Saints too hot for Wakefield Wildcats

Wakefield Trinity WildcatsWakefield Trinity Wildcats
Wakefield Trinity Wildcats
St Helens ran in eight tries to romp to their biggest win of the season and piled more agony on beleaguered Wakefield who fell to a 44-4 defeat.

It was a nightmare start for Wildcats’ temporary coach Stuart Dickens who was thrown into the hot seat after Brian Smith’s shock resignation in midweek.

Saints were 30-0 ahead at the interval and were never in trouble with Joe Greenwood starting the rout with two tries in the first nine minutes.

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Tommy Makinson and James Roby also scored two tries each with Jon Wilkin and Matty Dawson crossing as well.

Luke Walsh was influential at scrum half, setting up several tries, and also kicking six goals from eight attempts.

There was no place in the Saints line up for Travis Burns, despite being available after serving a one-match ban, but Greenwood returned in the second row with Theo Fages missing out in a reshuffle.

The Wildcats included ex-Saints prop Anthony Walker on the bench with Jason Walton in the centre after missing the home defeat by Catalan - Smith’s last match in charge before returning to Australia.

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Saints had no problem defending a seven-year unbeaten home record against Wakefield who were hammered 40-16 on their last visit in August.

The Wildcats made a disastrous start, falling behind after just three minutes when Greenwood touched down for his first try of the season with Walsh tagging on the conversion.

But play was then held up for eight minutes when Saints lost Adam Swift who was carried off on a stretcher with a leg injury.

Substitute Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook made an immediate impression by pulling off a superb tackle on Reece Lyne who looked set to race clear.

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Greenwood notched his second try after neat play by Wilkin and Walsh to open up a 12-0 lead.

Saints were finding it all too easy with Walsh and Shannon McDonnell combining for Wilkin to stroll through a yawning gap after 17 minutes to make it 18-0.

McCarthy-Scarsbrook had a try disallowed before Roby exposed more poor defence to burrow over with Walsh’s fourth conversion stretching the advantage to 24-0.

Makinson slid over for the fifth try with Wakefield looking a demoralised outfit, Walsh showing no mercy by booting the touchline conversion to add to the Wildcats’ troubles.

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Craig Hall saved a try for Wakefield with a timely interception from an Atelea Vea pass and the visitors broke clear for Ben Jones-Bishop to cross in the corner. Greenwood returned from a spell on the bench to combine with Makinson to set up Roby’s second try after 54 minutes to make it 36-4.

Tom Johnstone was forced into a desperate clearance as Saints piled on the pressure and it was no surprise when Makinson went in at the corner for his second try.

Walsh missed his first conversion but 40-4 was a fair reflection of the night’s proceedings.

It was damage limitation for Wakefield, who then conceded an eighth try to Dawson after adventurous handling.

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Makinson should have completed a hat-trick but fumbled a kick with the line open in the closing minutes.

St Helens: McDonnell; Makinson, Peyroux, Dawson, Swift; Turner, Walsh; Walmsley, Roby, Amor, Vea, Greenwood, Wilkin. Subs: McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Tasi, Richards, Thompson.

Wakefield: Jones-Bishop; Lyne, Walton, Hall, Johnstone; Miller, Finn; Scruton, Howarth, England, A. Tupou, Ashurst, Arona. Subs: Simon, Sio, Anderson, Walker.

Referee: Gareth Hewer.