Rearguard Secures Win

SAINTS produced a performance of resolve, passion and total commitment as they beat Wakefield 20-16.

Down three players through injury and rolling one sub they fought and battled to their fourth win from four and went joint top of Super League.

Superlatives aplenty, this was a quality defensive effort with the ‘middle men’ absolutely superb throughout.

But it was when Jonny Lomax, Mark Percival and Luke Thompson all went off injured that these boys came into their own.

And that made the win all the more sweeter.

Saints made a couple of changes from the side that beat Castleford last week – Paul Wellens coming in for the suspended Travis Burns and Alex Walmsley for Kyle Amor.

Lance Hohaia also returned to bench for his first appearance since the home win over Catalans.

Saints started brightly and broke the deadlock on eight minutes when Alex Walmsley offloaded to Mark Flanagan.

Having broken through, the loose forward got the ball away to Lomax who took the tackle before Paul Wellens ‘showed and goed’ for the opener.

15 minutes in another break from right inside Saints’ own 20 – after a Wakefield chance – was very nearly converted. 

Makinson rampaged down the middle but the defence covered the chance. Turner then combined with Swift to almost put the winger in.

It was a let off for Wakefield and they punished Saints with their very next opportunity. 

After forcing a drop-out, Jacob Miller took a low ball, caught Matty Ashurst on the burst, and the former Saints man levelled up matters.

Saints then lost Jonny Lomax, Luke Thompson and Mark Percival in quick succession to injury – and a reshuffle meant them relying on good D whilst their attacking structures were readdressed.

And they almost turned that ‘backs-to-the-wall’ effort into points but Joe Greenwood just couldn’t haul in Masoe’s pass.

Once again Wakefield took advantage of that missed chance – Reece Lyne going through a gap on the left hand side after the home side gained a penalty.

Craig Hall giving his side a 12-6 lead at half time.

Wakefield had one chalked off for obstruction on Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook early in the second half and then had another pulled back for a forward pass.

That might have been a let off for the visitors and a stroke of luck, but Saints didn’t hang about.

Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook intercepted a Wildcats’ attack, went 70 yards and Greenwood took Makinson’s pass to go under the posts.

Makinson converted and then, on 50 minutes, put Saints ahead with a penalty.

And Jordan Turner scored after Craig Hall made a mess of a high ball.

Saints had reversed their fortunes and looked deadly with every set. They had a number of chances too but Wakefield also looked likely when the ball went lateral. 

It was one of those sideways moves that got the hosts right back into it too. Dean Collis chipped over on the right hand side and Richard Owen profited.

Wakefield continued to press until the very last minute and when Tim Smith kicked it deep downfield following a tap on the twenty it forced another set – with just 40 seconds remaining.

Drive after drive went in and Saints swarmed all over Ali Lauitiiti as the hooter went to win the match.

Truly epic.

Match Summary:

Wildcats:

Tries: Ashurst, Lyne, Owen

GoalsHall (2 from 3)

Saints: 

Tries: Wellens, Greenwood, Turner

Goals: Percival (1 from 1), Makinson (3 from 3)

Penalties: 

Wildcats: 6

Saints: 10

HT: 6-12

FT: 20-16

REF: Robert Hicks

ATT: 4104

Teams:

Wildcats: 

1. Craig Hall; 2. Chris Riley, 3. Dean Collis, 4. Reece Lyne, 5. Richard Owen; 6. Jacob Miller, 7. Tim Smith; 18. Daniel Smith, 13. Danny Washbrook, 8. Nick Scruton, 12. Danny Kirmond, 17. Matty Ashurst, 15. Matt Ryan.

Subs: 9. Paul McShane, 11. Ali Lauitiiti, 16. Mickael Simon, 23. Lopini Paea.

Saints:

1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 17. Mark Percival, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift; 20. Paul Wellens, 12. Jon Wilkin; 14. Alex Walmsley, 9. James Roby, 19. Greg Richards, 21. Joe Greenwood, 11. Atelea Vea, 15. Mark Flanagan.

Subs: 8. Mose Masoe, 13. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook, 16. Lance Hohaia, 18. Luke Thompson.

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