Super League: St Helens too good for Wakefield Wildcats at Langtree Park
Last Updated: 15/08/14 11:00pm
St Helens powered away from Wakefield in the second half and clinch a 40-16 win to stay top of the First Utility Super League.
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 centre Mark Percival kicked six goals.
Nathan Brown shuffled his team again in the absence of his long-term casualties, with Paul Wellens moved up to scrum-half and replaced by debutant McDonnell at full-back.
Fielding four props from the start, with Jordan Turner providing some variety to the Saints attack, the home side opted for power.
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.
There was the worrying sight of England hooker James Roby leaving the field on 15 minutes, but he was able to return with his leg strapped at the start of the second half.
Saints enjoyed the lion's share of the ball, forcing a number of repeat sets with smart kicking from Turner, Gary Wheeler and Wellens.
However, it was not until the 27th minute that they managed to breach the visitors' line, with quick hands from Wellens sending centre 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 magnificent 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' big men were determined to stamp their authority on the game and one of those - Sia Soliola - forced his way through from close range.
And then 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.