side.
The hosts took the lead with seven minutes gone when Danny Richardson slotted over a penalty after Kelepi Tanginoa was penalised for a high tackle.
Wakefield levelled it up through Danny Brough when he converted a penalty goal after Anthony England was held down in the tackle.
Richardson grabbed the first try on 27 minutes as he glided through the Wakefield defence to score near the posts.
Louis McCarthy-Scarsbrook scored a second for the hosts just five minutes later as he pounced on a deflected kick to dot down under the posts.
The try was cruel on Trinity, who had almost managed to hold St Helens out for three-straight sets. Tommy Makinson then planted down in the corner to put the home side in control.
Wakefield continued to battle deep into the second half but Naiqama’s try put the result beyond doubt.
Tanginoa grabbed a late consolation for Wakefield, giving the small contingent of Trinity supporters something to cheer.
St Helens: Welsby, Makinson, Naiqama, Percival, Swift, Fages, Richardson, Lees, Roby, Thompson, Taia, Peyroux, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Subs: Amor, Paulo, Ashworth, Bentley.
Wakefield Trinity: Jowitt, Jones-Bishop, Lyne, Arundel, Tupou, Hampshire, Brough, England, Randell, Kopczak, Kirmond, Tanginoa, Annakin. Subs: Fifita, Hirst, King, Wood.
Referee: Mr M. Griffiths.