Super League: St Helens' response against Wakefield pleases Nathan Brown
Last Updated: 16/08/14 7:43am
Nathan Brown was delighted after St Helens claimed a seven-try 40-16 victory over Wakefield after being forced to re-jig his side throughout the game.
With injury ruling out hooker James Roby and Gary Wheeler for periods of the game, Brown had to shuffle his team, playing to the strengths of the players available, with Shannon McDonnell going to full-back and Paul Wellens operating at scrum-half.
Tommy Makinson, Josh Jones and McDonnell each grabbed a brace of tries and it was the performance of the latter who impressed Brown, who was relieved his side avoided a potential banana skin.
Brown said: "I thought the boys did a super job given we had to change people around and the positions they were in.
"We lost Robes with a really nasty gash in his leg for half a game and Gary Wheeler for a spell and they are positions where we have injuries at the minute.
"On top of that, Wakefield have picked up some big scalps in recent weeks so I have nothing but positive views on that.
"Tonight was a good start for us and now we have two weeks to prepare for Leeds.
"I thought the guys were terrific, but Shannon did well and has paid his way already by scoring a couple and helping us win the game. I think he will get even better the more he plays.
"Jordan Turner was sensational and really controlled the game for us brilliantly."
Brown revealed that Wheeler has added to Saints' injury woes with a groin problem.
As well as McDonnell's, Makinson's and Jones' tries, Saints' further touchdown came from Sia Soliola as they remained top of the First Utility Super League.
Wakefield were competitive until the hour mark, but fell away at the end despite tries from Danny Washbrook, Richard Owen and one from Saints old boy Lee Gilmour.
Wildcats boss James Webster said: "I thought we tried really hard but we were up against it given the size and power of their team across the park. Their weight of possession, size and power hurt us at the end of the game.
"Full credit to St Helens for the way they played - they had to play a different style of footy because they have no half backs, but when you stack power like that it is hard to compete against. We have no problems scoring points but it took us 30 minutes to get on their try line."