St Helens 52-6 Wakefield

Jamie Foster grabbed a personal haul of 24 points as St Helens crushed Wakefield 52-6 at the Stobart Stadium.

The match was over as a contest before the break as Saints ran in four converted tries, and although Wakefield did manage to get on the scoresheet through former Saints centre Chris Dean, the home side were always well in control.

Wakefield found themselves under the cosh straight from the kick-off when Frankie Mariano allowed the ball to bounce and Kevin Penny ended up being trapped in goal to immediately put Saints on the front foot.

The Wildcats withstood the early pressure and Saints were soon forced to kicking in behind their defence, with Lee Gaskell‘s grubber nearly resulting in a try for Chris Flannery, who was agonisingly close to beating Penny over the line, and some observers may have pointed at the video referee to decide.

Instead it was a second drop-out for the home side and they forced another soon after when another smart Gaskell kick was patted behind by Matt Blaymire.

The visitors’ resistance finally crumbled in the 18th minute, when Saints created some width on the left hand side and Paul Wellens‘ long pass enabled Jamie Foster enough room to cross for the game’s first try.

Having finally shrugged off their Stobart Stadium hoodoo with three consecutive home wins, Saints soon found themselves camped at the west stand side of the ground once again, and it was again Gaskell causing the defence problems, forcing a penalty on the right hand side. From the resulting set of six, Jonny Lomax burrowed his way over, with Foster adding his second conversion for 12-0.

By now, all the momentum was with Saints, and they worked the blind side well for a lovely third try. Outnumbering their opponents down the left, Jon Wilkin sold a beautiful dummy and raced away, before putting Foster in around full-back Blaymire for his second try.

The game was put well beyond doubt before half time when Saints this time moved it right, and England centre Michael Shenton managed to find enough room in the line to carry a couple of men over the line for his fifth try of the season.

The travelling fans were given something to shout about when Dean pounced on a Wilkin kick and raced 60 metres for a score, with Josh Griffin‘s conversion reducing arrears to 24-6.

But once Ade Gardner had crossed in the corner, it was a case of how many Saints would score. James Roby scythed through a gap in the Wakefield defence before releasing Gary Wheeler on his shoulder to run under the sticks for 34-6.

Where Gaskell had excelled in the first half, Wheeler popped up in the second half, and Saints’ pace was causing a tiring Wakefield problems.

Lomax and Wheeler paired up to send Wellens over for his try with a lovely short ball, and then Wheeler made a fine break on half way before putting Tony Puletua in for a try at 46-6.

But Saints perhaps saved the try of the match until last, when replacement Tommy Makinson made a blistering 80 metre break to bring up the fifty and help lift Saints above Castleford and up to second in the Super League table.

St Helens: Wellens, Gardner, Shenton, Wheeler, Foster, Gaskell, Lomax, Graham, Roby, McCarthy-Scarsbrook, Flannery, Soliola, Puletua. Subs: Wilkin, Moore, Magennis, Makinson.
Tries: Foster 17, 32; Lomax 25, Shenton 37, Gardner 52, Wheeler 56, Wellens 66, Puletua 71, Makinson 79.
Goals: Foster 8

Wakefield: Blaymire, Penny, Dean, George, Griffin, Jeffries, Lee, Amor, Rinaldi, Johnson, McCarthy, Mariano, Howarth. Subs: King, Henderson, Higgins, Wildie.
Tries: Dean 44
Goals: Griffin

Attendance: 7003

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