Winger Tom Davies and second rower Matt Whitley both scored hat-tricks as Catalans Dragons routed an injury-hit Wakefield 58-0 at St Helens to go top of the Betfred Super League.
Even without centre Israel Folau, who stayed behind in Perpignan following the birth of his first child on Wednesday, the Dragons had too much pace and power for their out-of-touch opponents as they ran in 10 tries without reply.
Former Wigan player Davies had to wait six months to make his Catalans debut after arriving in Perpignan with a leg injury but has quickly made his mark, with five tries in his first three appearances.
His tryscoring feat was witnessed by England coach Shaun Wane watching from the empty stands at the Totally Wicked Stadium who will have been even more impressed by Davies’ former Wigan team-mate Sam Tomkins’ spectacular return from suspension.
A two-match ban turned into a five-month nightmare for Tomkins but, like Davies, he made up for lost time as he tormented the Trinity defence all evening with his trickery.
Little went right for Wakefield, who were originally due to face champions St Helens on Sunday until a spate of positive Covid-19 tests forced a fixture reorganisation and they ran into a Dragons team buoyant from a 40-14 win over Castleford that breathed fire from the kick-off.
Already without prolific winger Tom Johnstone, Trinity suffered a spate of first-half injuries that forced coach Chris Chester to constantly reshuffle his line-up.
Among the victims was France full-back Tony Gigot, whose involvement against his old club lasted just 25 minutes as he hobbled out of the action.
Forwards Kelepi Tanginoa (rib) and Adam Tangata (head) and winger Lee Kershaw (hamstring) also succumbed to knocks before half-time, when Wakefield trailed 24-0.
The early signs were ominous as the Dragons bombed two early clear-cut chances, the most glaring one by centre Samisoni Langi, who was put through a gap by Tomkins and, after failing to use support runners either side of him, stumbled on the turf to pull up short of the line.
The misses were hardly costly, however, as Tomkins continued to work his magic.
Whitley took Josh Drinkwater’s short ball to cross for the opening try and Langi finished off a break by Fouad Yaha after Tomkins’ cut-out pass had released the left winger into space.
Davies then scored his first try, courtesy of another Tomkins cut-out pass, and James Maloney converted all three before adding a penalty to stretch his side’s advantage to 20-0 after 20 minutes.
Wakefield could not get a foothold in the game and seven minutes later Davies grabbed his second try after more superlative play from Tomkins to increase the lead to 24-0.
Any hope of a fightback by the Yorkshire club was extinguished within a minute of the restart when Tomkins split their defence and David Mead sent Davies over for his third try and substitute prop Julian Bousquet literally fell over the line for the Dragons’ sixth try on 47 minutes.
Things went from bad to worse for Wakefield when Yaha scored from an overlap and Whitley went over twice in five minutes to complete his hat-trick before Langi pounced for his second.
Maloney took his goal tally to seven from nine attempts – he struck an upright with both of his misses – before being given a rest and Tomkins took over the goalkicking, succeeding with both his efforts.