FIRE DOUSED | After returning to finals action in 2015, the St George-Illawarra Dragons struggled un...
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Saints secure comprehensive win
Darren Albert claimed a hat-trick and his three-quarter partner Jamie Lyon touched down twice as Saints ran away with the game in the second half.
Sean Long also scored 24 points with 10 goals and a try as rampant Saints hardly seemed to miss the creativity of injured captain Paul Sculthorpe.
Wakefield, playing with greater confidence after their recent revival under Tony Smith, were competitive early on and scored through Mike Wainwright but were ultimately overpowered.
Both sides appeared subdued in a scrappy opening and Wakefield missed the chance to take an early lead when David March pushed a penalty shot wide.
But the quality soon began to improve and, after putting some nice passing moves together, Saints claimed the lead after 12 minutes.
Prop Nick Fozzard created the opportunity with a powerful drive before Keiron Cunningham, as Wakefield prepared for one of his trademark short-range bursts, flicked the ball wide for Paul Anderson to crash over.
While that try owed everything to the front row, the second eight minutes later was made and finished by the classy pairing of Man of Steel candidate Lyon and Albert.
Lyon?s handling was superb as he took a Mike Bennett pass and shimmied before sending Albert flying over for his 23rd try of the season.
Long?s touchline conversion, his second goal, increased Saints? lead to 12-0.
Yet Wakefield were far from overwhelmed and began to enjoy some good possession that brought them back into the game.
Colum Halpenny was held over the line and then a David Solomona-inspired move opened the Saints defence and Wainwright went over in the corner.
The Wildcats pressed again on the restart but Saints managed to hold out another concerted attack and hit back with a quick try on the counter-attack.
Full-back Wellens put Jon Wilkin clear with an excellent pass and Long had a simple job to finish the move under the posts. The scrum-half added the extras to give his side an 18-4 half-time lead.
Saints put the result beyond doubt with two more tries in the first five minutes of the second half.
The first was a gift for Wellens as Halpenny spilled a high kick from Wilkin by the posts and Lyon again showed his class for the next.
The Australian took a smart pass from Vinnie Anderson and, from a standing start, burst clear of a tackle and made an arcing run to the posts.
Another try followed on the hour as Trinity failed to deal with a Long kick and Lyon was on hand to touch down.
Long then created his side?s seventh try with a break down the left that allowed Albert to cut inside for his second score.
Albert, who will join Cronulla next season, then showed how much he will be missed with a break from his own half to complete his hat-trick.
Substitutes Roby and Graham crossed in the closing minutes and Long maintained his 100% record to condemn Wakefield to their heaviest defeat against Saints.
St Helens: Wellens, Albert, Lyon, Talau, Gardner, Hooper, Long, Fozzard, Cunningham, P. Anderson, Bennett, Wilkin, V. Anderson. Replacements: Roby, Graham, Fa'asavalu, Gilmour.
Wakefield: Halpenny, Wainwright, Domic, Henderson, Tadulala, Jeffries, Obst, Griffin, March, Korkidas, MacGillivray, Solomona, J. Field. Replacements: Elima, Feather, Wrench, Spicer.
St Helens: (18) 60. Tries: P. Anderson, Albert 3, Long, Wellens, Lyon 2, Roby, Graham. Goals: Long 10.
Wakefield: (4) 4. Tries: Wainwright.
Referee: Glen Black (New Zealand)
Thanks to www.superleague for the above review