The Wildcats left Langtree Park empty handed as St. Helens overpowered James Webster’s men.
Missing many half-back options, Nathan Brown opted for power and although the home side didn’t carve open the Wildcats defence, they did batter through it regularly and got their rewards.
Shannon McDonnell got a brace on his debut with Josh Jones (2), Sia Soliola and Tommy Makinson (2) also crossing for the Saints.
Danny Washbrook marked his new deal with a first half try and there were second half scores for Richard Owen and Lee Gilmour but Trinity’s efforts to fight their way back into the game never really gathered any momentum.
James Webster handed 17-year old England Academy squad full-back Max Jowitt a debut at full-back and was able to welcome back Dean Collis and Scott Anderson from injury. Jon Molloy started on the replacements bench in the fourth change from the side that faced Huddersfield Giants.
The Saints side was packed full of power with McCarthy-Scarsbrook and Anthony Laffranchi both starting in the second-row as they looked to overpower the Wildcats. It took just three minutes for Saints to open the scoring as they took advantage of a free play. Shannon McDonnell’s grubber bounced wickedly in front of Jowitt who fumbled it to Mark Percival and his kick to the corner was chased down and superbly finished by Makinson.
Saints then lay siege to the Wildcats line and there was a spell where Trinity barely got away from their own try line and conceded three goal line drop-outs. But for all Saints’ power the Trinity defence stood firm until the 27th minute when the hosts worked an opening for Jones who stepped inside his man and sets his sights on the try line from ten metres.
Trinity could take encouragement from getting on the outside of the Saints defence on a number of occasions but it came from deep within their own half, such was the territorial superiority of the home side. However, Wakefield did end the half with points with only their second good ball set. Tim Smith was the creator, his flat pass to Washbrook saw the loose-forward crash over next to the sticks to celebrate his new one-year deal. Jarrod Sammut converted to leave the score 12-6 at the break.
Having given themselves a foothold in the game the Wildcats couldn’t have asked for a worse start to the second half. Sammut’s kick just inside the Saints half deflected off an opposition leg, was hacked on twice by Percival and it was McDonnell who chased it down and beat Wildie in the race to the ball.
Wakefield again fought back with a rare spell of ball near the Saints line. The attack appeared to have lost its impetus but Smith maintained his composure to hang a kick to the right corner that was claimed superbly by Owen to score.
However, again St. Helens almost immediately restored their lead after Gilmour’s error on the very next set. Saints went route one and Soliola was too big and too strong for the Trinity defence just metres out from the line.
The Wildcats then had back-to-back sets on the Saints line which came to nothing and the hosts responded with interest, Turner making the break and flicking out the offload which led to McDonnell’s second try.
If there was still a glimmer of hope left for the Wildcats it was wiped out with 14 minutes remaining after Saints again used their power with Jones carrying three defenders over the line with him.
Gilmour got over with ten minutes remaining and received a great reception from the home fans after his successful spell at the club.
Makinson got his second on the hooter after a brilliantly judged kick from Wellens as Saints went top of the First Utility Super League table.
WILDCATS: Jowitt, Owen, Collis, Lyne, Riley, Sammut, T. Smith, Anderson, McShane, Raleigh, Lauitiiti, Kirmond, Washbrook. Wildie, Tautai, Molloy, Gilmour.