St. Helens proved to be too strong for Wakefield Wildcats who showed fighting spirit to the final whistle.
Craig Hall got the game underway for Trinity in the Fist Utility Super league game featuring ’the Trin’ on Sky for the first time this year. St helens came into the game unbeaten whilst the Wildcats had followed two impressive victories against Castleford and Hull KR with a disappointing result at Widnes last time out.
A tense opening from both sides resulted in some tough collisions and two busy physio’s working overtime. It was clear that both sides came to game looking to dominate the middle channels and move the ball to the edges once momentum had been created.
10 minutes into the first half, Jonny Lomax made a break down the centre of the field. A superb last ditch tackle from Hall after some excellent scramble defence saved the Wildcats however on the next play Paul Wellens kept his composure and scored for the visitors. Mark Percival converted to put the visitors into the lead by 6-0.
Trinity responded well as Nick Scruton and Danny Washbrook forced an error inside the Saints half with uncompromising effort and desire. Minutes later Jacob Miller won a penalty for Wakefield, 10 metres out, but the home side could not take advantage and Saints broke down the field. Jacob Miller dealt with a Wilkin kick to take the pressure off for the home side.
Saints applied more pressure on Trinity by winning a couple of penalties, the visitors looked certain to score their second try of the game, but there was a sigh of relief for Trinity after they threw a forward pass.
The home side showed they still had a lot of fight in them; the ball was spread out to the left towards Jacob Miller who floated a pass out into Ashursts’ path. The former Saints back-rower burst through the line and beat the covering Lomax to go over and score Trinity’s first try of the game. Craig Hall levelled the score line to 6-6 with 20 minutes left in the first half.
Trinity were creating pressure and good field position but Washbrook was unable to gather a Smith pass with the try line awaiting. The end to end action continued with strong carries from Masoe but his offload to Greenwood proved too difficult.
The end of the half saw Tim Smith rescue the home side as he dealt with a kick from Roby. Trinity then hit back after a great interception by Reece Lyne who ran 60 metres down the left side before being tackled by Makinson. Trinity moved the ball to the right hand side and after going close, shifted the play back to the left and it was Lyne on hand to burst through to making it 12-6 at half time.
HALF TIME 12-6.
Trinity came out in the second half looking very strong with two tries denied in the first five minutes by the referee; Reece Lyne looked to have scored for the home side however the video referee gave an obstruction and Saints were awarded the penalty. The second was chalked off after Craig Hall passed to Riley in the corner, but the referee gave a forward pass.
The visitors came fighting back; Jacob Miller’s long pass for Trinity was intercepted by McCarthy-Scarsbrook who then raced 70 metres down the field before being tackled. On the next play Greenwood pounced and made the score line all square at 12-12.
A touch of luck for Saints as Wilkin looked to have knocked on but referee Robert Hicks gave a ball steal and Saints charged down the field. They were awarded a penalty on 50 minutes in line with the sticks, Makinson chose to go for the two points and put his side into the lead on 14-12.
An aimless looking Jon Wilkin bomb, took a wicked bounce which found Turner who was in the right place at the right time for Saints to score. The turner try was converted to leave a 12-20 scoreline with minutes left.
A touch of class from Dean Collis who got on the outside of his man, chipped it over Lomax and regathered to feed Owen to close the deficit to 4 points. Craig Hall was wide with his conversion but Wakefield had the momentum going into a tense finale.
It was a nail biting final few minutes as McShane made metres out of dummy half, but Saints somehow prevented the Wildcats hooker from touching down. The final chance for Trinity come as Hall took the optional kick restart, however, time did run out for the home side after Lauititi was pulled down just metres short of the line on the final hooter.
Final score: Wakefield Trinity Wildcats 16-20 St Helens.